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News: The Latest Inklings & Idlings
Inklings & Idlings Banner
 Winter 2015-2016

Inklings & Idlings Archives
Winter 2015-2016
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Comments or contributions, please email: inklings@sandburg.org
Editor: J. Michael Hobbs


Other Readings & Related Websites

Carl Sandburg's Wisdom Through Humor
by Walter G. Moss (pdf)

Obama, Sandburg and Lincoln
by Walter G. Moss (pdf)

An Essay: The Wisdom of Carl and Paula Sandburg
by Walter G. Moss (pdf)

Galesburg Railroad Museum

Read all the entries in the 2003 Sandburg Days Memoir-Writing Contest, or the 2002 ones, or the 2001 ones, or the winning entries in the 2000 contest.

Carl Sandburg Historic Site - articles from Galesburg Register-Mail (Nov 2007 - present)

Sandburg's Hometown, by Barbara Schock
Sandburg's Hometown

by Barbara Schock
Sandburg's Hometown - 2013-2016 Articles
Date Title
February 1, 2016 "Little Boy Blue"
January 25, 2016 Always the Young Strangers
January 18, 2016 George R. Longbrake
January 11, 2016 Fred Cook
January 4, 2016 Domestic Help
December 14, 2015 Justice of the Peace B.F. Holcomb
November 30, 2015 Standardized Time
November 23, 2015 Joseph H. Knutson
November 16, 2015 Wells and Cisterns 
November 2, 2015 Willis E. Calkins
October 26, 2015 Galesburg Pottery
October 19, 2015 Private Lewis H. Kay
October 12, 2015 The Klondike Gold Rush
September 28, 2015 Charles L. Bloomgren
September 21, 2015 The Gilded Age
September 14, 2015 Oliver Optic
August 31, 2015 The "Spanish" Cannon
August 24, 2015 The Company C Men
August 17, 2015 Jacob A. Riis
August 10, 2015 Mason Jars
August 3, 2015  October 7, 1896
July 27, 2015 The Soldier's Monument
July 20, 2015 Ice
July 13, 2015 Moses O. Williamson
July 6, 2015 Sweet Little Alix
June 29, 2015 Sharlie's Shickens
June 22, 2015 Anna Held & John Drew
June 15, 2015 Hartel & Secker Meat Market
June 8, 2015 Girls
June 1, 2015 Old First Church - Part II
May 25, 2015 Old First Church - Part I
May 18, 2015 Marbles
May 11, 2015 Pawnee County, Kansas
May 4, 2015 Detective Stories and the Real Thing
April 27, 2015 Professor Isaac A. Parker
April 20, 2015 Celluloid Collars
April 13, 2015 Asparagus
April 6, 2015  Mayor John C. Stewart 
March 30, 2015 Basket Ball
March 23, 2015 The Courthouse of Knox County, IL
March 16, 2015

