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The issue: Restoration of Lincoln’s Boyhood Home
Our vision: Investment in future historical tourism
Accentuate the positive. In other words, highlight and make the most out of the good things you have. These familiar words of advice come to mind when thinking about the benefits to come as a result of the pending restoration project at the Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home at Knob Creek Farm.
Our region is rich with places of significance for those interested in our nation’s history. Sites connected to the early life of Abraham Lincoln are among those at the top of this list. And the Knob Creek Farm and home place near Hodgenville is an important location in the life of the young man who was destined to become one of our nation’s most important presidents.
In fact, it is documented that in June 1864 Lincoln himself wrote to his friend Samuel Haycraft of how important the farm and surrounding knobs, woods and creeks were for him.
“My earliest recollection is of the Knob Creek place,” wrote the future president.
The National Park Service documents Lincoln’s recollections in later years of his life and experience on the 228 acres that made up the farm. It was there that Lincoln notes having his first experiences in attending school; the account of being saved from drowning by childhood friend Austin Gollaher; developing early accountability and responsibility through various childhood chores; and maybe most significant to his future calling, his first encounter with African-Americans being taken south along the old Cumberland Road to eventually be sold as slaves.
Anticipating the favorable outcome of this month’s public input on possible environmental impact of the project, park officials are hopeful that construction can begin on an anticipated $2.24 million restoration process early next summer.
This project will be good news for the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park. It will serve to expand the sites visited by Lincoln enthusiasts as well as those casually curious about his life. As a result, it will prove to be a wise investment in future historic tourism there and elsewhere in our region.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.