Returning to Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

exploring lincoln boyhood

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial shows Abraham Lincoln’s time in Indiana from when he was a boy aged seven to becoming a man aged twenty-one.  Lincoln Boyhood has many different things to offer visitors who want to learn more about Lincoln in his time. The first trail will lead you to the Pioneer Cemetery, it is a Memorial grave marker for Abraham’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln who died of milk sickness in 1818.

Continuing down the same trail, visitors will find the Cabin Site Memorial. It is a bronze casting of sill logs and fireplace hearthstones symbolizing a cabin that Lincoln began building in 1829. At the end of the trail, is the Living Historical Farm which has a cabin replica of how Abraham lived with five siblings and two parents in a small cabin. It also has a farm with freshly grown vegetables the rangers tend to every day as well as the Lincoln Spring which is a well for fresh water.

The Visitor Center has information for visitors, a fifteen-minute film about the memorial, a bookstore, and a museum exhibit. My favorite part is the outside of the walls of the visitor center which are sculptured panels carved from Indiana limestone that tell the story of Lincoln and where he has lived.  The sculptured panels were made by E. H. Daniels in 1940.

e. h. daniels panel sculptures

Returning to lincoln's roots

In the summer of 2023, I fell in love with the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. I knew I had to return in the summer of 2024 and work there again. It is such an honor to collaborate with fellow rangers who are equally passionate about educating the public about Lincoln’s legacy. Teaching the younger generation about Lincoln and his significance in history is especially rewarding.

 

I was very grateful to have the opportunity to return to Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, welcomed with open arms by supervisors who became mentors and colleagues who became friends. This return would not have been possible without the support of the Latino Heritage Internship Program, and I extend my thanks to them. Their help has been invaluable, allowing me to once again contribute to this beautiful national memorial.

Being able to return to Lincoln Boyhood and seeing all my coworkers and fellow rangers that I’ve worked with before felt like coming home. The sense of shared dedication to preserving and promoting Abraham Lincoln’s legacy is truly inspiring. Working together, we engage visitors with the historical significance of Lincoln’s early life.

close up pictures of each panel

The Childhood Years of Lincoln: Kentucky

The first panel, titled The Childhood Years of Lincoln, shows Abraham Lincoln’s early days on the Sinking Spring and Knob Creek farms in Kentucky. Seated is Dr. Christopher Columbus Graham, a doctor and scientist who often visited the Lincoln home. His stories fascinated young Abraham, who is shown here at the age of seven.

The Boyhood Days of Lincoln: Indiana

The second panel, The Boyhood Days of Lincoln, highlights Lincoln’s time in Indiana. Here, he is depicted as a young man, still growing but already capable of doing a man’s work. The log cabin in the background represents the home where he spent his boyhood.

The Years of Political Ascendancy: Illinois

The third panel, The Years of Political Ascendancy, focuses on Lincoln’s time in Illinois, where he began his political career. This panel shows Lincoln being congratulated by friends and associates after his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1846. It marks an important step in his rise to national prominence.

The Years of Command: Washington

The fourth panel, The Years of Command, portrays Lincoln as the Civil War president in Washington. He is surrounded by soldiers, symbolizing the brave men who fought for the anti-slavery cause. This panel highlights Lincoln’s leadership during one of the nation’s most challenging times.

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