Cabin Site Memorial
Indiana celebrated its centennial in December 1916. Among the centennial programs was a thrust to identify locations important to the state's history. In 1917, Spencer County's centennial commission requested the assistance of older residents of the county in determining the exact location of Thomas Lincoln's cabin. Twenty such residents assembled on the historic property and pointed to a site they believed to be correct. A marker was erected on the site on April 28, 1917.
Placement of the bronze cabin site memorial was one of the more notable achievements in the effort to memorialize the Lincoln site. After deciding that it would be inappropriate to construct a replica of the Lincoln cabin, the state hired architect Thomas Hibben, a native of Indiana, to design a suitable monument to mark the site. The state planned a bronze casting in the shape of the historic cabin sill and hearth, to be surrounded by a stone wall. The area was to be formally landscaped. The project was ultimately subcontracted to a company in Munich, Germany.
In May 1933, a Civilian Conservation Corps crew located the historic hearthstones, which were situated in a T-configuration and comprised three layers of stones measuring roughly 18 inches square and 5-6 inches deep. The crew, under the supervision of Horace Weber, excavated the 300 hearthstones, constructed a stone wall around the site and landscaped the grounds. After numerous delays the bronze casting was finally placed on the site in July 1935.
Did You Know?
In 1868, a Civil War veteran named William Q. Corbin visited the boyhood home of his former commander-in-chief. Corbin was dismayed by the unkempt appearance of Nancy Hanks Lincoln’s gravesite and wrote a poem. It was among the first known public accounts of the grave’s condition.