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Special Events

You will always encounter volunteers on your visit to Lincoln Log Cabin to engage you in the historic experience, but a visit to the site during one of the events below will make your visit extra special. Come and experience 1840s rural life in Illinois!
All events are subject to cancellation and/or rescheduling; please check back often.

 
January

Saturday, January 5 and 19, 10:30 am: Visitor Center
Saturday Morning Story Series

Join us at 10:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center as we begin our Saturday Story Series. Saturday Stories feature the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

 
February

Saturday, February 2 and 16, 10:30 am: Visitor Center
Saturday Morning Story Series

Join us at 10:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center as we begin our Saturday Story Series. Saturday Stories feature the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

Friday, February 15, 6:00 pm: Lincoln Log Cabin Foundation Annual Dinner- at Unique Suites in Charleston
Join us as we celebrate "Lincoln in Song" at the Unique Suites in Charleston. Enjoy a performance by Chris Vallillo, a nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and folk musician who strives to "make the people and places of 'unmetropolitan' America come to life in song." A silent auction and drawings throughout the evening will also be offered. Tickets are $60 per person, a table of eight may be purchased for $420.

Reservations can be made by clicking here for an online reservation form, which will offer a credit card payment option upon submitting. If you prefer to mail a check for your dinner reservation, skip the credit card page and please mail to: LLCF, 402 South Lincoln Highway Road, Lerna, IL 62440

 

 
March

Saturday, March 2 and 16, 10:30 am: Visitor Center
Saturday Story Series
Join us at 10:30 a.m. in the Visitor Center Auditorium for our Saturday Story Series, which features the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in our American history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, March 23, 2:00 pm: Visitor Center Auditorium
A Visit with Johnny Appleseed
Steve McPhail will be presenting a special portrayal of John Chapman, "Johnny Appleseed", in the Auditorium. He wears clothing common to frontiersman of the early 19th century, however, don't expect to see him with a pan on his head!
A high school history teacher by trade, early in his career McPhail began portraying "Johnny Appleseed" as a means to bring the historical character to life for listeners of all ages. Through the Eli Lilly Endowment, McPhail received a Teacher Creativity Grant which enabled him to do an in-depth study of this beloved man who quietly touched so many lives. McPhail has been nominated for "Who's Who Among American Teachers" three times, and he currently teaches History at Mississinewa High School.
While the legend depicts Johnny Appleseed as a barefoot vagrant, cooking pot on his head, and roaming the landscape strewing apple seeds randomly, it is far more likely that he was more of an eccentric-but-skilled professional, establishing nurseries of apple trees, and selling his services progressively westward to landowners interested in planning orchards. He’d teach his clients how to establish an orchard, how to keep deer and livestock at bay, and once the nursery was thriving, he’d move on to the next person interested in planting orchards.
Like Stephen and Nancy Sargent, Chapman was a follower of what is known as the Swedenborgian faith. Later in life, Chapman began to mix the gospel with his nomadic lifestyle. Chapman was a dynamic speaker, and local residents would gather to hear him speak. This too, may have been another way he made money while traveling. But it’s clear that he was a man of deep faith, and believed that traveling across the country, preaching and setting up orchards was his path to salvation.

 

 
April

Saturday, April 6 and 20, 10:30 am: Visitor Center
Saturday Story Series
Join us at 10:30 a.m. in the Visitor Center Auditorium for our Saturday Story Series, which features the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in our American history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, April 6, 2:30 pm: Visitor Center Auditorium
History of the Coles County Poor Farm

Did your parents or grandparents ever tell you, “If you don’t stop that you are going to send me to the poor farm?” Ashmore Estates, located just West of Ashmore, Illinois, and originally know as the Coles County Poor Farm, was that place.
This location has a heartbreaking history. The original structure on the farm was built in 1870. In February of 1880 a fire occurred at the location, damaging the building and taking the life of Elva Skinner, a child just short of her 5th birthday. In 1916 the current building was constructed and became the home to many who had no where else to go.
Robbin Terry, owner and Michele Watson-Baker, historian, will be on hand to discuss the past, present, and future of Ashmore Estates.

Saturday, April 13, 1 to 4:00 pm
Easter Egg Hunt and Roll

Celebrate a presidential tradition at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site! The Lincolns and Sargents will be hosting a traditional Egg Roll and Easter Egg Hunt, along with other period games, a craft activity, and a story time for children. The Easter Egg Hunt begins at 1:30 p.m., and the Egg Roll begins at 2:30 p.m. Children (12 and under) will be divided into age groups, with each group having staggered start times.

Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, 1:00 pm: Visitor Center Auditorium
Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of Sarah Lincoln's Death

May

Saturday, May 4, 1:00 pm
Growing Culinary Herbs

Jump start your spring by getting your hands dirty and learning a new skill! This beginner’s class is a hands-on mix of theory and practical activities, giving you the confidence to try propagating, growing, and harvesting herbs of your own. While some herb species grow well from seed, propagation from cuttings is the best way to multiply species such as rosemary that do not always grow well from seed. A single healthy herb plant can magically generate a dozen or more new plants. We will practice this skill using plants from the farm’s Herb Garden collection and those brought in for the session. The cost for this workshop is $35/person and includes light refreshments featuring herbs from the garden, a study guide, seeds, and your own cuttings to take home and root. Space is limited; pre-registration required. Please register for the program here, the registration form will bring you back to our donation page to pay the registration fee.

