On a recent trip to Indiana, my husband Keith and I stopped at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. This National Historic Landmark includes the Lincoln Boyhood Home . This is where Honest Abe lived from 1816 until 1830.
Being from the Springfield, Illinois area, I guess I always think of Abraham Lincoln in a rather possessive way. After this visit, I realized we really have to share him. The Indiana site really has a strong hold on Lincoln’s childhood.
It was here the remains of the footprint of the cabin were found. Today visitors can view the beautiful replica cabin. Here you can learn stories of Lincoln’s life from 7 to 21. The original cabin site was excavated in 1933.
During excavation, workmen uncovered the remains of sill logs and hearth stones. They later bronzed the fireplace. Then they placed some of the original hearthstone in the Memorial Visitor Center.
From the cabin to the visitors center there are several stones on display on a pathway.
The stones all represent different important aspects in Lincoln’s life.
One stone is from the birthplace in Hodgenville Kentucky. This is a reminder that another state shares in Lincoln’s legacy! But then the next stone was from the Berry- Lincoln store at New Salem. This then is returning the focus back to Illinois. Yeah Illinois!
Some stones have a very serious aspect. For example, the stone from the Anderson Cottage National Solders Home in Washington DC. Here, President Lincoln wrote the Emanicpation Proclimation.
Another stone represents where he delivered the Gettysburg address. So many important stones in such a historic place!
The visitors center is quite lovely and is marked on the outside with stone murals. Each mural defines important moments in Lincoln’s life.
The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is a beautiful place. Learning about Lincoln’s Boyhood Home and walking about was perfect for stretching our legs and hiking after a long drive. I learned new details about Lincoln’s life during my visit.
The replica cabin and village area also includes a well where the Lincolns carried their water. Visitors can visit this well by walking down a marked path.
Nancy Hanks Lincoln
As a young boy Abraham Lincoln lost his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. She is buried in the nearby Pioneer Cemetery. Here, there is great emphasis both on Nancy Hanks Lincoln and Sarah Bush Lincoln, Abraham’s step-mother. Nancy Hanks Lincoln died on October 5, 1818 of milk sickness.
A plaque shares, “This mysterious and dreaded illness was feared by pioneers because its cause was unknown. Mrs. Lincoln had nursed and comforted some of her neighbor with the disease until she became too ill and eventually died.”
The disease comes from cows eating the white snakeroot plant. Then humans drink milk contaminated with the toxin.
After Nancy Hanks died for years her grave was unmarked, then in 1879, a permanent marker was erected in memorial to the 16th president.
At this lovely place I learned about how Thomas Lincoln went to fetch his new wife and how she brought back THREE books! She was a great mother to the grieving young Abe.
Eventually Lincoln headed Illinois way, and the rest is history.
If you get a chance, stop at this amazing historical site, there is much to see and do. We were there at the off-season and just happened to find the cabin open with volunteers preparing for a candlelight tour. Beautiful, historical and awe inspiring.