Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
OVERVIEW: About this Audio-Described Brochure
Welcome to the audio-described version of Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that park visitors receive. The brochure explores the history of the park, some of its highlights, and information for planning your visit. This audio version lasts about 27 minutes, which we have divided into 13 sections as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1 to 6 cover the front of the brochure and include an overview of the park and details about Abraham Lincoln’s family, childhood, schooling, and work life. Sections 7 to 13 cover the back of the brochure and share information about the Living Historical Farm and other things to see and do and trip-planning information. Other highlights on the back of the brochure include area and park maps and accessibility, safety, and contact information.
OVERVIEW: Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, located in southern Indiana, is part of the National Park Service, within the Department of the Interior. The approximately 200-acre park is located in Lincoln City, Indiana, 8 miles south of Interstate 64. The park was established in 1962 to preserve our most tangible link to Abraham Lincoln’s formative years. Each year, thousands of visitors come to discover the experiences that shaped the sixteenth president into the man he would become.
Explore the recreated 1820s Living Historical Farm, where you can see demonstrations of farm life. Visit the Cabin Site Memorial. Walk a one-mile loop from the farm to Pioneer Cemetery where Lincoln’s mother is buried and explore the Boyhood Nature Trail through the woods where he played as a boy. Start your visit at the Memorial Visitor Center, built in remembrance of Abraham Lincoln and his family, to get park information. The visitor center contains two memorial halls, a film, museum, exhibits, and bookstore. To learn more about available resources or to contact the park directly, visit the "Accessibility" and "More Information" sections at the end of this audio-described brochure.
OVERVIEW: Front Side of Brochure
The main section on the front of the brochure includes a large color photograph, three black and white historic portraits, one color collage of historic objects, and text. A quote from Abraham Lincoln sets the stage for the text, which paints a picture of his early years growing up in Indiana. A sidebar with text and one color image describes a common illness of the time.
IMAGE and QUOTE: Memorial Visitor Center
DESCRIPTION: The right side of the folded face of the brochure has a colored photo of Lincoln Boyhood Memorial Visitor Center, which expands to the second fold when the brochure is opened. The photo captures a view of the curved white limestone building with formal green lawn and landscaping, and flagstone walkways. The building has, from left to right, an arched door, a carved stone panel, an arched window, and another carved stone panel. The two carved stone panels contain inscriptions depicting people and scenes from Abraham Lincoln’s life. Three lines of text are carved in block letters above the panels and window. A quote from Abraham Lincoln is superimposed over the blue sky of the photo in white text: "My childhood home I see again, And gladden with the view: And still as mem’ries crowd my brain, There’s sadness in it too. Abraham Lincoln, 1845."
CAPTION: Memorial Visitor Center
CREDIT: NPS/Laurence Parent
IMAGE and TEXT: There I Grew Up
DESCRIPTION: This is a collage of two sheets of paper, a pioneer-era axe, and plow. The papers have ragged edges and illegible script handwriting and numbers. An axe is located below the papers and is lying horizontally with the axe head on the left, edge facing up. It is the typical axe head for splitting wood. The rounded handle is wood and tapers toward the end of the handle. To the right and partially covering the paper on the right is a steel plow. Two long, round, narrow wooden shafts are connected together with two cross pieces. One is close to the plow head; the other is halfway up the shaft. The dark-gray, iron plow head is diamond shaped. The hitch beam, a long wooden piece twice as long as the plow head, is connected at the center of the top of the plow head by two steel rods. The end has iron hitch rings, a connected ring with another ring attached to it.
CAPTION: Lincoln's Indiana school papers, plow, and pioneer-era axe.
CREDIT: Papers/NPS; axe/Conner Prairie; plow/Henry Ford Museum
"There I Grew Up"
My father . . . removed from Kentucky to what is now Spencer County, Indiana, in my eighth year. We reached our new home about the same time the State came into the Union.
Abraham Lincoln, revered among the greatest Americans, was shaped in large measure by his years in Indiana. The people he knew here and the things he experienced stayed with him throughout his life. His sense of honesty, pursuit of education and learning, respect for hard work, compassion, and notions of right and wrong were born of this place and time.