Saturday, May 18, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Come Play in the Dirt! Lincoln Log Cabin combines gardening and outdoor learning into an exciting Kids to Parks Day event on Saturday May 18. Participating youths will assist with the spring planting in the historic site's vegetable gardens. This hands-on learning activity helps to build a connection with the natural world, helps children develop an understanding of where their food comes from, and teaches the importance of protecting the environment. This free program is for youths of all ages. Each participant must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. After working in the gardens, participants are invited to join us for a grilled garden pizza party! Registration is required by May 10, 2019. For more information or to register please email: education@lincolnlogcabin.org  

Saturday, May 25, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Exploring Wool and other Textiles: What will "Ewe" Make Today?

Join us for hands-on exploration of natural fibers. Spring means lambs and sheep-shearing at the Lincoln farm! Artisans will also be demonstrating their skills at weaving, chair-caning, basket-making, spinning, and more! Try your hand at all of the stages required to transform a newly shorn fleece all the way to a finished product. For a special treat, sheep dog demonstrations will be conducted from morning until early afternoon. Adult visitors can also register for a Painting with Wool workshop with fiber artist Joellyn Cobb, starting at 10:00 am. We will be using a special felting needle to mesh the wool fibers together creating a canvas upon which to create your "painting" on and then with core wool, top wool, and colored wool we will "paint" your picture. Workshop is $45 including all materials and may take 2 to 3 hours to complete, register here.


June

 

Saturday and Sunday, June 15-16, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Both days
: Civil War Encampment
Learn about the men who answered President Lincoln's call for troops in 1861. Members of the 5th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry Regiment will be encamped at Lincoln Log Cabin on Father's Day weekend. Visit with the soldiers in camp, watch mounted and dismounted drilling exercises, and learn about the lives of Civil War soldiers. General Grant and President Lincoln will be making an appearance. The schedule for Saturday is:
10:00 am Mounted and dismounted drills, 5th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry
11:30 am Skirmish at the Lincoln Farm
1:00 pm "Illinois in the Civil War" presented by Tom Emery in the Visitor Center Auditorium
2:00 pm “Haversacks, Saddles, and Sabers… Oh My! A Tour of Soldier Effects and Accoutrements,” presented by Jeremiah Hanley
3:00 pm “Civil War Era Music” presented by the Salt Creek String Band
5:00 pm “Civil War Medicine and Surgery” presented by Dr. Ruben Boyajian
6:00 pm Civil War Ball – Open to the Public!

Sunday Schedule:
9:00 am 19th Century Church Service, officiated by Rodney Miller
10:30 am Mounted and dismounted drills, 5th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry
Noon “Haversacks, Saddles, and Sabers… Oh My! A Tour of Soldier Effects and Accoutrements,” presented by Jeremiah Hanley
1:00 pm A Word from General Grant, as portrayed by Curt Fields in the Visitor Center Auditorium
3:00 pm Skirmish at the Lincoln Farm

Concessions available both days

Saturday, June 22, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Hearth Cooking Demonstrations
Have you ever wondered what types of dishes were popular in 19th century American cooking? Did they have ‘comfort foods’ like macaroni and cheese? Stop by and visit out kitchens as we demonstrate 19th-century cooking. We’ll run the gamut from plain to fancy fare though baking, boiling, frying, roasting and toasting. Lean about the seasonality of 19th-century ingredients and the equipment and methods for both cooking and preserving food. Period receipts (recipes) will be available for many of the foods we’ll be cooking, adapted for use in your own kitchen.

Sunday, June 23, 1:00 pm
Hardcore Hearth Cooking Workshop for Adults

On Sunday try your hand at 19th-century cooking in this hands-on workshop and have a unique opportunity to prepare and eat a meal on the historic farm! Register here.

Saturday, June 29, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Independence Day Celebration

Celebrate an old-fashioned Independence Day at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. Visitors to this year’s Independence Day event can join in a game of Town Ball with Lincoln Log Cabin’s interpreters.   In towns, cities and countrysides, wherever Americans have gathered for community events, there has always been a ball game of one sort or another. After the Civil War, the game of choice was most often Town Ball, which some historians believe was a precursor for the modern game of baseball.  The rules to the early game are similar to what we know as baseball, and will be explained before each game.  All visitors are welcome to participate.

Before the Town Ball game starts, enjoy the raising of the flag on the Lincoln Farm, and follow that up with a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a patriotic tableau performance by the site’s summer youth program participants.  

