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Log cabin bed in the Marriage Temple: possible conception spot of the 16th President.
Log cabin bed in the Marriage Temple: possible conception spot of the 16th President.

Lincoln Marriage Temple

Field review by the editors.

Harrodsburg, Kentucky

From the outside it looks like a small, old-fashioned brick church. Inside, however, there are no pews or altar -- just the sacred log cabin in which Abe Lincoln's parents were married in 1806.

The Lincolns were married here, maybe.
The Lincolns were married here, maybe.

Many bronze plaques are affixed to the interior brick walls of the Temple, affirming the cabin's significance. Tom Lincoln is singled out for his "powerful physique" and "temperate habits." As for Nancy Hanks: "Her name will ever be an inspiration to the motherhood of every land."

According to the chronology of the plaques, the cabin, built in 1782, stood in obscurity for over 130 years before it was dragged from the wedding spot and into Harrodsburg in 1913. Eighteen years later the Temple was built around the cabin. It was dedicated -- by no less an authority than the United States Secretary of Labor -- on June 12, 1931, the 125th anniversary of Tom and Nancy's wedding.

However, the long wait between the wedding vows and the cabin's rediscovery has led some modern scholars to suggest that it isn't the Lincoln marriage cabin at all, which is why the Temple has fallen back into the shadows among mainstream Lincoln landmarks.

Loopiest Lincoln Landmarks.

But in 1931 there were no doubters. The building was even outfitted with a small wooden lectern for a minister, anticipating a wave of couples that would want to get married within the dark, musty confines of the Lincoln Marriage Temple, hoping that the proximity juju of the cabin would ensure that one of their kids, like Tom and Nancy's, would grow up to be President.

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Lincoln Marriage Temple

Old Fort Harrod State Park

100 S. College St., Harrodsburg, KY
Old Fort Harrod State Park. Downtown, on the southwest corner of W. Lexington St. and S. College St./US Hwy 127.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Ice Cream Cone on a PoleIce Cream Cone on a Pole, Harrodsburg, KY - < 1 mi.
Giant Black Angus SteerGiant Black Angus Steer, Danville, KY - 9 mi.
Great American Dollhouse MuseumGreat American Dollhouse Museum, Danville, KY - 9 mi.
In the region:
Ghostly Image in a Window, Richmond, KY - 27 mi.

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