In the fall of 1816 Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln packed their belongings and children—Sarah, age 9, and Abraham, age 7—and left their Kentucky home bound for the new frontier of southern Indiana. Arriving at his 160-acre claim near Little Pigeon Creek in December, Thomas set about building a cabin and carving a new life from the “wild region,” as Abraham described the largely unsettled Indiana woodlands.
In much of the work Thomas was assisted by his son. As he grew older, Abraham increased in his skill with the plow and, especially, the axe. He later recalled how he “was almost constantly handling that most useful instrument.”
All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother. God bless her.
For the first two years here, life was good for the Lincolns. In the fall of 1818, when Abraham was age 9, Nancy Hanks Lincoln went to help some neighbors ill with milk sickness, and she became a victim. It was a tragic event for the family; the first of many losses Abraham would endure over his lifetime. Thomas and Abraham made a rough wooden coffin for her burial, and the family said their last farewells to their beloved wife and mother.
IMAGES and TEXT: A new household
DESCRIPTION: These two side-by-side cameo black and white portraits are of Lincoln’s father, Thomas Lincoln (left), and stepmother, Sarah Bush Lincoln (right), later in life. They are vertical oval pictures with fine brown border lines. The background on both pictures is a mottled gray.
Thomas has a very serious look with a high forehead and sunken, dark eyes. His dark hair is thinning in front and wavy on the sides, just barely covering the tops of his ears. He has deep creases down both cheeks and a wide-set jaw. He is looking almost straight at the camera, but with an ever-so-slight turn to his right. He is wearing a gray coat with black lapels and a white shirt with short collar, with a small black bow tie.
Sarah’s face is thin, lips pursed in a serious expression. We do not see her hair, as she is wearing a full frilly white bonnet, tied under her chin. While she is facing the camera, her deep-set eyes are glancing up a bit and to her left. Her cheeks show creases and dimples, and she has a pointed chin and prominent nose. She is wearing what appears to be a dark cloak.
CAPTION: Thomas Lincoln
CREDIT: Lincoln Memorial University
CAPTION: Sarah Bush Lincoln
CREDIT: Illinois State Historical Library
Within a year Thomas visited Kentucky, where he married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow he had known for years. Sarah brought into the household her three children, ages 12, 8, and 5, a wagonload of furniture, and many books. Sarah proved to be a kind stepmother. Under her love and guidance, the two families became one.
There was absolutely nothing to excite ambition for education.
In frontier Indiana, opportunities for formal education were few, and there was endless farm work. In total Abraham spent about one year in a classroom. But he loved to read and could often be seen carrying a book as well as his axe. By age 16 Abraham was tall and muscular with a keen intellect. Joining in informal political discussions at Gentry’s store, Abraham honed his debating skills.
In 1828 he got a job piloting a flatboat loaded with produce down the Mississippi and Ohio rivers to New Orleans. There he saw a slave auction on the docks, an experience that greatly disturbed him—and one that he would never forget.
IMAGES and TEXT: Moving on
DESCRIPTION: This is a black and white photo of Abraham Lincoln. The picture has lots of tiny scratches and blemishes. There is no background as the picture was over-layed into the brochure. Mr. Lincoln is shown turned slightly to his right, and his head is slightly tilted down. His eyes are looking straight at the camera. We see more of his left face than the right. His hair is short, parted on his left, and he has medium side-burns. There is no other facial hair. He has a high forehead and a narrow face. We see a large protruding left ear. He has a deep crease down his left cheek and has a serious, thoughtful look. His thin neck leads down to sloping shoulders and a broad torso.
He is wearing a dark suit coat, with a multi-buttoned vest underneath. His high-collared shirt is white, and he is wearing a dark ascot or wide tie. He is resting his right forearm on what appears to be a barrel, with his left arm casually extending across his waist. He has large hands.
CAPTION: This earliest known photograph of Abraham Lincoln was made in 1846. Lincoln served as the 16th U.S. president, 1861–65.
CREDIT: Library of Congress
Two years later the family left for Illinois, where Abraham spent his next 30 years. After Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, the Indiana home site became a place to honor him and his mother. The memorial building, built in the 1940s, represents an era when the creation of memorials and landscapes was a popular way to express the nation’s reverence for its 16th president. The state of Indiana administered the memorial until 1962, when Congress established Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial.
