Fifty-six steps, one for each year in Lincoln's life, lead to the entrance of a granite temple at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, established in 1959. (The Abraham Lincoln National Park was established in 1916.) Enshrined in the temple is a one-room log cabin.
This granite temple houses a one-room log cabin (probably
not the one Lincoln was born in).
Around the turn of the century, a group of famous benefactors, including Mark Twain and William Jennings Bryan, raised money to buy the farm where Lincoln was born, as well as a log cabin that had been part of a traveling exhibit, and built the memorial to house it. Though it appears now that this was not the cabin Lincoln was born in, it is representative of the sixteenth President's humble beginnings.
Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809 in a log cabin near Sinking Spring on the family's farm. The spring provided reliable water, but the red clay and stony ground of the farm were not very fertile. The Lincolns' cabin was probably a typical frontier home of the time -- approximately 18 by 16 feet with a dirt floor, one window and one door, a small fireplace, and a shingled roof. Greased paper, animal skin, or an old quilt may have hung over the window to keep out insects and cold wind.
The visitor center has a museum about Lincoln, which includes a copy of the family Bible. Several hiking trails in the 116-acre park lead through the fields and woods of Lincoln's birthplace.
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site Information
Address: 2995 Lincoln Farm Road
Hodgenville, KY 42748
Hours of Operation: 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. in winter; 8 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. in summer
Learn more about these other national historic sites:
Find out more about travel destinations in North America:
- National Monuments: Learn more about America's national monuments.
- National Memorials: Discover national memorials in the U.S.
- National Historic Sites: Read about American national historic sites.
- Kentucky State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Kentucky as well as other recreational activities.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eric Peterson is a Denver-based freelance writer who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.