Friday, August 12, 2011

Day 4: Petersburg, New Salem, Springfield

Petersburg - We stayed at the Branson House B & B, up on the hill, a stately Eastlake Victorian with remarkable plaster detailing, marble fireplaces, and an old elevator now used as a dumb waiter to carry suitcases upstairs.  The proprietor is also the Petersburg mayor and he had lots of stories to tell.  We started at the New Salem Hotel, where Mose Nusbaum (Carla's uncle) lived for the last 20+ years of his life - it is now an antique store.  I liked this painting of the hotel that was in the store, but the photo didn't turn out too well.

In the courthouse, we found the picture with Charles Nusbaum (Carla's grandfather) which I had thought was at the dedication of the new courthouse, but it was just before the razing of the old courthouse.  He was  State's Attorney (like district attorney) and is standing in front with other city fathers.  (There are also people standing on the roof, but we couldn't figure out why.)

We also found the death certificate for Abraham Nusbaum (Charles' father - Carla's great grandfather), from August 16, 1896.  It says he was born in Platz, Bavaria, was a retired merchant, and had lived in the state for 43 years. 

Despite trips to the library and the historical society we were unable to find any addresses for the family or anything about Abraham Nusbaum's store, though we picked a storefront we liked on the courthouse square and decided it would have been a fitting location. 

 I did find notices in the newspaper about Charles - his office listed as in the courthouse - and some public notices about wills and estates signed by him. 

 Ann found a description of Abraham in a directory of the Masons that gave his father's name as "Christian" Nusbaum and his mother as Mary Kahn.  A different (and we think more accurate) resource lists Abraham's father as Bernard Nusbaum, who followed Abraham from Bavaria to Cincinnati but stayed there when Abraham moved on to Petersburg.

Cheri stayed on to do more digging for information while Ann, Mim and I walked through New Salem, a restored pioneer community two miles away where Lincoln lived for about 8 years in his 20's before moving to Springfield.  Very calm and quiet and restorative.  We met up in Springfield at the State House Inn, with a magnificent view of the Illinois capital with its multi-tiered rotunda.

We are all busily trying to make sense of all the information we've been collecting.  Stay tuned.  And think about Cincinnati as the next site for a family history trip.

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