Lincoln's New Salem Visitor Center


15588 History Lane (Cross Street: Route 97)
Petersburg, IL 62675

The Visitor Center at New Salem has an exceptionally well-designed and informative museum, created by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency which runs the site. Its attractive exhibits, which focus on the village and its most famous resident, include original Lincoln items and a unique "time walk" through New Salem history. Visitors can also view an 18-minute orientation video in the Auditorium, pick up a map for the self-guided tour and borrow a wheelchair or a Braille guide. In summer the information desk doubles as a box office for Theatre in the Park, the outdoor amphitheatre located just behind the Visitor Center. Accessible restrooms are available here and at the opposite end of the village next to the Museum Store. A small deli and souvenir shop are just next door. New Salem is located approximately 20 miles northwest of Springfield near the town of Petersburg.


  • Nov 1-Feb 28
    • Wed-Sun: 8am-4pm
  • March 1-April 15
    • Wed-Sun: 9am-5pm
  • April 16-Sept 15:
    • Daily: 9am-5pm
  • Sept 16-Oct 31:
    • Wed-Sun: 9am-5pm
  • Closed for major holidays


  • Suggested donation: Adults $4, Children $2; Family $10
  • Group tours by appointment only. For groups of 15 or more, call the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, 217-789-2360, or reserve online at

Parking/Loading Zone

  • Accessible loading zone
  • Private parking lot—designated accessible spaces

Features for People with Service Animals

  • Natural surface/grassy dog relief area
    • Location—outside entrance

Hearing >>
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Features for People with Hearing Loss

  • Print information
    • Brochure with map and details on each structure
    • Museum exhibits
  • Captioning of video—on request
    • Orientation film
  • Script/text of video
    • Available from—Information Desk
  • Visual indicators in elevator
  • Strobe fire alarms in public areas and restrooms

<< Info Vision >>
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Features for People with Vision Loss

  • Orientation to visitor center—on request
  • Information in alternate formats—Braille
    • Available from—Information desk
    • Borrowers must leave photo ID
  • Elevator has audible indicators
  • Braille/Tactile Signage—elevator controls, hoistways, restrooms
  • Interior Signage—large print, high contrast, non-glare
  • Height clearance at least 80"
  • No undetectable protruding objects in path of travel

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Accessible Entrance

  • Level entry
  • Door has at least 32" clearance
  • Threshold less than 1/2" beveled
  • 2 doors in series—adequate space between
  • Easy grasp/lever handle or none

Assistive Equipment for Guests with Physical Disabilities

  • Wheelchairs
  • Available from—Information Desk

Interior Access

  • Corridor/path of travel at least 36" wide
  • Ramps provide access to one or more areas
    • Lower level of museum


  • Door clearance at least 36"
  • Car size at least 54" x 80" with centered door or 54" x 68" with side door
  • Elevator controls 54" or less

Accessible Facilities/Amenities

  • Restaurant/Cafe—New Salem Deli
    • Accessible restroom in or near the restaurant
  • Information Counter—36" max.
  • Brochure rack
  • Seating—benches outside entrance
  • Gift Shops
    • Souvenir Shop next to New Salem Deli
    • Museum Store at opposite end of village (closed in winter)
    • Sales counter/section 36" max
    • Space to turn/maneuver
  • Drinking Fountain


  • On accessible route
  • Space to approach/view/maneuver
  • Freestanding cases 36"-39" max.
  • Wall hung displays 54" to center line—slightly higher
  • Items viewed from above, 36" to top of item/case
  • Interactive displays are wheelchair accessible
  • Interactive displays have easy to use controls
  • Labels are viewable from seated position

Performance Space

  • Auditorium
    • Fixed seating—benches
    • Wheelchair seating
      • Number of Spaces—Multiple
      • Locations—Rear center and both sides
    • Companion seating
      • Fixed, alongside
  • Theatre in the Park
    • Location—Behind Visitor Center
    • Fixed seating—seats with arms
      • Wheelchair seating
        • Number of Spaces—Multiple
        • Locations—Behind last row; integrated spaces in front row
      • Companion seating
        • Fixed, alongside—front row
        • Fixed, in front—back row
      • Seats can be removed to create additional integrated seating in back row


  • New Salem Deli
  • Location—Next to Visitor Center
  • Menu on wall/sign only
  • Counter service only
    • Staff will assist/carry food to table
  • Counter/buffet 36" high or less
  • Pay at cashier counter
    • 36" high or less
  • Wheelchair accessible tables
    • Knee clearance at least 27" high by 30" wide
    • Surface no more than 34" high
    • Pedestal does not block toe clearance
  • 36" path to/between tables
  • Chairs with arms
  • Note: Outdoor picnic tables not wheelchair accessible

<< Vision Restroom >>
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Accessible Public Restroom

  • Men's and Women's
  • Location
    • Visitors Center
  • Access symbol identifies facility
  • Entry door at least 32" clearance
  • Threshold less than 1/2" beveled
  • Space in restroom to maneuver—5' by 5' or T-shaped space to turn
  • Wheelchair stall 60" by 58"/60" minimum
  • Stall door at least 32" clearance
  • Stall door swings out
  • Grab bar behind and alongside toilet
  • Lateral transfer space at least 30" wide
  • Toilet height 17" to 19"
  • Roll under sink with knee clearance at least 27" high and 30" wide
  • Mirror 40" or less from floor or tilted
  • Towels/soap/vending within reach—48" or less from floor
  • Faucet controls automatic or lever type
  • Easy grasp/lever handle or none
  • Note: A second accessible restroom is located near the Museum Store

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