Abraham Lincoln’s Birthplace and Boyhood Home National Park and El Mazatland

4/26/14 Saturday in Park City, KY (Diamond Caverns-TT/MA)

We asked Vern if they’d like to see Abe Lincoln’s birthplace but he said they’ve been watching the severe weather headed our way and decided it would be wisest to leave tomorrow rather than Monday. Plus as Canadians they’re not that interested in Lincoln. We looked harder at the weather and concluded that life would be less stressful if we did the same, left tomorrow, so that’s the new plan.

Still I did want to see this National Park before so we took off a little after 9 am, arriving at Hodgenville, KY after 10 am (11 am their time-Eastern).

lincoln 1

Since everyone thinks of his being born in a log cabin, that was the major emphasis. His grandfather was a pioneer, traveling west before many did but his own family more accurately lived on the frontier, among neighbors. They actually would probably have been considered upper middle class for his father, Thomas, worked hard as a carpenter as well as a farmer. Thomas and Nancy arrived at Sinking Spring Farm with their first child, Sarah, who was about 2. Abe was born Feb 12, 1809 in a log cabin on top of a small hill above a spring. At this historic site they built a memorial building with 56 steps up to it depicting the 56 years of his life. Inside the monument is a full sized replica of the one room house in which Lincoln was born. The Visitor Center has a nice film on Lincoln’s life before the family moved to Indiana. In the Visitor Center they showed a typical frontier family’s belongings, then you can see the cabin replica in the monument nearby.

cabin 1 cabin 2 cabin 3

Sinking Spring, where they got all their fresh water.

spring 1 spring 2 spring 3

Boundaries were often marked by trees. There was one that was about 28 years old when Lincoln was born that existed at a boundary corner, but died in 1976.

knob 1

A long running conflict over the boundary at Sinking Spring caused Thomas to move to Knob Creek when Lincoln was 2 years old. This is the place Lincoln remembers most. He went to school here for 2 years (his only formal education), at an “ABC” school where they had no way to write down anything so they had to recite their lessons. Thus it was called a “blab” school. Unfortunately, there were boundary conflicts even here. Apparently Kentucky was known for those issues. Plus this place was near a road where many slaves were marched to market. The Lincoln family belonged to an anti-slavery part of the Baptist church were quite disturbed by this, so in just 2 years Thomas moved his family to Indiana.

knob 2 knob 3 knob 4

We enjoyed our picnic lunch at his boyhood home, then came home. It was such a beautiful spring day and warm, a nice time to enjoy Lincoln’s beginnings.

At home I posted on the blog then found I was falling asleep, so I took a nap. John watched golf and got his pre trip jobs done.

Vern came by asking if we wanted to go out to dinner to have a last chance to visit before we part for maybe a year. Before our dinner we got the rest of our slides in because the D/S slide was sitting really tightly at the problem corner. Thankfully it came in okay.

Dinner was at the El Mazatland Mexican restaurant in Cave City, KY. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals – hot, tasty and LOTS for what we paid. The shrimp in my dish (Rodeo Nachos) was simply heavenly. We all had leftovers, except John. We highly recommend a stop here if you’re in the area. I found it thanks to my phone app “Urban Spoon”.

Just to make the night even better we gathered for cards in Vern and Beth’s trailer. We taught them “13” and now we have another couple that really loves this game. Fabulous end to a wonderful (almost) week here. Sorry we need to leave so soon but it looks prudent to go before the heavy weather hits here. It should be fading away when it reaches Wilmington, our next stop.

 

 

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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