Galesburg, Ill. – Just a few months after state historic sites across Illinois re-opened, one site in Galesburg is reducing its hours again.
Beginning Saturday, the Carl Sandburg Birthplace State Historic Site will only be open once a week -- Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., a drastic reduction from its former hours which, starting in May, were 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Carl Sandburg Historic Site Association Board of Directors President Norm Winick says the change in hours isn't the most ideal situation, but it could be plausible for the winter months.
"Most of us realize that our visitors in the winter are much less than they are in the summer," says Winick. "If we can be open three, four or five days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day and cut back to one day in the winter, I think most of us can deal with that."
Winick cites a hiring freeze and ongoing state budget problems for the hours reduction. He says the freeze has prevented hiring a site superintendent to replace Steve Holden, who retired in January. For the time being, one of the Bishop Hill Historic Site's five employees will go to Galesburg on Saturdays to help run the site.
Winick says the change in hours will not affect any special programs or events hosted at the site. He does not think the hours reduction will be permanent. The Board of Directors hopes to eventually re-establish a five day per week operation.
Galesburg native Carl Sandburg was a noted poet, biographer, autobiographer, novelist, lecturer and folk musician. Many of his works can be purchased at the state historic site, located at 331 E. Third St. in Galesburg.