Every child educated in the United States is certain to have heard the story of Abraham Lincoln being born in a one-room log cabin in the hills of Kentucky to a poor family and having very little formal education. Lincoln is the epitome of the “anyone can grow up to be President” claim, his story often used in that context.
Although his family did not have much money, they were considered middle class, much the same as most people in that area during that time. Having to move twice in Kentucky due to land disputes, the family made a third move when Abe was seven years old, this time to Indiana. The family subsequently settled near Decatur, Illinois, when Lincoln was a young adult, at which time he left his family and struck out on his own.
Today you can tour Lincoln’s birthplace, as well as several other Lincoln-related sites and attractions on Kentucky’s Lincoln Trail. The trail begins at the Farmington Historic Plantation in Louisville, runs south to the Lincoln Museum, to his birthplace and boyhood home in Hodgenville, northeast to the Mary Todd Lincoln House and Henry Clay Estate in Lexington and then west to the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort. Drive another hour or so west, and you’ll be back in Louisville, having gone full circle, with several additional Lincoln sites between the major points.
Plan to spend a few days on the tour to allow plenty of time to take in all 15 attractions on the trail. Louisville, Kentucky is about a five hour drive or one hour flight from Chicago.
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