One summer back in the mid-70s, my family drove from Kansas City and met my grandparents, who lived in northern Ohio, at a park in Indiana, where we camped for a week. I wanted to visit this park when we were in the area because I wanted to see if this was the place, but nothing seemed particularly familiar. It seems like a very nice park and I was glad we stopped, even if it didn’t jog any memories.
Established in 1932, the park encompasses 1,747 acres, and many of the recreational facilities which are still here were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
Front and center is a Lake Lincoln, which isn’t huge (I couldn’t find the actual lake acreage anywhere), but it includes a beach, and the log cabin where they rent canoes was especially picturesque. We also enjoyed walking across a bridge near the spillway.
There are several historic buildings within the park, probably the most important of which is the Little Pigeon Baptist Church, which Abraham Lincoln and his father helped build, and where Lincoln’s sister, Sarah Lincoln Grigsby, was buried in the cemetery after she died during childbirth in 1826. Other historical areas include: the Noah Gordon home and mill sites, the James Gentry home site, and the Colonel William Jones home.
While driving around the park, we also came across and walked around the Lincoln Amphitheater. This impressive 1,200-seat covered theater, which first opened in 1987, presents Lincoln-themed plays and musicals, as well as concerts and other events. We also visited the Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza in the park, built to celebrate Lincoln’s 200th birthday. This is basically a monument which includes several statues and quotes, but the most unique aspect of the plaza is the area which showed Lincoln’s height at various ages as he was growing up. It’s fun to see how old Abe was when he was at your current height!
The park also has 150 campsites, and 25 rental cabins, as well as 10 miles of trails. I should mention that there’s a entrance fee of about $8 per vehicle for the park. I still think this is probably where my family gathered all those years ago, but regardless of that, it seems like a nice place to visit, camp, and to take in a show.
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