Gift shop, snack bar shuttered at Lincoln’s New Salem Historic Site

One of the most visited tourist attractions in the state is now without a souvenir shop and a food vendor.

The New Salem Lincoln League, a volunteer organization, ended its contractual relationship on April 30 with Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, which is operated by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

New Salem is a reconstruction of the village where Abraham Lincoln spent part of his early adulthood. It is about 20 miles northwest of Springfield.

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A procurement bid by IDNR that went out in January would have put the Lincoln League “in a precarious financial situation,” said its president, Edie Sternberg.

No vendor has stepped forward, Sternberg said, leaving the site’s 320,000 annual visitors without food or drinks or mementos of their visit.