Abraham Lincoln

TWO days til xmas…

by grace on December 23, 2018

…I’m just saying. not a huge amount of time for getting ready.

not huge.

some might say, not much time at all.

i’m not one of those people.

I guess i don’t have that much to do, not very many people to buy gifts for, i guess i’m done with that. i felt like i did an ok job of baking cookies but then amy told me about a family friend who always makes many cookies, and this time she made 17 kinds.

uh huh.

so, december…a little busy. here’s mom and me visiting with the lincolns as we strolled around a saturday holiday walk. that was early in december and it was crazy warm and lovely that day.

it was so so warm that i put up the outside lights very early. here’s what they looked like before the sun set…

…and here they are after it went down.

so, every year i get more and more and more xmas catalogs. last year they piled up about a foot high and i didn’t manged to leaf through a single one, and finally chucked the whole lot into the recycle at around march or april.

for some reason i made good progress on the catalogs this years, and one catalog in particular delighted me. it’s called https://www.femailcreations.com/, and so many of the things were tea towels or whatever printed with really funny sayings. there are plenty of things with sayings, but i laughed out loud at many of them.

here are just a couple.


many more things in december but i have to get off the couch right this very minute cause there are still quite a few things to do.

ok then,

mrs. really going to spend some time posting in the next couple of days hughes. but only in theory.


last saturday night i went to see a musical at the outdoor theater at New Salem.  it was a perfect evening, and beforehand i took a little time to walk through the village.

If you’re not from around here, New Salem is where Lincoln lived for six years before moving to Springfield when he was elected to the IL General Assembly.  While in New Salem, he was a storekeeper, postmaster, surveyor, plus he served in the Black Hawk War.  The state historic site is a  reconstructed village, and i’ve come to this spot through the years for as long as i can remember.  I love it – it’s quiet and peaceful (well, probably not when there are busloads of school children), and there’s a wonderful smell to the place – not just the smell of campfires (the park has a campground), but maybe it’s the smell of all the logs.

When kevin and i were practicing hiking before our trip to wales two years ago we went to new salem several times to hike the paths all around the park.  on one particularly hot day we ended up in the village and were happy to spend a little time in the air-conditioned museum store.

i’m pretty sure this is the first time i’ve been to new salem wearing dangly earrings.  i don’t know why i felt the need to get dressed up; the vast majority of others attending the show wore jeans and t-shirts.

i love this tiny little house – since i was pressed for time i didn’t have a chance to dash over and read the sign in front of it, so i can’t say what it was used for.  mother in law cottage? B&B?

all but one of these homes were reconstructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression in 1934.

This place belonged to the village cooper.  He made all kinds of buckets, tubs and barrels in his cooper shop next door – back then, almost all produce was shipped in barrels.  there’s all kinds of interesting info like that on new salem’s website. There were wet barrels, for whiskey and meat shipped in brine, and dry barrels for corn meal, beans or flour. It’s amazing to think of how far we’ve come, shipping-wise, isn’t it?

the blackmith shop.

the man who lived here was a hatter, and the pot out in front was used for making felt.  i wonder how one makes felt.  they probably don’t do it in a big pot anymore.

This is a carding mill, used to spin wool into fabric.  This site has some interesting information about it, including this passage:

At the site of Lincoln’s New Salem settlement stands a working replica of an animal-powered mill for spinning wool into fabric.  Although the machine is not original, it is the only one of its kind in the country, and one of just three in the world. 

one of three in the world! That’s pretty neat – we don’t have a lot of unique things hereabouts, and sometime i’ll have to take a picture of the treadmill in back of the mill where oxen had to turn the giant wheel to power it.  i know i’ve seen it in operation before, and maybe they’ll be doing it again sometime soon.

but what about that second-story door?  it’d be a mighty big step to the ground.  maybe they pulled wagons underneath and….baled stuff down?

This is the first store of Lincoln’s.  I included a close-up of the sign over the door; if you can’t read it, it basically says that this is Lincoln’s first store, in partnership with a fellow named Berry.

Sometimeswhen i went to New Salem as a kid a lot of these places were open, with historic interpreters inside doing whatever 1830’s-type thing needed to be done.  on the new salem website i now only find this activity taking place at their fall festival on october 28th and 29th.  hmm, i’d better put that down on the calendar.


i had to take a picture of this sign because it says that the store was owned by a man named Hill and a man named McNamar – but McNamar “took the alias of ‘McNeil’ to disguise his identity until he could make a fortune and bring his family to Illinois.” the sign says that Hill move away and had success, but what happened to poor McNamar, and why did he feel the need to take an alias in the first place?

This is the second store that Lincoln and Berry owned.  It’s looking a little too weathered to me.

this sign claims that McNamar moved to Petersburg with a silent partner.  no mention on this sign about any aliases, or whether he ever sent for his family.

the Rutledge Tavern – that orange thing is a big water cooler, draped with an old-timey cover.

i always think about what a muddy place it must have been back in the 1830s.  New Salem only lasted until 1840, not long after Lincoln left.

i’ve saved the best for last – my friend Bev accompanied me to New Salem, and as i was rushing around taking pictures she was dousing herself with bug spray.  she felt that it wasn’t adequate protection, though, and i could see her way off in the distance and she looked…funny, somehow.  when i walked back i realized she had tried to thoroughly insulate herself from any potential west nile-ridded mosquitoes that might be lurking.

i showed the picture to kevin, who said that she looked like beavis from “beavis & butthead,” when he was being “cornholio.”  if you ever watched the show, you’ll know what he’s talking about.  Beavis pulled his t-shirt over his head when he became “cornholio,” and his shirt was even blue.

but i digress…new salem is wonderful place to visit, and you should check it out if you’re ever in the neighborhood.

their address is “15588 History Lane,” which is fabulous.

ok then,

mrs. thursday evening hughes.

This posting  is part of Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors.  If you’d like to see the vast array of doors that people from around the world are posting, or if you want to post your own photos of doors, click  here.