JuLY

Saturday, July 13, 10:00 am
Preserving the Tastes of Summer
The fields and gardens at the Lincoln and Sargent farms are in full glory! Join us for a hands-on workshop covering the basics of harvesting, preparing, and preserving the bounty of summer fruits and vegetables produced on a 19th-century farm. Using historic recipes (slightly modified for modern convenience) and produce from the farm, you'll learn skills that are surprisingly relevant today!

Cost: $35/person. Includes light refreshments, a study guide, and some produce from the farm to try your new skills at home. Space is limited; pre-registration required. https://form.jotform.com/80686342572159

Saturday, July 20, 2:00 pm Lincoln, The Great Communicator

Looking for Lincoln will host a new program featuring Lincoln interpretor, George Buss, and Illinois folk musician and folklorist, Chris Vallillo, in the premier of their new show, Lincoln The Great Communicator. The program combines live period music with conversation and narrative by President Lincoln (using Lincoln’s own words) to explore Lincoln’s use of communication as a personal and political tool. The event is free and open to the public. This theatrical style program is presented as a casual conversation between President Lincoln and Vallillo discussing Lincoln's gifts as a communicator and way he used those skills for the betterment of mankind throughout his lifetime. In the midst of the conversation, Vallillo will perform period music on guitar, bottleneck slide Dobro, banjo and jaw harp to illustrate Lincoln’s point and the President will quote passages from some of his favorite speeches. The program will also be used to increase awareness of Looking for Lincoln and the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area. The event is presented by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition and is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

August

Sunday August 11, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Annual Bluegrass Jam
Anyone with a love of this traditional style of music is welcome; bring lawn chairs or a blanket. Those who play an instrument are encouraged to bring theirs along and join in a jam session with one of the many informal groups playing in the park. Volunteers will be selling concessions.

 

September

September 28-29- 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Harvest Frolic Fall Celebration.
Come celebrate the arrival of autumn at the Harvest Frolic on Saturday and Sunday, September 28 and 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Don't miss experiencing 19th-century life on the farm! Activities will take place at both the Lincoln and Sargent farms and will include children's games, craft and doll making, and hearth cooking. Visitors are encouraged to take part in period games and activities. Volunteers will demonstrate apple cider pressing, and food preservation. A number of artisans will be on site demonstrating their crafts including, woodcarving,spinning, soap-making, embroidery, pottery, broommaking, blacksmithing, embroidery, and many other 19th-century crafts. Tthe Unreconstructed String Band will perform, storyteller Brian "Fox" Ellis will be here on Sunday, the Clockwork Clown will be returning, dulcimer playing, and be sure to catch the 19th-century magic show.
Don't miss the Frolic 5K! A 5k run and mile walk to kick off the festivities on September 28!
Register online here or download a form here.

 
October

Saturday Story Series: Visitor Center Auditorium
October 5, 10:30 am
Join us at 10:30 a.m. at the Visitor Center. Saturday Stories feature the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in our American history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

Saturday, October 26th from 6-9 pm
Torchlight Halloween Hike, Storytelling, and Wiener Roast
Join us for our Torchlight Halloween Hike and Wiener Roast where you. won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy Lincoln Log Cabin in the dark! We will start at the Visitor Center for a bonfire and wiener roast, and a craft for the kids. Hike the paths between our historic farms by torchlight and hear storytelling in the Lincoln Cabin. Enjoy live music as you sit around the fire.
To benefit the educational and interpretative programs of Lincoln Log Cabin, the Foundation will be selling hot dogs and s’mores for you to roast over an open fire, and hot cider for drinking.

 
November

Saturday Story Series November 2, 10:30 am
Stories at the Visitor Center, Saturday Stories feature the reading of a historically-themed children's book, followed by activities and crafts which help to engage youngsters in our American history and bring the stories to life. The programs, geared towards ages 3-10, are free and open to the public. All youth must be accompanied by an adult.

Thanksgiving on the Goosenest Prairie
November 23, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Come out and visit with the Lincoln family as they prepare for a Thanksgiving feast, mid-19th-century style! Thanksgiving was celebrated on various dates from colonial times, but in 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday of November and we've been celebrating it on that day ever since! While you're here, stop by the Goosenest Prairie Gift Shop to check out our new holiday items, including many locally sourced products and a great selection of items handcrafted by our talented volunteers! Email info@lincolnlogcabin.org for more information!

 

December

Wreath-Making Workshop, Sunday, December 1, 1-4 pm
Join us for this guided workshop and create a festive holiday wreath that'll last through Christmas! A variety of greenery, ribbons, and natural decorative elements will be available to create unique and interesting designs. Cost: $35/person. Includes light refreshments and all materials. Space is limited; pre-registration required. Register here.

Saturday, December 7,  from noon to 3:00 pm
Old Fashioned Christmas on the Prairie
Get away from the bustle of holiday chores and come out to the farms to relax or take a brisk walk around the farms. Let the kids make some crafts, enjoy hot wassail and cookies in the Visitor Center, walk to the Lincoln Farm and smell gingerbread baking and enjoy caroling in the Visitor Center.. The Goosenest Prairie Gift Shop will also be open for you to pick up those unique gifts you've been looking for.