Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ol' Kentucky: Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace

We stayed with Forrest's dad and brothers for a couple of weeks in July last summer about 45 minutes outside of Louisville.

I'm just going to come right out and say it: if you're not really into horses, there's not a whole lot to do in Kentucky in the middle of summer. It's too hot to do anything outdoors except swim (for this PNW girl at least) and there aren't any clean rivers or lakes nearby (less than an hour drive). We did go to Kentucky Kingdom, a waterpark located right outside of Louisville, but the only day we could go ended up being one of the coldest days of our entire trip (~65-75).

Forrest had been promising me forever to go and see Abraham Lincoln's birthplace when we went to Kentucky. We somehow didn't get a chance when we were there six months before, but this time I was determined. We chose an extremely muggy day to go with even a few scattered showers. Notice that I am in jeans because it was even a little chilly that day! There weren't very many people there (maybe because of the weather) but I can't imagine that it's ever very crowded.

The cabin is protected inside a large mausoleum.
I couldn't actually get a picture of the whole cabin because I only brought my 50mm lens and it was pretty close quarters inside. But you get the idea.
Abraham is the baby.
"Here over the log cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born destined to preserve the union and to free the slave. A grateful people have dedicated this memorial to unity, peace, and brotherhood among these states."
There is a lovely grotto built around the old well or the Sinking Creek as it is called. Once you step down inside the walls, all you can hear is the trickling water. There are trees all around the top and it is very serene and gorgeously green.
It only takes an hour or so to watch the introductory video at the visitor's center (worth watching in my opinion), have a short chat/tour with a ranger up the trail, see the cabin, and walk the whole trail around which is about half a mile. Forrest and his brothers had already been to Lincoln's birthplace and warned me that it wasn't very exciting, but obviously I wanted to see it anyway. From there, we traveled the few miles to Abraham Lincoln's childhood home (which doesn't exist anymore). Basically it's a big field with another little cabin (below) that may have belonged to a neighbor which was moved to where the Lincolns' cabin was thought to have been.
This building above was some sort of historical tavern/visitors center that is no longer open. I think it had a renovation sign on the front and they are intending to fix the floors and the structural integrity of the beams, if I remember correctly.
And this is one of the fields belonging to the Lincoln's farm. 

The most interesting thing I learned from this expedition was that Abraham Lincoln's family was not destitute as we are all taught (born in poverty). Rather, his father was actually a semi-wealthy farmer belonging to the middle class! You had to have money to buy your own 300 acres of land (duh). This was a little bit of a shocker to me, but when I saw the cabin up close, it's really not that small, especially if there was a loft (the ceiling is really, really tall!). Seeing the cabin once is good enough for me, but I'm really glad I got the chance to visit.

If ever you're in Kentucky, this is a pretty good afternoon out!

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