�Trifles make perfection...�

March 9, 2015 Uncle Tom's Cabin
March 2, 2015 Martha Sandburg Goldstone
February 23, 2015 Devotion
February 16, 2015  Gumbiner's Pawn Shop 
February 9, 2015 White Bread
February 2, 2015 The Monarch Club
January 26, 2015 The Silver Dollar
January 19, 2015 The Fulton County Narrow Gauge Railway
January 12, 2015 The Four Corners
December 22, 2014 Swedish Christmas
December 8, 2014 Christmas 1878
December 1, 2014 Bunker Boots & Shoes
November 24, 2014 Galesburg, Illinois
November 17, 2014 It was Buffalo Bill's Day
November 10, 2014 The Election of 1896 (A follow-up story)
November 3, 2014 The Election of 1896 (continued)
October 27, 2014 The Election of 1896
October  24, 2014 The Rissywarn
October 20, 2014 The Parlor Stove
October 13, 2014 Ashes to Ashes
October 6, 2014 Jesse James
Sept. 29, 2014 Lester T. Stone, Public Servant
Sept. 22, 2014 It's Who You Know
Sept 15, 2014 Mother of the Illinois Flag
September 8, 2014 The Scissors Grinder
September 1, 2014 Baseball
August 25, 2014 Howard K. Knowles, Capitalist
August 18, 2014  Alcoholic Beverages
August 11, 2014 Soda Water
August 4, 2014 Sweet Corn
July 28, 2014 Marching Through Georgia
July 21, 2014 The Knox County Fair
July 14, 2014 The Panic of 1893
July 7, 2014 The Rev. T. N. Hasselquist
June 30, 2014 The Knox County Courthouse
June 23, 2014 The Family Photograph Album
June 16, 2014 Parades
June 9, 2014 Lingonberries
June 2, 2014 Where We Live
May 26, 2014 Old Main
May 19, 2014 Rhythms of the Railroad
May 12, 2014 Spring Tonic
May 5, 2014 The Milkmen
April 28, 2014 Gray's "Elegy..."
April 21, 2014 Off to War
April 14, 2014 Swedish Easter
April 7, 2014 A Father's Face
March 31, 2014 Secret Societies
March 24, 2014 George A. Murdock, Merchant
March 10, 2014 Trade Cards
March 3, 2014 The Demorest Medal
February 24, 2014 Rip Van Winkle
February 17, 2014 Cabbage Soup
February 10, 2014 Lincoln's Birthday
February 3, 2014  The Colonel
January 27, 2014 The Lincoln Penny - A Little History
January 20, 2014 Walking to Work
January 13, 2014  A Small Abode
January 6, 2014 Birth of a Poet
December 30, 2013 Christmas 1880
December 23, 2013 Swedish Christmas
December 16, 2013 The Reporter Sees Santa
December 9, 2013 The Coming of Christmas
December 2, 2013 The Fire Boys Talk
November 25, 2013 Galesburg Will Feast on Turkeys and Cranberries - Thanksgiving 1893
November 18, 2013 Mary Sandburg Johnson
November 11, 2013 Carl Sandburg's Bicycle
November 4, 2013 Lace Curtains
October 28, 2013 The Front Room
October 21, 2013 A Warm Breakfast
October 14, 2013 Marion D. Shutter
October 7, 2013 Cigars and Consumption
September 30, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke & August Sandburg
September 16, 2013 Forrest F. Cooke
September 9, 2013 Dusty Streets
September 2, 2013 Typhoid Fever
August 26, 2013 Coffee and Water
August 19, 2013 A Horse! A Horse!
August 12, 2013 Gaddial Scott
August 5, 2013 The Racetrack
July 29, 2013 John Peter Algeld - Part II
July 22, 2013 John Peter Altgeld - Part I
July 15, 2013 Tramps, Tramps, Tramps
July 8, 2013 Lady Liberty
July 1, 2013 Galesburg's Fourth
June 24, 2013 John H. Finley
June 17, 2013 The World's Columbian Exhibition
June 10, 2013 Fruit Short-Cake
June 3, 2013 Horatio Alger, Author
May 27, 2013 Memorial Day, 1887
May 20, 2013 Professor Jon W. Grubb
May 13, 2013 Beginnings of Lombard University
May 6, 2013 Young Sandburg's View of Lombard College
April 29, 2013 Thinking
April 22, 2013 Robert Colville, Master Mechanic
April 15, 2013 Galesburg Opera House
April 8, 2013 Grocery Stores and Sample Rooms
April 1, 2013  A Hearty  Breakfast 
March 25, 2013  The Lost Wallpaper Legend 
March 18, 2013 Martin G. Sandburg
March 4, 2013 The Edison Talking Machine
February 25, 2013 Joe Elser, Civil War Veteran
February 18, 2013 Remember the Maine...
February 11, 2013 Lincoln's Birthday
February 4, 2013 Curiosity

Sandburg Days Logo
Sandburg Days Festival 2015 April 25-30, 2016

The Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.  Donations and contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Helga Sandburg Crile

In Memoriam
Helga Sandburg Crile
On Sunday evening, January 26, 2014, Helga Sandburg Crile, died in Cleveland Heights, Ohio at the age of 95. Helga was the youngest of three daughters of Carl & Lilian Steichen Sandburg.

We invite you to click anywhere within this announcement and read the beautiful obituary penned by Helga's daughter, Paula Steichen Polega

Penelope Niven, 1939-2014

In Memoriam
Penelope Niven

Penelope Niven, 75, acclaimed biographer of
Carl Sandburg dies in Winston-Salem, North Carolina,
 Thursday, August 28, 2014

Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association

Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association
P.O. Box 585
313 E. Third St.
Galesburg, Illinois 61402-0585
The Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.  Donations and contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site
Winter Hours
Thursday - Sunday
9:00am - 4:00pm
To speak with the Site Superintendent, call 309-927-3345
Site hours are subject to change


Native Son, National Treasure
Endowment Campaign
Carl Sandburg's Birthplace in Galesburg, Illinois
With all of the challenges facing museums and historic sites in Illinois, it is time to redouble our efforts to protect the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site and the legacy of our native son and national treasure.  To accomplish this goal, the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association (CSHSA) has been chosen by the Galesburg Community Foundation (GCF) to participate in an Endowment Match Program.  If the CSHSA can raise $10,000 toward an endowment to support the Historic Site, the GCF will match it.  We have until June 30, 2016 to accomplish this task.
Endowment Donations may be mailed to:

The Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association
P.O. Box 585
Galesburg, IL 61401

To send a donation online use the following Donate button:


CSHSA Endowment Fund Chart - 1/25/2016



Songbag Concert Series
Fall 2015

Songbag Fall 2014 - Poster Schedule
Next Songbag Concert
Saturday, February 27, 2016, 7:00pm
at the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site Barn

Songbag Concert Spring 2016 - TBA

Songbag Concert Fall 2015 Schedule
Songbag Concert Spring 2015 Schedule

Thank you to our Knox County Master Gardeners!!
From our Garden to Yours - New Book We are fortunate and grateful that two of the Knox County Master Gardeners, Sylviane Stites and Jamie Yemm, are once again helping us with the Site's flower beds. Along with volunteers and staff those two women are teaching us about maintaining the plantings that border the Site's property and surround the cottage where Carl Sandburg was born.

