Lincoln State Park

Lincoln State Park

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Lincoln State Park is an Indiana state park. It is 34 miles (54.7 km) east of Evansville, IN.

Lincoln State Park is located in southern Indiana in Spencer County approximately 35 miles (56.3 km) east of Evansville. The park was established in 1932 and encompasses 1747 acres (7.1 km²). There are 10 miles (16.1 km) of trails in the park. Many of the recreational facilities found within the park were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

 during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

. The park was originally established as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln's
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, whose gravesite is now contained within the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial is a United States Presidential Memorial, a National Historic Landmark District in present-day Lincoln City, Indiana. It preserves the farm site where Abraham Lincoln lived with his family from 1816 to 1830. During that time, he grew from a 7-year-old boy to a...

. The family of Abraham Lincoln lived in Spencer County
Spencer County, Indiana
As of the census of 2000, there were 20,391 people, 7,569 households, and 5,752 families residing in the county. The population density was 51 people per square mile . There were 8,333 housing units at an average density of 21 per square mile...

 for 14 years from 1816 to 1830. Lincoln State Park contains numerous sites significant to this period.

The Sarah Lincoln-Grigsby Gravesite and Little Pigeon Baptist Church


Within the park's boundaries is the gravesite of Abraham Lincoln's sister, Sarah Lincoln-Grigsby, located in a small cemetery
Cemetery
A cemetery is a place in which dead bodies and cremated remains are buried. The term "cemetery" implies that the land is specifically designated as a burying ground. Cemeteries in the Western world are where the final ceremonies of death are observed...

 next to the Little Pigeon Baptist Church. Thomas Lincoln was a trustee of the Primitive Baptist
Primitive Baptist
Primitive Baptists, also known as Hard Shell Baptists or Anti-Mission Baptists, are conservative, Calvinist Baptists adhering to beliefs that formed out of the controversy among Baptists in the early 1800’s over the appropriateness of mission boards, bible tract societies, and temperance...

 church. Thomas and Abraham Lincoln helped to construct the original church and the family occasionally attended services there. The current structure is part of the state park and contains a cornerstone from the original church. A congregation no longer worships there.

The Noah Gordon Mill Site


Also within the park are the Noah Gordon home and mill sites. Noah Gordon was a neighbor of the Lincoln family and maintained a small grain mill
Gristmill
The terms gristmill or grist mill can refer either to a building in which grain is ground into flour, or to the grinding mechanism itself.- Early history :...

. Abraham Lincoln spent many hours waiting his turn to mill grain here. Young Abraham Lincoln is said to have been "killed for a while" when he was kicked in the head by his horse milling grain at Gordon's mill.

The James Gentry Home Site


Young Abraham Lincoln worked for James Gentry at his general store
General store
A general store, general merchandise store, or village shop is a rural or small town store that carries a general line of merchandise. It carries a broad selection of merchandise, sometimes in a small space, where people from the town and surrounding rural areas come to purchase all their general...

. The home site of James Gentry is located within Lincoln State Park off of trail 3. Abraham Lincoln took a flatboat trip to New Orleans, leaving from Rockport
Rockport, Indiana
Rockport is a city in Ohio Township, Spencer County, Indiana, along the Ohio River. The population was 2,160 at the 2000 census. The city is the county seat of Spencer County.-History:...

, to sell goods for Gentry. It was on this trip to New Orleans that Lincoln first witnesses slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

.

The Col. William Jones Home



The park also includes the restored Col. William Jones Home near Gentryville
Gentryville, Indiana
Gentryville is a town in Jackson Township, Spencer County, Indiana, United States. The population was 268 at the 2010 census.-Geography:Gentryville is located at ....

. Col. Jones was a merchant, farmer, politician, and Union
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 Colonel during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. The home was built around 1834 and the farm contained a general store where Abraham Lincoln was also employed. Born in Vincennes
Vincennes, Indiana
Vincennes is a city in and the county seat of Knox County, Indiana, United States. It is located on the Wabash River in the southwestern part of the state. The population was 18,701 at the 2000 census...

 in 1803, Jones settled in Spencer County in 1828. Jones and his wife, Rachel, raised five sons on this farm. The home is open for tours, including a restored log barn. The home is located 1/4 mile west of Gentryville on Boone Street.

Lincoln Amphitheatre


Within Lincoln State Park is the Lincoln Amphitheatre. The amphitheatre
Amphitheatre
An amphitheatre is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances.There are two similar, but distinct, types of structure for which the word "amphitheatre" is used: Ancient Roman amphitheatres were large central performance spaces surrounded by ascending seating, and were commonly used...

 is a state-of-the-art covered outdoor theatre that was constructed in 1987 and began producting "Young Abe Lincoln" that year. After being closed in 2005, "LINCOLN: Upon The Altar of Freedom" premiered in June 2009 for the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. The play returned for a second year in June 2010 and introduced the new "Concert in the Park" which features cast members singing some of the most popular songs and hymns during Lincoln's life following each nightly performance. "LINCOLN" will be back for a third season in 2011.

Lincoln Interpretive Center


Seasonal programs are offered at the Lincoln Interpretive Center, the park's nature center
Nature center
A nature center is an organization with a visitor center or interpretive center designed to educate people about nature and the environment. Usually located within a protected open space, nature centers often have trails through their property. Some are located within a state or city park, and...

, which also features natural history exhibits.

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