Monday, July 8, 2013

In the footsteps of a President...

The morning we were leaving the campsite dawned early, and with Henry a bit under the weather.  Running a low grade temp, we figured it was most likely from the mouthful of teeth he was cutting all at once.  He seemed to feel ok, so we kept on with our plan to visit Lincoln's birthplace on the way up to Louisville.  

Brant was very excited, as he had the opportunity to earn another badge!  We learned a lot about the life of our 16th President, and Brant was able to answer all the Ranger's questions!  It was neat to see him discover the way things used to be made, and to hear about the hardships of life back then.  

Listening to the Ranger's presentation.  The kids all got pieces of wool, which come from the sheep at one of the other
of Lincoln's former homes.

Just imagine...making everything.  We also learned a lot about how they "recycled" back then.

Brant picked out the dutch oven, which we used during camping

On to the Memorial.  Built by a private group, this has only been a National Park since 2004.
A Ranger, just to the right of the photo, told Brant to count the steps on the way up, to find out how old Lincoln was when he died.  Do you know??

The symbolic cabin inside the memorial.  Made from materials from the same time, and reconstructed historically correct, the original cabin was long gone. 
 When Thomas Lincoln purchased this land, the spring was a big draw.  Back then, land boundaries were marked by fences, or trees.  The boundary oak, which was about 20 years old when Lincoln was born, died in the 1970s.  You can still see the stump of it, and a huge slice of the trunk in the visitors center.  They did a really neat display with the rings, marking historically important dates on it.
Heading down to the karst limestone formation spring

Brant felt a connection with Lincoln, as his job was to haul water too

What we didn't realize is that Lincoln's birthplace actually has several parts, separated by several miles.  A museum, which we didn't have time to go to, and his boyhood home in Knob Creek.  We headed over to Knob Creek, on a road that followed the old Cumberland Trail. It was on that trail that Lincoln saw slaves being marched South to be sold, and how he, and his family,  eventually decided they couldn't live in a state with slavery.  He lived here until he was 7.  Once again, Brant thought it was cool.  But not when he found out that Abe and his sister walked 2 miles to school one way!

This wasn't Lincoln's actual cabin either! It was the cabin of his best friend, who saved him from the
rain swollen creek.  Austin Gollaher was his name.

Neat to go in this one, and see the pegs in the wall that served as a ladder to the loft , where Abe would have slept. 
 We took a stroll down to the creek...

No where near rain swollen, but a week earlier (remember the storm that we camped through?) it was..
You can see the mud up the side on the left.  There were photos of the creek coming almost to the bottom of the field the home was in. 

Such beautiful land.  We decided to make sandwiches and have our picnic here, overlooking the fields.  This was the first of three that connected through the valley.  As we watched our boys play in the footsteps of a President, we couldn't help but wonder what our boys might become. 

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