Petersburg / New Salem
Petersburg is a scant 2 miles north of New Salem. When Petersburg became the county seat, New Salem residents moved to this new county seat and New Salem gradually disappeared. There are many former residents of New Salem who are buried in Oakland Cemetery including Ann Rutledge who was reputed to be Lincoln’s sweetheart. This tranquil old cemetery is just one of several in the area that date back to the 1800’s.
Edgar Lee Masters who wrote about Lincoln and the many inhabitants of New Salem was a resident of Petersburg and his home is still standing. Masters is also buried in Oakland Cemetery The square, surrounding the old county court house, features shops, antique stores and several restaurants.
Because it is such a quick drive from New Salem to Petersburg, many tired and hungry visitors take advantage of this charming old town to rest and refresh. Like most river towns, Petersburg is picturesque and hilly and filled with beautiful old Victorian houses. One of these is a magnificent brick Victorian mansion called The Oaks, which serves as a bed and breakfast. The Jim Edgar Panther Creek recreation area is also an easy drive from Petersburg.
For information: Menard County Tourism Office: http://www.visitmenardcounty.com