We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Jamie and Sylviane and the other Knox County Master Gardeners that have volunteered to help at the Site. They have just published a wonderful cookbook From Our Community to Your Table. It is available at numerous locations in Galesburg, including the Association's bookstore at the Site for $15.  Hope to see you in the garden.


Knox County Master Naturalists establish Monarch Way Station
We're excited to announce that the Knox County Master Naturalists have recently established an official Monarch Waystation on the Southeast corner of the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site Property. If you'd like to know more about the Monarch Waystation Program, please visit their website below: http://www.monarchwatch.org/waystations/index.html

Annual Penny Parade Fundraiser


Penny Parade 2016 - April 2016

Penny Parade 2015 - $2,303.30 (as of 4/30/2015)

Penny Parade 2014
Penny Parade 2013
Penny Parade 2012

 Thank you to all participating Galesburg & Abingdon schools!! Hedding Grade School, Abingdon, once again topped all of our school donations for the fourth straight year by raising an amazing $994.04!! 


A special thanks to the contributions of Galesburg businesses and Q's Cafe for Walt & Annette's inside-out brownies! 


Television and Newspaper Coverage

The Bright Side: Galesburg students learn the value of a penny Libby Allison, Channel 25 (Peoria,IL) - News (April 24, 2015)  


Students deliver more than $1,900 for Sandburg site Antwone Fisher - Galesburg Register-Mail - April 25, 2015  


 Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association

P.O. Box 585
313 E. Third St.
Galesburg, Illinois 61402-0585


The Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association is a
501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.  Donations and contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

The Day Carl Sandburg Died The Day Carl Sandburg Died
Produced and Directed by Paul Bonesteel
PBS �2012

Available on DVD @ $24.99 +shipping +tax

A Visit with Carl Sandburg, NBC, 1953 - DVDA Visit with Carl Sandburg (DVD)

New DVD available.
We have transferred a recently-acquired rare 16mm film of a 1953 interview with Carl Sandburg to DVD and are making copies available to the public. It's a perfect introdution to Carl Sandburg, his admiration for Abraham Lincoln, and what he means to America.

$15.00 + $5.00 shipping & tax


Carl Sandburg's Birthplace in Galesburg, Illinois
The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site, 331 E. Third St., Galesburg, Illinois, is open from 9am until 5pm on Thursdays through Sundays, April through November, and for special events such as festivals, meetings, concerts and lectures. Even when we are not open, you are welcome to browse in our garden or meditate at Remembrance Rock.

If you come by car or have an FM radio with you, tune to 88.7 and listen to a brief presentation about Carl Sandburg and the Historic Site. Three audio segments rotate: a short biography narrated by Rick Heath; a tribute to Carl Sandburg by President Lyndon B. Johnson and Sandburg's Grammy Award-winning narration of Aaron Copland's "A Lincoln Portrait." Enjoy them all.


Special Events at the Carl Sandburg Visitors' Center

Songbag Concert Series - Fall 2014
Songbag Concert Series
Fall 2015
A monthly concert series presented by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association in the "Barn" at Carl Sandburg's Birthplace, in an intimate smoke, and alcohol, free environment, showcasing acoustic music in the traditional and folk style. 313 E 3rd Street, Galesburg IL, (309) 342-2361. The concerts are free and open to the public, however a $3.00 donation is greatly appreciated. All shows start at 7:00pm.
Date Performers

August 29, 2015


Mike Anderson, the Dulcimer Guy

Mike Anderson



The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site welcomes Mike Anderson, a talented storyteller and extraordinary musician, for two performances on Aug. 29 in the site’s Songbag concert series.


Anderson is known simply as “the dulcimer guy” for his skills on the mountain dulcimer, but his talents go much further. He also plays guitar, banjo, jaw harp and nose flute.


His stories are both fun and educational, and he often shows teachers how they can develop student literacy through storytelling. His performances win praise wherever he goes. “Mike's easy ability to make everyone smile makes him a big hit. It's amazing to see a room full of people, people of all ages, having so much fun,” said Jenny Hamlin of Louisiana’s Lafayette Natural History Museum.

Anderson kicks off the evening at 7 p.m. as part of the historic site’s Songbag concert series in the site’s barn at 313 E. Third Street, Galesburg. A second set will begin at approximately 8:20.


