I downloaded My Old Kentucky Home via iTunes so that I could play it a few times while driving through the Bluegrass State. The old standby didn’t disappoint as I drove the backroads to Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace. Farms, fields and even dilapidated homes gave me rise to smile on this sunny spring day where I finally found the grass to be green. Prior to the song, I had listened to James McPherson’s Abraham Lincoln, and although I studied the US Civil War era throughout my life, this two hour audio book was a terrific refresher course as I enter the Lincoln phase of my trip with stops planned in Kentucky and Illinois. I have always enjoyed biographies. In elementary school, I read the Garrard Discovery Biography Books. I remember reading about Davey Crockett, Daniel Boone, Eli Whitney and many others, but especially about Honest Abe.
In 1909, the granite memorial was built on the spot was the Lincoln cabin stood at Sinking Spring, Kentucky. The cabin is called the symbolic cabin because it is not the original; it had been rebuilt by another family in the decade or so after the Lincoln family moved to Knob Creek, seven miles further down the road. This was only discovered in the 1990s, but some of the Lincolns’ logs were used in the building of the cabin that sits in the walls of the memorial. It didn’t matter to me that it was not the original or just pieces of the original, it was a tiny cabin and was a good visual to understand Lincoln’s climb from cabin to White House. The visitor center is small but does hold the Lincoln family bible, a book well read and often cited by our 16th president.