© Author Adventures

Carl Sandburg

The life and times of Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) are gloriously preserved as its own trail in Galesburg, which is in northwest Illinois. It is the ultimate Carl Sandburg tour, beginning at his birthplace, which you can read about at sandburg.org on the driving map page.

Sandburg was an avid reader and book collector. Over the years, he amassed an enormous library of books, which were eventually moved, housed, and expanded upon in his North Carolina home.

Galesburg is also the burial location of the ashes of Carl Sandburg and his wife Lilian.

You can read about the Sandburgs through his North Carolina page on this website too: Carl Sandburg in North Carolina.

The Tour

Stops on the driving tour include his birthplace; his second, third, and fourth homes; a fire station; two colleges; the location of a former printing press; a railroad station; a hotel; a courthouse; and an auditorium. The population of the town of Galesburg is about twice what it was in his day.

His Writings

“Valor is a gift. Those having it never know for sure whether they have it till the test comes. And those having it in one test never know for sure if they will have it when the next test comes.” — Carl Sandburg

Get to know Carl Sandburg, poet, author of Lincoln’s best-known biography, and occasional “hobo” folk song writer who won several Pulitzer Prizes. Sandburg’s 1922 children’s book, Rootabaga Stories (free full-text available at google.com), is worth reading to get a sense of the writing style that was popular in the early-to-mid 20th century, especially in old railroad towns like Galesburg.

If you like his writing style, you might also like to read our pages on Will Rogers (California and Oklahoma pages).

This is the eighth stop on our Illinois Author Adventures Trail.

Patricia Smart