Abraham Lincoln Birthplace NHS Historic Resource Study (1.55MB)
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park commemorates the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the United States. The Site contains 116.5 acres, representing approximately one-third of a 348.5-acre farm along the South Fork of Nolin Creek that was purchased by Lincoln's father, Thomas Lincoln, in 1808. On the Site is a Beaux-Arts classical granite and marble memorial building containing a symbolic log cabin that was once thought to be the Lincoln birth cabin. A notable natural feature on the Site is a spring that emerges from a rock ledge and flows into a deep sinkhole. The spring is adjacent to the knoll on which the Memorial Building is located. Roughly triangular, the Site is located in the rolling hill country of LaRue County, Kentucky, three miles south of Hodgenville, KY.
This Cultural Landscape Report (CLR) has evolved over a number of years but always with the same purpose driving its production: to provide park management with an evaluation of the landscape's significance and to provide treatment recommendations for the preservation of its significant features. The CLR documents the history of the Birthplace Unit's landscape change, from its earliest agricultural use to its full-blown development as a much-visited historical park. An evaluation and analysis of these landscape changes, based on the extant resources, is used to determine a period of significance for the landscape features, which in turn helps to shape treatment recommendations developed to preserve and enhance the commemorative site.
In 2006, the formal landscaping around the Memorial Building was replaced in preparation for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, which began February 12, 2008 at the Birthplace Unit.
Administrative History of Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site
This Administrative History of the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park has been prepared in order to provide a documented tool to be used in the management and administration of the park. It is hoped that some knowledge of past policies and practices at the Site will be of help to administrators both on and off the site in future planning and development.
The Lincoln Boyhood Home honors one of the nation's best-loved presidents, and coupled with improved road and highway systems, greatly increased tourism to the area in the 1920s and 30s. Hattie and Chester Howard were one of several families that tried to capitalize on the booming tourist trade and honor the local hero. The Howards purchased Knob Creek Farm in 1931 with the intention of creating another memorial to Lincoln. This land was the Lincoln family's home from 1811 to 1816, and by Lincoln's own admission was the site of some of his earliest childhood memories. Here, the Howards used the logs of a cabin belonging to the family of Lincoln's childhood friend, Austin Gollaher, to re-build a hewn-log cabin said to resemble Lincoln's boyhood home.
General Management Plan / Environmental Impact Statement (2.9 MB PDF file)
A General Management Plan / Environmental Impact Statement clearly defines resource conditions and visitor experiences to be achieved at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace NHP consistent with the site's purpose and significance statements.
Provides a framework for NPS managers to use when making decisions about how to best protect site resources, how to provide a diverse range of visitor experience opportunities, how to manage visitor use, and what kinds of facilities, if any, to develop at the national historic site.
The Memorial Building, designed by John Russell Pope, was constructed between 1909 and 1911 by the Lincoln Farm Association. The cornerstone was laid by President Theodore Roosevelt on February 12, 1909, Lincoln's 100th birthday; the Building was dedicated by President Taft on November 9, 1911. Following the donation to the federal government in 1916, the memorial was managed by the War Department until 1933 and then by the National Park Service. The park was designated a National Historic Site in 1959. The Historic Structure Report permits park managers to make informed decisions on the maintenance and preservation on the Memorial Building. The park was designated a National Historical Park in 2009.
Did You Know?
Abraham Lincoln died at the age of 56. The granite steps leading up to the Memorial Building at his birthplace represent his age. The Memorial Building was designed by John Russell Pope.