Hodgenville Area Lincoln Sites

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Exploring items in the Traveling Trunk.

Exploring items from the Lincoln Birthplace Park Traveling Trunk

For any study of Abraham Lincoln, the Hodgenville sites are the ultimate starting point and offer an opportunity for a very comprehensive study of the early years of Lincoln’s life.

Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

Location: 2995 Lincoln Farm Road, Hodgenville, KY 42748
Phone: (270) 358-3137 and (270) 358-3138
Costs: No charge for admission or visits to site.
Online resources: The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park web site includes directions, lesson plans, and Lincoln photo galleries.

Related online KET video segments:

A visit to the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park can begin with a video presentation in the Information Center, followed by a tour through several exhibits about the Lincoln family’s years at Sinking Spring. The park also includes the Memorial Building housing the symbolic log cabin.

Lincoln Museum

Location: 66 Lincoln Square, Hodgenville, KY 42748
Phone: (270) 358-3163
Costs: $2 per student and chaperone

If possible, borrow a Traveling Trunk from the park prior to a visit. The trunk can be shipped to a school and requires only the shipping cost. Within the trunk are reproduction period artifacts and curriculum documents that will provide a preview to the experiences at the park. One of the most beneficial items in the trunk is the “Park as Classroom” Curriculum Guide. This guide contains a number of pre-visit, during-visit and post-visit activities that I have found very helpful with the students.

After leaving the birthplace, visit the Lincoln Museum in downtown Hodgenville. The cost is minimal ($2 per student at publication time), and, if pre-arranged, a guide will lead the group through the museum’s 12 dioramas depicting events in Lincoln’s life. The dioramas are very well constructed and quite impressive in their detail. A brochure containing a description of each of the dioramas is available at the cashier’s counter.

The cabin at Knob Creek

The cabin at Knob Creek

Abraham Lincoln’s Boyhood Home at Knob Creek

Location: US 31W, Hodgenville, KY; see Birthplace web site for directions
Phone: (270) 358-3137 and (270) 358-3138
Costs: No charge for admission or visits to site.
Online resources: The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park web site includes lesson plans and Lincoln photo galleries.
Related online KET video segments:
Lincoln’s Early Education
Lincoln’s Mother

The upstairs of the museum is a treasure in itself. Many pieces of art and artifacts engage visitors for as long as time allows. Of special interest to the students on our trip was the wall mural depicting the path of the funeral train that carried Lincoln from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Illinois, for burial.

Two free attractions—bronze statues depicting Lincoln as a child and an adult—are found in the Hodgenville town square. The Centennial Statue of Lincoln, created by noted New York sculptor Adolph A. Weinman, was placed in the square in 1909. The Boy Lincoln Sculpture was commissioned by the City of Hodgenville and dedicated in May 2008 with funding provided by the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Commission. Created by the California-based sculptor group of Daub, Firmin, and Henderickson, this work depicts a young Abe with his dog Honey. Lincoln is shown at age 7 1/2 years, about the age he would have been just prior to the Lincoln family move to Indiana.

Knob Creek, a few miles outside of Hodgenville, is another part of the story of the Lincolns in Kentucky. This is where the Lincolns lived from about the time Abe was 2 until the family left for Indiana. Knob Creek is managed by Lincoln Birthplace personnel. This is a peaceful site with picnic tables set up among the many shade trees. During two trips I have taken with students, a stop at Knob Creek was a enjoyable way to end our Lincoln study before the trip home.