The park preserves our most tangible link to Lincoln’s child-hood and youth, the place where he worked side by side with his father, mourned the loss of his mother, read the books that opened his mind, and grew from a boy to a man.
IMAGE and TEXT: The milksick
DESCRIPTION: This is a color picture of a cluster of wildflowers with multiple small white fuzzy blossoms. The green leaves are toothed, wide at the base, and come to a point at the tip. The background is black.
CAPTION: White snakeroot
CREDIT: A.H. Ambler/Photo Researchers, Inc.
Milk sickness occurs when cattle graze on white snake-root (Eupatorium rugosum), a shade-loving plant that grows in the Ohio River Valley. The plant contains tremetol, a poison to animals—and to humans who consume milk products or meat from those animals.
Symptoms in humans range from nausea and vomiting to coma and death. The disease is rarely a problem today, but in early 1800s Indiana, “the milk-sick” was the scourge of frontier settlements. According to reports then, milk sickness caused over 50 percent of deaths in Dubois County, Indiana.
In the fall of 1818 milk sickness broke out in the Little Pigeon Creek settlement. Several of Lincolns’ neighbors died, and in late September Nancy Hanks Lincoln fell ill. She died on October 5 and was buried on a wooded knoll one-quarter mile south of their cabin.
OVERVIEW: Back Side of Brochure
The back side of the brochure contains two primary sections. The first section has three color images with text describing the Living Historical Farm. The second section has two color images and text with information for planning your visit. Two color maps, a small area map and a large park map, provide orientation to the area and locations of the primary attractions in the park.
IMAGE and TEXT: Living historical farm
IMAGE 1 of 3: Cabin interior
DESCRIPTION: Image of the inside of a cabin with white painted walls and a bare wood plank floor. A slab wood table with two bench seats on two sides sits in the middle of the picture. On the table is a white vase of white flowers, mug, and plate of food. A small fire in the fireplace is being tended by a woman in a brown pioneer dress, white apron, and white mob cap. Wooden containers sit on the mantel of the fireplace, and ceramic cookware is on a shelf above the mantel. Cast iron pots hang on the wall to the right of the fireplace. Also to the right of the fireplace is a dark wood corner cabinet. To the right of the corner cabinet is an open window with a green curtain tied back. A ladderback chair with a red cushion is below the window.
CAPTION: The Lincolns did not own this cabin, but it is typical of the region and era.
CREDIT: NPS/Laurence Parent
IMAGE 2 of 3: Feeding chickens
DESCRIPTION: This is a color picture of a rough-hewn log structure, likely a chicken coop, with five chickens in front being fed by a woman at the right side of the picture. The chickens are mostly dark, but two have a lot of white speckles on them. The coop’s door is made out of thin vertical sticks, held together by one diagonal cross stick, and is shorter than the woman. The coop is perhaps only about 10 to 12 feet wide, with no windows. The door is wide open, and the roof is slightly angled back away from the doorway. The ground is dry dirt, with what appear to be old corncobs strewn about.
The woman is in early eighteen twenties country garb, wearing a long gray skirt, a long-sleeved, peach colored blouse, and a white apron and bonnet. Her light brown hair is braided in a knot at the back. She is holding a feed bag in front of her. She is facing to our left with her right hand extended, and her head is slightly tilted down, looking at the chickens. Close to her right is a partial short stick fence. Not much farther behind the woman’s right side, a large tan cat walks across the yard. Maybe 15 to 20 feet to the right and behind the woman is a second fence; this one is relatively tall and made primarily of thin vertical sticks, with a larger cross support stick along the top. Behind the fence are lush, dark green trees. A gray rock sits in the foreground.
CAPTION: Living history interpreters feed chickens
CREDIT: NPS/Laurence Parent
IMAGE 3 of 3: Making shingles
DESCRIPTION: This color photo shows a man outdoors, wearing blue pants, white shirt, white cowboy style hat, and black boots. He is facing left and straddling a 5 foot long 2 foot high wood bench with four wooden legs. He is holding a two handled draw knife to a piece of wood. The bench has a 3 foot long wooden shaft extending through the middle at a 45 degree angle. The shaft has a 10 inch square wood head on top, which acts as a vice. One foot of the shaft is above the bench and two feet of the shaft extends below the bench and connects to a footboard, that acts as a lever, which is attached to the shaft at a 90 degree angle. The man operates the head of the shaft with his left foot on the lever. The head of the shaft holds in place a piece of wood on top of the bench. An axe is lying on the other end of the wood bench. Directly behind the bench is a large tree trunk and to the right and behind the man is the corner of a log cabin structure.
