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ERIC KRAUSE REPORTS
MY HISTORICAL REPORTS
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MAJOR UNITED STATES RESEARCH TRIPS
13 to September 21, 2003 Research Trip Highlights
Research Trip to the United States: Ottawa (Canada) / Springfield (Illinois) / St. Louis (Missouri) ~ August 13 to September 21, 2003
LINCOLN'S NEW SALEM HISTORIC SITE, ILLINOIS
Eric Krause, Krause House Info-Research Solutions
September 21, 2003
Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site is a "reconstruction of the village [founded 1828] - where Abraham Lincoln spent his early adulthood [1831-1837]."
The most interesting features from a Louisbourg perspective were the wooden strap hinges/pintles, the wooden gutters found on most of the buildings, and the exterior wooden chimney stacks. Also of possible interest were the single sash windows that swiveled vertically on central wooden pins, and the raised hearths that were finished-off by a wooden sloped border placed between them and the wooden flooring.
An e-mail will be sent to determine what was their evidence, and whether they could send any plans of these constructions. The reply will be posted here when it is received.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Web Site: state.il.us/hpa/lib/default.htm [not presently active]
The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. The Agency operates over 60 historic sites and memorials.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency e-mail: Info@ihpa.state.il.us
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Library Web Site: state.il.us/hpa/lib/default.htm [Not presently active]
The Illinois State Historical Library is the premier repository for materials relating to the history of the Prairie State. The ISHL was created in 1889 by the Illinois General Assembly, which charged the new library with collecting and preserving "books, pamphlets, manuscripts, monographs, writings, and other materials of historical interest and useful to the historian, bearing upon the political, religious, or social history of the State of Illinois from the earliest known period of time."
To whom it may concern:
First, let me introduce myself. I am now retired from the Fortress of Louisbourg, National Historical Site, Louisbourg, Nova Scotia, Canada, where for 25 years I was an historian and Historical Records Supervisor. If you wish to know more about me, please consult my web at: http://www.krausehouse.ca/krause/
In September of this year, I was on a historical research trip that took me to, among other places, the Illinois State Archives where I found much in my area of interest: 18th century French construction techniques and materials which the Fortress of Louisbourg might find useful. Their official research site (for which I am web master) is as follows: http://fortress.uccb.ns.ca [Now http://fortress.cbu.ca ]
For your interest, the Fortress of Louisbourg is the largest reconstruction project of its type ever undertaken in North America
Now to the point. I also visited the following sites:
Since each of the first four may have an associated historical structural record that guides you in their interpretation, I am interested in what that might be. A list of any published, and, in particular, unpublished in-house reports would be useful as would that of any reconstruction or building plans that you may have developed.
As some examples of my interest, what would be the basis for the following:
(1) Lincoln New Salem State Historic Site
(2) Cahokia Courthouse (3) Pierre Menard House (4) Fort de Chartres
(5) Kaskaskia Bell
Dear Mr. Krause:
I have at hand your research request of 28 September 2003.
I would be happy to send you some of the unpublished historic structures
reports we have on hand regarding the sites mentioned in your email.
Please forward me a mailing address and I will have those copied for you.
Also, several of these sites are listed on the Historic American Buildings
Survey which can be found on the Library of Congress Website. The site
includes photos and drawings. With regard to French architecture, I can
recommend to you any book by Charles Peterson, who specializes in Cahokia
and St. Louis architecture, Carl Ekberg has written a very detailed account
on the Bolduc house at Ste. Genevieve and Jay Edwards is an expert in the
field of French architecture. He has published extensively on the subject.
As for the dimensions of the bell, I am unable to put my hands on a report
we had done a few years ago. I will keep looking for it and see what I can
I hope this helps you in your research.
Erin I. Bishop, Ph.D.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
313 South Sixth Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Hello Dr. Erin:
Thanks for the prompt and informative reply. The unpublished reports are more than appreciated, and after I read through them, I will deposit them with the extensive holdings of the Fortress of Louisbourg Library. Should you ever wish to consult their holdings, they, and other research materials, are available on the research site of the Fortress of Louisbourg which is maintained by the Louisbourg Institute at:
http://fortress.uccb.ns.ca/menus/Fwlbcat.htm [Now http://fortress.cbu.ca ]
Looking forward to the Bell dimensions as well, if and when, you can locate them. No rush of course.
My mailing address is:
62 Woodill Street,
Sydney, Nova Scotia,
Dear Mr. Krause:
I was asked to respond to the portion of your email to the Illinois
Historic Preservation Agency that dealt with the log architecture at
Lincoln's New Salem. While I have no expertise in log architecture, I can
tell you a bit about the 1930s reconstruction.
It is almost impossible for us to know how Joseph Booton, chief draftsman
in the state architect's office during the 1920s and 1930s and the man who
"created" most of the village seen today, came about the most of the
details he designed into the buildings. He mentioned at different times a
research effort that led to the development of a catalog of details, but
this has never been found, nor has a list of the county histories,
travelers' accounts, old settler reminiscences, photographic and
lithographic images, etc., that were consulted.
Booton combined this information with supposition to design the buildings.
Among the suppositions that informed the process was the belief that New
Salem's settlement late in the frontier stage of development meant that its
inhabitants were more "substantial" than first-line pioneers, and thus more
likely to build more substantial and finished homes. Thus, there are no
round log buildings in the reconstruction. Booton also believed that the
settlers were practical folk, and thus located and constructed features in
ways that were logical.
We have no idea as to how the gutters came about. They seem to be a
post-reconstruction addition that came about to help slow wear of the earth
and foundations at the drip lines. I personally haven't seen any early
image of a log building showing that type of configuration.
You might wish to contact Keith Sculle, of the Agency's Preservation
Services Division. I know that he has done some work on Illinois log
architecture. If he cannot answer you questions he may at least be able to
lead you to another source.
Sorry that I couldn't be of more positive help.
Mark L. Johnson
Historic Sites Division
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
313 South Sixth Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701
Thank you very much for the detailed reply. On the contrary, your help was most positive and explanatory. I appreciate the time you spent on it.
We much enjoyed our visit to Lincoln's New Salem and the Blue Grass Music festival on site that day was an unexpected bonus.