“Green-up” is a phrase Lincoln surely would have recognized. It describes early spring, when green first begins to appear in the fields and trees. Although green-up is not as lovely as full-blown spring, after a long, dark winter spent in a log house, it would have been a boost to the spirits! Even today, we celebrate the coming of spring but for the residents of New Salem, green-up also meant fresh foods. Tables would soon be boasting berries and fresh vegetables. Mushrooms and greens would help break the monotony of the salt pork, cornbread and beans. Buds on trees promised apples, peaches, and plums! And most importantly, preparations for planting could begin. Spring was indeed a very special time of year!
As spring comes to central Illinois these days, we see the arrival of spring flowers and field trips! Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site has been a very popular destination for school field trips for decades. Countless adult visitors reminisce about the first time they came to the village – in 5th grade, or 8th grade, or even high school. Regardless of when they came, they remember the visit as a magic time. Many want to share that same magic with their children or grandchildren. And, when they come, another generation is introduced to the village and all it has to offer!