The Lincoln Legacy Begins in Springfield, Kentucky



Located in the heart of Central Kentucky, the “Land of Bourbon, Horses and History,” the historic city of Springfield is in Washington County, which is the first county created in the state, is home to the oldest active courthouse. Springfield is known for being where Abraham Lincoln’s legacy began.


The sixteenth president’s family lived near Springfield for almost thirty years. The 1816 Courthouse on Main Street preserves the original marriage certificate of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln’s parents.


Spanning over 120 acres, Lincoln Homestead State Park features both historic buildings and reconstructions associated with Thomas Lincoln, as well as the original two-story Francis Berry House where Nancy Hanks lived and worked as a seamstress, while being courted by Thomas. The buildings are open between May and September. Along with picnic sites and a lake where visitors can go fishing, the park includes an 18-hole golf course on the land Mordecai Lincoln once farmed. On the other side of the road from the golf course is the Mordecai Lincoln House, built by Mordecai as an adult.


Springfield is just 45 minutes from Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park, the country’s first memorial to President Abraham Lincoln. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the park has two separate sites where Abraham Lincoln was born and lived early in his childhood. The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Unit features a Visitors Center, the Memorial Building with a symbolic cabin, Sinking Spring that was a water source for the Lincoln Family, and the site of Boundary Oak Tree that was used for a survey marker, two hiking trails, and a picnic area. The Abraham Lincoln Boyhood Home Unit has a Ranger Station (open in summer only), Knob Creek that was a water source for the Lincoln family, a hiking trail and picnic area. Visits are self-guided from Labor Day to Memorial Day.


Springfield is also on the Lincoln Heritage Scenic Highway that exhibits significant historic and cultural resources featuring Abraham Lincoln, US history and the Civil War, bourbon heritage, and religious heritage. Springfield’s Holy Land Tour encompasses historic churches and sites that are frequented for their architectural value, as well as for family history and genealogical information.


Springfield is part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, the Barn Quilt Trail and Kentucky Fiber Trail. The region boasts numerous outdoor activities including golf, hiking and bicycling, birding and wildlife watching, along with fishing and canoeing. The charming historic downtown features museums and historic buildings, restaurants and shops. Lodging choices range from historic inns to vacation rentals, and RV camping.

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