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Knob Creek Farm

U.S. Highway 31E
Hodgenville, Kentucky

You'll find this boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln in a beautiful setting nine miles from his birthplace. When the Lincoln family lived here the road by the cabin was the main route from Louisville to Nashville.

The Lincolns moved to the property in 1811, when they lost their previous farm because of land title disputes. This farm featured a creek running through rich bottomland bordered by steep hills that resembled knobs. In an 1860 letter Lincoln said, "The place on Knob Creek ... I remember very well; but I was not born there .... My earliest recollection, however, is of the Knob Creek place."

Lincoln was two years old when his family arrived at Knob Creek. His sister Sarah was four, and his brother Thomas was born the following year. However Thomas died a few days later and was buried on the property; his tiny tombstone is on display at the birthplace visitor center. In 1860, Lincoln recalled that during their stay, "he and his sister were sent, for short periods, to ABC schools, the first kept by Zachariah Riney, and the second by Caleb Hazel." These were "blab" schools, where students learned by repeating their lessons aloud, over and over. Years later, Lincoln annoyed his law partner by reading the newspaper aloud in their office, but explained that he learned better by using two senses.

© Abraham Lincoln Online
The Lincoln family moved from Knob Creek to Indiana in 1816 and their house was torn down in 1870. The cabin shown was reconstructed on the original site in 1931, possibly including logs from Austin Gollaher's home. Gollaher was Lincoln's schoolmate who rescued him from drowning in the creek. Some of the furnishings are period antiques donated by descendants of early settlers.

This historic site is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; the grounds are open during daylight hours. The National Park Service took over the property from a private owner late in 2001. For more information call 270/358-3137 or write: Lincoln's Boyhood Home, 7120 Bardstown Road, Hodgenville, Kentucky 42748.

Related Reading
Davenport, Don. In Lincoln's Footsteps: A Historical Guide to the Lincoln Sites in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky. Revised edition, Trails Books, 2002.

Gary, Ralph. Following in Lincoln's Footsteps: A Historical Reference to Hundreds of Sites Visited by Abraham Lincoln. Carroll & Graf, 2001.

Related Links
Knob Creek Farm Donated to National Park Service (NPS)
Lincoln Early Life Timeline (ALO)
Places Lincoln Lived

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