Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Before Heading For Home

on Sunday, we stopped by New Salem. This is a reconstruction of the town Lincoln lived in after leaving his parents' home and before going to Springfield. The first stop was the visitor's center, which has some nice displays and a good introductory video. Of course my eye was caught by the wheels right above the reception desk.


I loved the gardens, all planted with heirloom varieties.

There were friendly, well informed docents in several of the cabins. One was demonstrating woodworking in the coopers shop, and a mother/daughter team was cooking on a wood fire at the tavern. Alas, no one was tending the loom, but I can see under the cover sheet that there is a work in progress, so they must have a volunteer weaver there sometimes.

At least two of the cabins had more spinning wheels (they have quite a collection).

The building I found most fascinating was the carding mill. Here's the equipment on the inside.

And here's what made it run.

A huge tilted treadmill, all wood including including the giant gears and cogs. An ox would be tethered on the far side near the top and would turn the wheel by walking. I don't know whether this is currently in working order, but I would love to see the whole business in action. I suppose there would be issues, safety and the treatment of animals are two that come to mind, but it sure would be fascinating to watch.
I would have liked to walk all the way down to the river to see the lumber mill, but we needed to hit the road back to Wisconsin. Next time....


Annie H. said...

Looks like a fantastic trip. I haven't been to Springfield since U of I days, and have never seenLincoln's home or New Salem.

junior_goddess said...

I haven't been there since Johnson was President. Thanks for letting me see again...