February 18, 2013

Abraham Lincoln's Hodgenville Log Cabin

Ever since Abraham Lincoln became well-known in the United States, mystery has surrounded what was identified for years as the cabin he lived in, which is near Hodgenville, Kentucky, nestled in Larue County where Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809.

For those who live in the area, they're aware of the fact there is the location close to where Lincoln lived and which has a small cabin depicting what a cabin of that period would have looked like, as well as a location near town where a temple-like building encloses a log cabin which at one time was thought to have been made of the actual wood the original Lincoln cabin was made from.

When the federal park was officially created in 1916, Abraham Lincoln's only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, challenged the authenticity of the cabin, calling it a "fraud."

In the 1930s the National Park Service had actually recognized the cabin encased in the marble enclosure as the real place of Lincoln's birth.

Interestingly, even after it was certain it wasn't the actual cabin Lincoln was born in, the Park Service continued to assert the authenticity of the cabin.

Old Period Cabin on Knob Creek where Abraham Lincoln spent early years

To lay the issue to rest, in 2004 a tree-ring analysis of the logs in the cabin being displayed was performed by experts from the University of Tennessee, and the results showed there were no logs older than 1848. That means they were more than 40 years older than when Abraham Lincoln was born.

Even here there is still a cloud hanging over the issue, as at one time logs from a cabin purported to be from the home of Jefferson Davis had long ago got mixed up with those alleged to be from Lincoln's home when they were dismantled in order to be delivered to a new place.

So even with the amazing and checkered history of the Lincoln cabin, which is now officially designated as "symbolic" of the original home, there still remains a mystery that will probably never be solved.

For an in depth look at the twists and turns of the history of the Lincoln cabin, go here.

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