South Holland Settlers' Day a trip back in time

"It does not look like it would be comfortable, but I've fallen asleep many times on it," said actress Beth Eagan. "The floors are uneven, but they're as level as they'll ever be."

These re-enactors are preparing for the 40th annual Settlers' Day taking place at the Sand Ridge Nature Center in South Holland on Sunday. They will represent American history from French fur trading days, pioneer times, and the Revolutionary and Civil War periods.

"The significance of this is to show people the conditions and what people dealt with who lived here, who settled here in the early 1800s," said Sand Ridge Nature Center Director James Carpenter.

Three newly refurbished log cabins will be open for public viewing. They are built based on Abraham Lincoln's boyhood home. You can also see a covered pioneer wagon which 17-year-old Zach Yovich built as an Eagle Scout project.

"It's fairly authentic," Yovich said. "It's the same type of wood, roughly the same dimensions. There were some small details that we had to change for the sake of strength and longevity, but it's authentic. We used parts from an original wagon."

Settlers' Day is Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be about 150 re-enactors on-site and a number of childrens' activities. Organizers are expecting up to 5,000 people to attend.

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