As you travel through the National Parks and different states, you’re going to find a lot of tributes to past presidents that have helped shape the country we have today. And in some ways, Lincoln’s Boyhood Home in Lincoln City, Indiana does just that – but the park doesn’t just focus on him – but his family as well.
Lincoln’s Boyhood Home Park is split into two main portions, one a large monument and building with museum galleries inside giving you a taste of what you can expect also on the property. The building is clad in 3D sculptures giving you the story of Abraham Lincoln‘s life and what was significant beyond his presidency. Inside, you will find rooms of pieces of pioneer life, a chapel and a room dedicated just to his mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln.
Across a small boulevard you can find a flag pole and garden that hides one of the most interesting parts you can tour on your own time – the pioneer cemetery. This small cemetery is filled with graves of the original settlers of the area, including Nancy Hanks Lincoln, you died when Abraham was still a young boy. Staff at the monument say that their building and the park is really dedicated to her and her impact on her son – since she is believed to be the one who gave him the majority of his education throughout his childhood and love of reading.
Nancy Lincoln died when she was only in her 30’s of milk sickness – a disease that we have don’t have to deal with today. The fatal illness was caused by drinking milk from cows that ate a certain type of plant in the area. Modern medicine and research has found that the illness can be counteracted and reversed with two simple things – sugar and baking powder. Had they known this at the time, a simple cookie could have saved not only Nancy Lincoln, but several of the pioneers at the time. The docents at the memorial hold Nancy’s story closely in their hearts and gladly will tell you what they know about her, and what life was likely like for her as well as others that lived on this property.
If you continue on the path next to the cemetery you can follow it to two more attractions, the Trail of Twelve Stones and the working farm and Boyhood Home. The Trail of Twelve Stones is a unique way to review some of the major events in Abraham Lincoln’s life. Small bronze tablets located near each stone explains the events in Lincoln’s life associated with each of the memorial stones. This path will loop you back to the working farm or even back to the main building.
The working farm and boyhood home does offer a secondary parking lot since the wooded paths to get may be hard for everyone to make it to. Walk through a model of the home that Abraham Lincoln grew up in, see a casting of the foundation of the original home and talk to volunteers who work the farm, grow crops and tend animals in period accurate outfits as they show just how the pioneers would have lived.
Your visit will have you finding out more about the lives that helped shape our country, how their lives actually were and how small things we take advantage of today – could have changed how they lived. Learn more about Lincoln’s Boyhood Home and what else you can find on their property.