Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Lincoln Memorial

I really enjoy history and visiting historical sites. I decided for my birthday this year that I wanted to visit the Lincoln Memorial. I didn’t go to Washington DC. In fact, I didn’t even go out of the state. How is that even possible you say? Let me explain.

I had heard only recently of the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Memorial Park. It’s south of Hodgenville and has a memorial building for Abraham Lincoln. I had planned to go there on my next trip to Lexington. We got tickets to see Kentucky play for my birthday (like we have for the past decade) so we decided we could make a slight detour and visit on the way. I’d also found out about a restaurant that had some of the best hamburgers in Kentucky that was located in Hodgenville. That sounded like the perfect combination to me so we planned to go.

We headed out on my birthday on our trip. Instead of jumping on I-65 in Elizabethtown, we just kept going and headed for Hodgenville. We found Laha’s Red Castle (located on the roundabout in Hodgenville) with no problem. The restaurant is very small only having counter service with only seven stools. We decided to just get our food and took it to the National Park to eat. They cooked the hamburgers right in front of us. They also made the fries and onion rings we ordered fresh. We got our food and headed to the car. In the middle of the roundabout was a statue of Abraham Lincoln I had to see. It looks very similar to the one in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. This statue was made in 1909 which is the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday. After we saw that, we headed for the park.

We got there and parked and ate. The food was excellent. There was not a big crowd at the park at all. There was a visitor center and the memorial itself. It was a very impressive structure built of granite and marble. It has fifty-six steps leading to it which represents the age Lincoln was when he was assassinated (I had forgotten he was that young, I’d always thought of him as being older). It is located on a knoll that is thought to be the location of the cabin Lincoln was born in. Inside the memorial is a replica of Lincoln’s birth cabin (which you cannot go inside of though). The memorial has sixteen windows and sixteen rosettes in the ceiling since Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States. At the bottom of the knoll, is Sinking Spring. You can take a set of steps down to the actual spring supposedly used by the Lincolns. There is also a nature trail you can walk. Finally, there is a fifteen minute informational video available at the visitor center along with a few displays and items for sale.

After we finished our visit there, we drove several miles to the Knob Creek cabin where Lincoln lived until he was seven and moved to Indiana. There was a small cabin replica there (that you also could not enter) and the Lincoln Tavern that serviced that area in the 1930s. Both areas are free to see.

If you interested in history and especially Abraham Lincoln and you are travelling through the Elizabethtown area, I would recommend you check the park out.