Lincoln Birthplace, Kentucky

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Lincoln's Birthplace

The Boundary Oak sprouted in 1781 and was just another tree on the boundary of the Lincoln farm, but later it served as a living link to Lincoln until it died in 1976.
The site of Lincoln's birth was commemorated by a shrine.
The original cabin is long gone, so a recreation occupies the interior of the shrine.
The feature of geologic interest here is a karst spring in a small sinkhole.

"The Thomas Lincoln family obtained its water supply from this spring. The infant child, Abraham, had his earliest drinks of water from this source. When Thomas Lincoln moved here in 1808, the 300-acre farm already was variously known as "Sinking Spring," "Rock Spring," or "Cave Spring" Farm, taking its name from this spring of water."

Left: Entrance to the spring.

Below: The spring. It flows out of open bedding planes, across a ledge, and disappears into a sinkhole.


Lincoln's Boyhood Home

Lincoln lived here for a few years early in his childhood. No physical traces of the original home have been found. Between decay and being in a flood plain, probably no traces remain. Ground-penetrating radar has failed to turn up any buried structures.
A reconstructed cabin, itself so old it needs protection, now stands here.
The visitor center and office is a former inn from the days when this site was privately run.

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Created 7 April 2003, Last Update 07 June 2020