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Friday, December 14, 2012

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park, Kentucky

December 01, 2012

With M's birthday fast approaching, we decided to do a quick weekend road trip to Kentucky to see Mammoth Cave National Park and Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park. Lincoln Historic Park had two sections, the birthplace and boyhood home, which were 10 miles apart on the outskirts of Hodgenville, KY.

Our first stop was at the boyhood home on Knob Creek where Lincoln spent the earlier years of his youth. The land, which was situated between two ridges, housed a former tavern turned museum and a replica cabin. Though it wasn't the original cabin that the Lincoln's lived in, the cabin dates from the 1800's. It was rebuilt by Chester Howard in 1913 using logs from the Gollaher family's cabin. The Gollahers were neighbors to the Lincolns and their son, Austin Gollaher, was Lincoln's childhood friend who saved Lincoln from drowning in Knob Creek. The land, hills, and creek made for an enjoyable and peaceful afternoon.

After visiting Knob Creek, we headed south to Lincoln's birthplace. When we arrived, we saw two buildings on our right (Welcome Center and Memorial Building) and the Nancy Lincoln Inn on our left. What attracted Lincoln's father to the land parcel was the natural source of spring water. However, when Lincoln was 2 years old, his father lost ownership due to a dispute over the title, forcing him to lease the land at Knob Creek Farm. We first stopped in the museum to see the replica of what the inside of the Lincoln cabin would have looked like. After perusing the museum, M and I ventured on to the memorial, climbing 4 sets of steps which led us to the stately, stern building. Inside the building was another replica cabin...and that was it. We spent about 30 seconds in the building and went outside to walk the only trail that was opened, the Boundary Oak Trail.

Though Boundary Oak Trail was short (only 0.3 miles), it had some nice 20 ft dips and inclines due to the hilly terrain. The trail looped around some trees and had benches placed on the hilltops which was perfect for enjoying the views and pondering stoically like Abe would have done. After we finished the loop, M and I went down the concrete steps to check out the Sinking Spring. The spring was almost dry and full of leaves with some water tinkling out. Walking down the steps and into the spring area was pleasant as it shaded us from the sun and kept us cool on the unseasonably warm December day. We also tried to visit the Nancy Lincoln Inn but it was closed that day so M and I headed back to Louisville.

Replica cabin built by Chester Howard and was recently restored

Knob Creek area, boyhood home with museum and NPS building.

M walking towards Knob Creek

The Knob Creek farmland situated between two ridges.

Knob Creek, Austin Gollaher saving Lincoln

Knob Creek

Lincoln Family Bible

What the Lincoln cabin would have looked like when Abe was a child.

What the Lincoln cabin would have looked like when Abe was a child.

What the Lincoln cabin would have looked like when Abe was a child.

Heading to the Memorial Building, top left corner of picture

Walking up the steps to the Memorial Building

Replica cabin inside the Memorial Building

Start of Boundary Oak Trail

Incline of Boundary Oak Trail

Boundary Oak Trail

Another incline on a hill on Boundary Oak Trail

Bench on Boundary Oak Trail

Looking back at the trail, to the right where the bench from previous picture is located

End of Boundary Oak Trail

Memorial Building

Going down to see Sinking Spring

Sinking Spring

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