Hodgenville, Kentucky: Lincoln Birthplace, But Not His CabinA majestic neoclassical building on a hill shelters a battered, ancient log cabin in a big empty room with nothing else in it. The building covers Abe's real birth site, but the cabin is just for show -- it isn't Abe's.
Lincoln Birthplace Park
- 2995 Lincoln Farm Rd, Hodgenville, KY
- I-65 exit 81 (Sonora). Drive east on Hwy 84 for around ten miles. Turn right onto Hwy 61 for one mile, then turn right onto US Hwy 31E for a little over a mile to Lincoln Birthplace Park, on the right.
- Daily 8 am - 4:45 pm. (Call to verify)
Visitor Tips and News About Lincoln Birthplace, But Not His Cabin
The visitor center is worth the visit for its glimpse into Lincoln's parent's lives and his Kentucky boyhood.
The Boundary Tree that stood when Abe was born is on display (actually a slice of the tree, which died in 1976). An informative movie is shown every 30 minutes. Be sure to talk with one of the US Park Rangers at this little-visited site for the fascinating history of how this replica cabin and memorial came to be.
Souvenirs are available in the visitor center but be sure to check the store on private property on the other side of the parking lot. Lots of quirky things for sale. You can also sleep overnight in one of four replica cabins.[Brent Thompson, 09/12/2011]
Driving east on interstate 71 we came across a sign, "Lincoln's Birthplace State Park", and we said "Why not?"
After a half-hour drive down poorly labeled roads we found it; the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Emancipator, President. Pressed for time, we skipped the visitor's center and gift shop (a move now regretted) for a peek at the site itself. Unsure where the place itself was, we ran up countless steps which symbolize something to the imposing neo-classical building up the hill. Anticipating grand things, we ran inside and there was...a log cabin. No windows, no doors, no furniture or decorations. Just a remarkably well preserved little log cabin, in a big empty room with nothing else in it. Nothing. We walked around the cabin, looked at it, and left, puzzled. "That's it?", we said, and it apparently was. While you're there, check out the sinking spring.[Justin Morgan Field, 04/30/2003]
June 2005 - Mark Thurman writes: "There are 56 steps to the memorial building - representing Lincoln's age at his death." We can add that the marble-and-granite shrine was built in 1912 at a cost of $350,000, and that apparently there was no money left to put anything else in it -- just the cabin.