Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fox Ridge State Park and Abraham Lincoln's Father

We stayed at Fox Ridge State Park in Illinois for a few days and did day trips to points of interest nearby.
The campground had many nice hiking trails.
They did my new Fitbit proud as Thistle and I logged over 14,000 steps and 27 flights of stairs in one day.
Some flora along the trail...

There was a little fishing pond with a trail around it.
Sunrise one morning.
Nan and I visited Abraham Lincoln's father's farm in southern Illinois, a state historic site. This is the Visitor Center.
Replicas of the farm buildings have been recreated on their original sites.
It is a living museum with costumed volunteers and hands-on activities, especially for school children.
We were twice lucky. Bus loads of school children were expected in an hour, and we got to tour before they arrived. But costumed volunteers were setting up educational activities for them that we got to see.
A replica of Thomas Lincoln's log cabin, built based on photos and information about the original.
Photo of the original cabin in the late 1800s. What happened to it?
Here's the sad story.
The kids will learn candle making.
And hand laundry using lye soap.
Abraham Lincoln never lived here because his father bought this farm and built the cabin after Lincoln was grown and married, living in Springfield. But he visited here often.
In the museum we learned a lot about Lincoln's relationship with his family and this period of time in his life.
Thomas Lincoln's cabin was simple, traditional, and sparsely furnished.
Here's a breakdown of the Lincoln family in the 1840s. 
Some historical information about Thomas Lincoln's life.
More about Thomas Lincoln... 
And about Abraham Lincoln's stepmother, Sarah Bush Johnston. 
Abraham Lincoln took care of his father, making sure he was financially secure. 
About the farm.
Garden and looking back at the farm.
There is another demonstration farmstead on the property for comparison. The Sargent farm was located about 14 miles away, but the buildings were moved here to be part of the museum. Thomas Lincoln probably never knew this distant neighbor, but since Sargent was a judge, as a lawyer, Abraham likely did.
About Stephen Sargent...
 Contemporary to Thomas Lincoln, but a more modern farm and farming methods.
Peeking inside the Sargent home.
About this farm...
 And the comparison.
You can see the original cabin, later kitchen to the left of the house.
Nan seems to be attracted to farmers lately, and she found one in the museum. But alas, since it was 1845, this one doesn't have a tractor. (Only a few people will understand this, lol...)
The school children arrived and were putting on period costumes to practice living in the 1840s.
Just some pretty wildflowers outside the museum.
About 2 miles away is the Shiloh Church and cemetery where the elder Lincoln's were buried. Abraham Lincoln visited here just before his inauguration as President.

The Lincoln Memorial...
And their graves???
One of Sarah's daughters is also buried here.
This mass grave of cholera victims around the same period of time is interesting.

Some of those native cedar trees are still here.
Now you are led to believe that these are the gravesite of Thomas and Sarah Lincoln, but we found another possible location... see the tall spire in the distance between the two cedar trees?
Thomas Lincoln might actually be buried here....or not?

It seems like they are not too sure of the exact location, since the original grave was only marked with a wooden slab or small stone, so the only thing we know for sure is that they are buried somewhere in this cemetery.
About a mile away is another home where Abraham Lincoln visited his Step-mother in 1861. Mrs. Moore was Sarah Lincoln's daughter.
The Moore house:
And what it looked like in 1920...

We also visited the Courthouse in nearby Charleston, on the site of a previous courthouse where Lincoln attended court as a circuit-riding lawyer. Also in Charleston is the site of the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debate. My camera battery no pictures of those places.

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