family life, story telling, travel, Uncategorized

Lincoln’s New Salem: a Step Back in Time

Lincoln's New Salem

Over the weekend, we spontaneously decided to go to Lincoln’s New Salem. This was always my favorite field trip when I was growing up, so it was fun to take a field trip with the kids. When we got there, we were told that it was Bicentennial weekend at the park. All but one of the cabins was open for the public to walk through. There were people dressed in period costumes to tell you about the former owners of the homes/stores/shops. There was live music and poetry readings. It was such a fun day, and I’m so thankful that we got to see so much more than we thought.

 

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They love posing by statues. When we first got there, we went into the visitor’s center. There is a small museum inside where you can see different artifacts and learn more about New Salem. Next to the visitor’s center is a small cafe and gift shop. Then, you walk down the path in between a thick group of trees. It opens up, and you can see the homes.

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(Harper was refusing to carry her hat, so Scott put it on top of his own. He doesn’t usually wear this hat. 😉 ) I loved getting to go inside and see how people used to live in the 1830s.  I’ll apologize now for the quality of some of these pictures. It’s hard to get good pictures in dark places.

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Everything is so beautiful.

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Harper really loved the beds. Most of these beds have a trundle bed underneath where the children’ would sleep– often 2-3 children on each.img_9114

The girls were so fascinated by all of the candles everywhere. It was hard for them to imagine life without lights. img_9111

The Cooper shop (building in the picture above) is the only structure that is original to the town. The rest have all been reconstructed. It was taken apart and moved to Petersburg where it stayed until 1922. Then, it was carefully taken apart and rebuilt in it’s original home of New Salem.

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The beds and furniture are all so beautiful. I am so thankful for our modern-day mattresses though. I can’t imagine sleeping on straw.

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Chloe and Addi loved seeing the spinning wheel. They were talking about Sleeping Beauty the whole time.

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This is the inside of a wool mill. The technology of their day was really incredible. This machine was powered by two oxen walking on another machine outside. (see below picture)

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That little high chair is so cute. Can you imagine having a baby in this time? Look at those floors.

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We really wished they had a sign telling about this barn above. Most of the cabins have gardens in the yard. Some have the barns. img_9138

This table is from the tavern. There was a huge fireplace with tons of cooking tools hanging from the mantle. I told Chloe and Addi about how they used to cook over the fire. This is where travelers would come for a meal. Through the doorway was a large room with several beds where they would sleep for the night. img_9119They all took turns pretending to lift buckets of water from the well.

 

 

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It felt like the temperature was a million degrees outside. In reality, it was over 90 degrees. We were so hot, and I can’t imagine how the period costume “characters” felt. We had so much fun despite the heat. img_9134

If you are ever looking for something to do in Illinois, I cannot recommend this place enough! Behind the visitor center is a campground. Across the road is a state park with a playground and hiking trails. It’s a quiet area, but It’s not far outside of Springfield. You can go into the town and there is a lot to see there also.

 

If you want to check out more information about New Salem, you can go here to this interactive map.

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family life, recommendations, story telling, travel, Uncategorized

Port Huron, Michigan

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In our 7+ years of living in Michigan, Port Huron is my favorite place that we got to explore. The water is so beautiful and blue. You can see right down to the bottom. Just across the water is Canada. In fact, the Blue Water Bridge to/from Canada was over us when I took this picture.

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The girls always call Lake Huron the ocean, which cracks me up. It’s bluer than the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s unsalted. It quite literally takes my breath away every time we pull up to the water and I catch a glimpse. I could sit and stare at it all day.

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We sat and took it all in for a while before we headed to grab lunch. Our favorite place to go is the Raven Cafe. They have SUCH delicious food, and it’s in such a cool building. We used to go when we lived in Michigan, and have returned every time we visit the area. It’s that good. The people are that awesome.

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There is art everywhere.. I love the whole vibe of the place. They have the best grilled reuben. Their chai tea chiller is so good. So, so good.

Once we devoured lunch, we headed to the beach. One thing that you NEED to know about Port Huron beaches is that most of them are rocky. Water shoes are needed if you want to be able to move comfortably. I wore my Tevas in the water without problems. Scott ended up putting on socks to dull the pain. It seriously is SO painful if you aren’t prepared. ha!

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Since the beach sits close to where the river begins, you get to see tons of huge barges coming and going.

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This particular beach sits next to the Fort Gratiot lighthouse. We have yet to go up in it since we never remember that you have to wear close toed shoes. Who wears those to the beach?

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We moved up the coast a little bit and found a tiny slice of beach that was practically empty. It is a public beach sandwiched between two sections of private beach. It’s not as rocky, and the water didn’t have the same current as the bigger beach.

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Soak that in. The clear water. The beautiful rocks beneath. The blue.. so much blue. Every time we go, I fall more and more in love. I have seen three of the five great lakes, and Lake Huron is my favorite so far.

I hope that if you are ever in Michigan, you can visit Port Huron. If you do, you must stop in at the Raven Cafe! Also, find this house and if it’s ever for sale let me know!

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I will share more about our trip another day. For now, you can soak in the ten million pictures of this beautiful city with me.

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