A donation of $3 per person is suggested, and refreshments will be served. Anderson’s appearance is sponsored by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

September 26, 2015



Phil Passen, Hammered Dulcimer musician

Phil Passen


Hammered dulcimer musician, Phil Passen, to perform music from Carl Sandburg's American Songbag


Illinois' great poet, Carl Sandburg, was an avid collector of folk songs from all over the United States and performed folk songs, accompanying himself on the guitar, at his poetry readings. In 1927 he published The American Songbag, a collection of 255 songs, with words, music, and a history of each song. In my program I discuss the book and sing songs such as "El-A-Noy", "Lincoln and Liberty", "The Streets of Laredo", "Those Gamblers Blues", “John Henry", "The Sloop John B", "Down by the Riverside", and others, all from Sandburg's book. I give a brief history of each song, and in many cases I describe how the song evolved into a more modern, well known song. This program is a delightful way to learn a little more about one of America's great poets while listening to some wonderful familiar and not-so-familiar songs.

October 31, 2015


David Berchtold, guitarist

David Berchtold



David Berchtold, guitarist and singer will be performing at the October 31 “Songbag” concert.


When done well, fingerpicking a guitar looks so easy anybody could do it. But the task of convincing several digits to make music while moving simultaneously in different, yet coordinated directions, when it appears effortless, takes a good deal of concentration and practice. David Berchtold, an acoustic guitarist for more than 40 years, makes the process seem like spreading butter on hot bread as he picks the six-string with melody and rhythm while singing. 

Blessed with more than an hour’s worth of original songs, the Illinois native also chimes in with tunes from the cream of the fingerpicking crowd, including Chet Atkins, Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Leo Kottke, John Fahey and others. He’s made three visits to the Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp, founded and run by another of the greats, Jorma Kaukonen, performing at the student concerts and once playing along with Jorma. Expect a range of rock and folk standards including music from The Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Doobie Brothers, Bob Dylan, JJ Cale, Grateful Dead and others to pop into the varied song list of this talented performer.
(by Tom Irwin, Illinois Times) 

Saturday, November 28, 2015



Dan Eilers, Entertainer and Educator, Macomb, Illinois


Dan Eilers


Dan Eilers is a folksinger who hails from Macomb, Illinois, will be performing on November 28, 2015.  Eilers, a Burlington, Iowa, native, also teaches guitar lessons and operates the Musician's Pro Shop and School, Macomb.



We are grateful to John Heasly who has coordinated the Songbag Concert Series for so many years for the Association.

A donation of $3.00 per person is suggested as the door (or gate) entry fee.  These door receipts go to the Songbag Concert performers to supplement a base amount paid by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association.  If you enjoy the concert, please be generous in support of our performers. 

Songbag Concert Series performers and refreshment costs are underwritten by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association and its members at a cost of approximately $2,500 per year. If you would like to support the Songbag Concert Series, become a member of the Association, and/or feel free to make a donation to the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association, PO Box 585, Galesburg, IL 61402-0585.

Contact the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association: A href=mailto:carl@sandburg.org>carl@sandburg.org
Suggest performers or get information about the Songbag Concert Series: heasly@frontiernet.net

Carl Sandburg Birthplace and Visitor Center


The home where poet and author Carl Sandburg was born and its adjacent grounds containing a park and garden are located at 331 East Third Street on the south side of Galesburg, Illinois. Click here for a map and access to directions.


Next door is the Visitor's Center. It contains a museum, a museum shop, a small theater where several informative videos about Carl Sandburg are shown and a renovated "barn" which is actually a small theatre with a few more exhibits and where live performances are often held. The museum contains hundreds of artifacts and modern colorful displays appropriate for all ages.


The Carl Sandburg Historic Site is supported by the State of Illinois and the nonprofit Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association. The Association sponsors and participates in many activities throughout the year to honor and remember Carl Sandburg. These include the "Penny Parade" which brings schoolchildren to the site to have fun while learning about Galesburg's most famous son. The Association is a participating sponsor of the Sandburg Days Festival For The Mind held each April. It hosts the Songbag Concert Series of folk music concerts (and sometimes other genres) held inside the Visitor's Center "Barn" theatre in the fall, winter and spring. Details of upcoming concerts are also available at the site of the series' producer, John Heasly. The Association meets at 7pm on the second Tuesday of each month in the Visitors' Center. Guests and interested visitors are always welcome.


The Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association planned and funded a perennial garden and quotation walk in the back yard. The plantings are appropriate to Sandburg's era and surround Remembrance Rock, where the ashes of Carl Sandburg, his wife, Lilian, and two daughters, Margaret and Janet, are buried.


If you were looking for the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in North Carolina, please go to http://www.nps.gov/carl

This page was last updated on 6/23/2015.jrs

Copyright � 2015 by the Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association.