CAPTION: Make shingles, and do other farm chores
CREDIT: NPS/Laurence Parent
This recreated eighteen twenties homestead is on four of the original 160 acres owned by Thomas Lincoln. A cabin and outbuildings from the 1800s were moved from elsewhere in Indiana and reassembled here. There are split rail fences, livestock, vegetable and herb gardens, and field crops. Park rangers in period clothing demonstrate farm life with historic tools and techniques. The farm area is open mid April through September. From October through mid April the buildings are closed and not staffed, but you may visit the farm grounds.
Text: Crop area
The first spring the Lincolns put in six acres of corn, which was used by people and livestock. The corn grew 15 to 18 feet high, and they planted beans in the corn rows so vines could climb the stalks. Few southern Indiana farmers raised wheat for market because it was inconvenient and expensive to have it milled, but they sowed enough for their own use. They grew oats for feed, broomcorn for making brooms, and flax and cotton to make fabric.
Besides raising crops, frontier families kept a vegetable garden. We don’t know exactly what was in the Lincoln’s kitchen garden, but common vegetables were potatoes, turnips, gourds, beans, cucumbers, melons, asparagus, cabbage, onions, and herbs for preservatives. Pumpkin was as popular with the farm animals as it was with people. It was stewed, fried, eaten raw, and made into molasses and pies. Punkin leather, a favorite with children, was small dried strips of pumpkin rolled into balls.
TEXT: Planning Your VisitTitle of New Section: Planning Your Visit
MAP and TEXT: Getting here
DESCRIPTION: This area map shows the location of Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in relation to major roads south of Interstate 64.
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is located at the southwest corner of the map area in Lincoln City between Gentryville and Santa Claus, Indiana, on Highway 162.
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is just outside Lincoln City, Ind. From I-64, take exit 57A. Go south on U.S. 231 to the Santa Claus/Gentryville exit. Turn right (west) on Ind. 162; go 2½ miles to the park entrance on the right.
The park is open year-round, except Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1. A fee is charged. There are picnic tables at the farm area parking lot. Picnic, camping, and recreational facilities are available in Lincoln State Park.
IMAGE and TEXT: Things to see and do
DESCRIPTION:This is a color photo of a raised-relief stone sculpture panel of a group of six men and one woman. The stone is light gray, and the sun casts shadows on the figures. There are green shrubs at the bottom left and right corners of the photo.
At the top left of the panel, a bare tree has one horizontal limb stretching to the right toward three lines of text that reads “Indiana,” “1816,” “1830.” Farther to the right, a log cabin is made to appear as if seen at a distance by reducing its size. Another tree, this one with leaves, is at the upper right of the panel. Below this, in front of what appears to be a shoulder-height fence, stands the group of people.
The focus of the panel is a young Abraham Lincoln, the tallest of the group, standing in the center, fourth from left and facing left. He is holding the top of an axe handle with his left hand. The axe handle rests between his legs, with the blade sitting between his feet. His sleeves are rolled up above his elbows, showing strong, muscular arms.
There are three people on either side of Lincoln. The three men on the left side of the panel face to our right, toward Lincoln; the two men and one woman behind him, on the right side of the panel, face to our left, toward Lincoln.
From left to right, the first, bearded man with his right sleeve rolled up stands up straight in the background. The second man, in the foreground wearing a shirt and vest, stands with his booted right foot on the stump of a tree and rests his right arm on his knee. The third man carries the end of a hewn log, which is held up on the other end by the fifth man, who stands behind Lincoln. The sixth man, wearing a hat and holding a bag over his shoulder with his right hand, stands in the background. The only woman, with her hair in a bun, stands at the far right of the panel, holding the edges of her apron in both hands.
CAPTION: Detail from relief sculpture panel, Memorial Visitor Center.
