Abraham Lincoln is known for being born in Kentucky, and starting his political career in Illinois.
You might be wondering, “Where does Indiana fit in?”
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial has all of the answers. After all, the national park sits on the same land that Abe and his family lived on from 1816 to 1830.
Of Indiana, Abe said, “There I grew up.”
A Q&A with Rich Moorer, Acting Chief of Interpretation at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, reveals just how important Indiana was in shaping Abraham Lincoln’s life.
Q: Can you give us a little background on Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, and why this land was so important to Abraham Lincoln’s development?
A: The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial was the scene of both tragedy and hardship for the future president. Abraham Lincoln spent 14 formative years of his life at this site when his family decided to move from Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln’s honorable work ethic, love for learning and reading, and the deaths of his mother and sister all occurred here in southern Indiana. These experiences shaped the boy who became the Great Emancipator.
Q: Are there any landmarks or sights in the park today that were around when the Lincoln family lived here?
A: Even though the site is vastly different today, there are several landmarks that were around when the Lincoln’s lived here between 1816 and 1830. Within the park, the pioneer cemetery where Abraham’s mother is buried still exists, the Cabin Site Memorial contains the copper-preserved remains of the Lincoln’s third cabin. And, a spring that was the closest water source, can also be seen.
Q: What separates Lincoln Boyhood from other national parks?
A: The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial stands apart from other national park sites as the place where Abraham Lincoln grows into the adult that will ultimately become one of the most significant presidents in the history of the United States.
Q: I love seeing all of the animals on the Living Historical Farm. What is your favorite thing about Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial?
A: My favorite thing is talking to the re-enactors at the Living Historical Farm. While in historic clothing they provide demonstrations on how to card wool, carve pegs, create candles, and other daily pioneer activities. Learning how different life was in the early 1800s when the Lincoln family lived here, provides a unique opportunity to have a hands-on experience about the rigors of living in a time before modern conveniences.
Q: What are some of the special events hosted by Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial that engage the community or continue pioneer traditions?
A: Every year, Lincoln Boyhood hosts a myriad of events. The Annual Cushaw Contest and Heritage Seed Swap promote an understanding and appreciation for heirloom plants.
Throughout November we plan on hosting candle-lit cabin tours where visitors get the chance to explore the park at night.
Annually, the park hosts a Lincoln Day Celebration in February, and Junior Ranger Days throughout the summer. Junior Ranger Days are designed to get children involved in Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial and teach them about pioneer traditions.
Of course, ranger-led tours for schools and other interested groups are also available.
History and new experiences await you at Lincoln’s Indiana Boyhood Home!
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial was recently voted as the Best Historic Destination in the state by Visit Indiana.