LINCOLN CITY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial sees about 150,000 visitors a year.
“This national park is actually located on the farm that the Lincolns lived on. So each time you come here, you’re walking in the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln,” said park worker Zach Kemp.
It’s where President Lincoln lived from ages 7 TO 21.
“He had to help chop down trees just to get their wagon here to their new home site,” said park worker Paula Alexander.
The footprint of one of Lincoln’s boyhood cabin’s can still be seen. There’s even a recreated 1820’s homestead.
“So it gives you an idea of what it might’ve looked like during Lincoln’s time here in Indiana,” Paula Alexander continued.
The homestead includes a cabin, carpenter shop and a smokehouse. Lincoln’s mother died of milk sickness here when Lincoln was nine. Her grave is marked in a little cemetery you can view on the property.
“Abraham was very close to his mother,” Zach Kemp continued. “And so he would’ve actually came to visit the side of her grave many times throughout his life to mourn the loss of his mother.”
As you wander through the grounds, you can follow a trail containing 12 stones important to Lincoln’s life. One stone is from a cabin he lived in while in Kentucky before coming to Indiana. Another is from the home where he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves and yet another is from Gettysburg.
The park also has a visitors center.
“They can orient themselves to the park. We’ve got park maps and Rangers in here that can talk about, what to experience,” said Director of Education and Resource Management Erin Hilligoss-Volkmann.
You can also view the panels on the outside of the building. They show different time periods in Lincoln’s life. In the end, the park staff hopes you get a better understanding of how Lincoln’s time in Indiana helped shape him into the president he became.
“A lot of things in his life really impacted his person, his character. He grew up and became that leader that our country really needed during one of its most devastating times,” explained Erin Erin Hilligoss-Volkmann,
The park is free to visit and located about 5 miles from Holiday World. For more information about the park visit their website here.