Lincoln State Park
|Lincoln State Park|
Lake Lincoln in Lincoln State Park
|Location||Spencer County, Indiana, United States|
|Nearest city||Lincoln City, Indiana|
|Area||1,747 acres (7.07 km2)|
|Visitors||238,147 (in 2003-2004)|
|Governing body||Indiana Department of Natural Resources|
Lincoln State Park is a state park of Indiana, United States. It is located in southern Indiana in Spencer County approximately 35 miles (56 km) east of Evansville. The park was established in 1932 and encompasses 1,747 acres (707 ha). There are 10 miles (16 km) of trails in the park. Many of the recreational facilities found within the park were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
The park was originally established as a memorial to Abraham Lincoln's mother Nancy Hanks Lincoln, whose gravesite is now contained within the adjacent Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial. The family of Abraham Lincoln lived in Spencer County 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 next to the Little Pigeon Baptist Church. Thomas Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's father, was a trustee of the Primitive Baptist 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. 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. 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, to sell goods for Gentry. It was on this trip to New Orleans that Lincoln first witnessed slavery.
The Col. William Jones Home
The park also includes the restored Colonel William Jones House near Gentryville. Col. Jones was a merchant, farmer, politician, and Union Colonel during the American Civil War. The home was built around 1834 and the farm contained a general store where Abraham Lincoln was also employed. Born in Vincennes 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.
Within Lincoln State Park is the Lincoln Amphitheater. The amphitheater is a modern covered outdoor theater that was constructed in 1987 and began producing Young Abe Lincoln (written by Billy Edd Wheeler), 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. In 2011 Lincoln: Upon The Altar of Freedom was rewritten into a musical renamed A. Lincoln: A Pioneer Tale. It recounts both Lincoln's childhood and major events in his presidency. It opened on June 8, 2012. It played its third season in 2014. A Pioneer Tale and The Lincoln Amphitheater went dark in 2015 for changes in management. In the 2016 season, The Indiana Department of Tourism operated the Amphitheater. A Pioneer Tale would play its 4th season that same year with many concerts taking place during the 2016 season. In 2017, The Actor's Community Theater of Jasper remounted a 30th-anniversary production of Young Abe Lincoln as part of the 2017 season. It was performed again in 2018 as an "Encore" Production. There is currently a new Lincoln drama in the works and will premiere in 2019.
Lincoln Interpretive Center
Seasonal programs are offered at the Lincoln Interpretive Center, the park's nature center, which also features natural history exhibits.
- "Lincoln State Park". Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Archived from the original on 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- United States Geological Survey. "Lincoln State Park, USGS Santa Claus (IN) Topo Map". TopoQuest. Retrieved 2008-07-05.