CREDIT: NPS/Laurence Parent
Stop first at the Memorial Visitor Center for information, a film, bookstore, and museum exhibits. On the outside walls are sculptured panels, carved from Indiana limestone, that depict places where Lincoln lived. The quotations above them are from Lincoln’s speeches.
IMAGE and TEXT: Pioneer Cemetery
DESCRIPTION: This is a color picture of a white marble gravestone with a rectangular bottom that tapers to a point at the top. The gravestone reads “Nancy Hanks Lincoln Mother of President Lincoln Died Oct 5 A.D. 1818 Aged 35 years.” The gravestone sits on a rectangular marble stone that is slightly larger than the base of the gravestone. That marble stone sits on a rectangular concrete slab on the ground that is slightly larger than the marble stone. The ground is covered with bright green grass and short, small, white flowers. The gravestone is in a cemetery; a smaller gravestone is in the background to the right in front of a black iron fence with a forest behind the fence.
CAPTION: An Italian marble headstone commemorates the life of Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Her exact burial site is not known.
CREDIT: NPS/Laurence Parent
Abraham’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, died of milk sickness in 1818 and was buried on this hill. Her exact burial place is unknown, but a memorial grave marker is visible from the trail. The cemetery is the resting place of others in the Little Pigeon Creek community.
TEXT: Cabin Site Memorial
A bronze casting of sill logs and fireplace hearthstones symbolizes a cabin that the Lincolns began building in 1829.
The Lincoln Boyhood Trail connects the Pioneer Cemetery to the Living Historical Farm. The Trail of Twelve Stones begins at the Living Historical Farm and ends near the pioneer cemetery. The two trails form a loop of about one mile. The Boyhood Nature Trail loops about one mile through the woods north of the Living Historical Farm.
TEXT: Lincoln Spring
The spring was the main source of fresh water for the Lincolns. Its presence was probably a reason that Thomas Lincoln chose this home site.
MAP: Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
The map titled "Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial" shows all of Lincoln Boyhood and the adjoining properties and provides wayfinding information, points of interest, major roads, and main trails.
The park is narrow on the north end and flares out to the east and west, like a carafe, with a rounded southern border. It is bordered by Lincoln State Park to the south and by private property on the other sides.
The entrance to the park is at the southern border off of Highway 162. The main entrance road travels north into the park. Turn right just past the entrance to reach the Memorial Visitor Center and parking lot. Continuing north, the main entrance road ends, a parking lot and picnic area with facilities is to the right. A short walk to the north leads to the Cabin Site Memorial, Living Historical Farm, and the Lincoln Spring.
Trails can be accessed from both the visitor center and north parking lots. From the north side of the Memorial Visitor Center parking lot, walk the Allee Trail to the flagpole and Pioneer Cemetery, located on the right side of the trail. Continue north on the Lincoln Boyhood Trail to the Cabin Site Memorial, Living Historical Farm, and Lincoln Spring. Directly to the right of the cabin site is the crop area. The Trail of Twelve Stones begins east of the Living Historical Farm and loops back south to Pioneer Cemetery with a spur to the Allee Trail and Memorial Visitor Center. The Boyhood Nature Trail starts northeast of the Living Historical Farm and is accessed by a spur trail from the Trail of Twelve Stones that crosses a county road.
Two railroad lines cut through the park. The Southern Railway Evansville Mainline forms the western edge of the park and crosses into the park at the north end near Lincoln Spring. The tracks run along the west side of the Boyhood Nature Trail. The Southern Railway Cannelton Spurline runs west to east along the top edge of the north parking lot, crossing the Lincoln Boyhood Trail and the Trail of Twelve Stones.
The park is wheelchair accessible. Portions of the trails are slippery when wet. Service animals are welcome.
TEXT: For a safe visit
Please be alert and follow these regulations.
• Stay on established trails.
• The railroad line near the parking area is still in use. Be very careful crossing the tracks.
• Take precautions against insect bites and poison ivy.
• For firearm regulations, see the park website.
• All plants, animals, and cultural features are protected by federal law.
Emergencies: call 911.
OVERVIEW: More Information
ADDRESS: 2916 E. South Street, P.O. Box 1816, Lincoln City, IN 47552
EMERGENCIES: call 911
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is one of over 390 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks, visit www.nps.gov.