To celebrate Presidents’ Day this year, I decided to take a look at the humble beginning of one our greatest leaders, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was born in a log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm on the Kentucky frontier near the current town of Hodgenville. The site is now a National Historical Park.
As with most national parks, I recommend starting in the Visitor Center. View a 15-minute film to learn about Abraham’s parents, Thomas and Nancy, where they came from, and about Abe’s early years in Kentucky.
After that, we perused the exhibits in the Visitor Center. The most notable of the exhibits is the Lincoln Family Bible.
Another interesting exhibit was a mock-up of the interior of a one-room log cabin of that time period. It really puts things into perspective for kids to understand just how humble a beginning Lincoln had.
We also liked this fun portrait of Abraham Lincoln created from pennies.
Kids like the Lincoln Log play area.
Other exhibits include a cross-section of a tree that stood next to the cabin and this interactive exhibit.
After leaving the Visitor Center, we walked to the other building on the property, the Memorial Building.
Inside the Memorial Building is a symbolic log cabin that is typical of the Lincoln era. It is not the actual cabin where Lincoln was born.
A Junior Ranger Program is available for kids, although my kids chose not to participate this time. We saw another family completing their booklets.
The last stop on our visit was at the Sinking Spring for which the farm was named.
A second unit of the park is the Knob Creek Farm Lincoln Boyhood Home. It is located about 10 miles from the birthplace. The Lincolns lived there for five years before relocating to Indiana. Abraham Lincoln wrote that his earliest memories were from the Knob Creek years. We didn’t have time to stop there, but someday I’d like to go back and see it.
In all, our visit to the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park lasted about 90 minutes, which was enough time to see the main points. If you’d like to stay longer, there are hiking trails to explore as well as a picnic area.
Ready to visit?
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
2995 Lincoln Farm Road
Hodgenville, KY 42748-9707
Check website for hours