Sunday, August 6, 2017

Abraham Lincoln's Birthplace and Boyhood Home

While we were in Kentucky, we decided to go down the road a little ways from Mammoth Cave to visit the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln in Hodgenville.  There, an elegant neoclassical monument is built over his families' little log cabin house.

It is always incredible to me to think about families that lived in these tiny little homes and worked the land. Think how different these people were from people today who have such big houses, and then need to rent storage units to keep even more of their possessions! 

When I read the Lincoln Farm Association's idea about the symbolism of this monument, I wondered if this is really a true idea today.  Do people in my country continue to believe this?  Does our current political environment support this ideal?

Lincoln's birthplace also includes a natural spring in a subsurface grotto. The land here is full of the sink holes that characterize the geography around Mammoth Cave.  Lincoln's family only lived here a short while and then moved down the road a ways.  We also visited this next house, which is a reconstruction but is on the actual land and sits where the house originally sat. 
Abraham Lincoln and his family lived here for a short time until moving on to Indiana.
Imagine this little house for a family of four!

As a girl I always liked the idea of these little settlers' homes.  I had this idea that I wanted to be Heidi and live in one with my grandpa (an imaginary grandpa as I wasn't really close to either of my real ones), and cook soup over a fireplace like this one, and cut bread and cheese on a simple wood table, and climb into a loft to sleep.  Of course, a big part of being Heidi would include being a shepherdess and tending sheep and goats!  And it would snow in winter.  And it would be Switzerland.
--That's what I thought of whenever I toured these early American homesteads!  I also used to imagine it at night when I couldn't sleep.  I'd pretend I was upstairs in the loft of the little house.

Interesting to think that people come to visit this piece of earth where a boy once worked.  The earth, and the seeds of these trees, and the stones--oh especially the stones--were here before him and after him, and will be here long after you and me too.

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