Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site
402 South Lincoln Hwy Rd
Lerna, Il 62440
*Only 8 miles south of Charleston, Il
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
November-March 9 am-4 pm Thursday-Sunday
April-May 9 am-5 pm
Memorial Day -Labor Day
9 am -5 pm Every Day
September-October 9 am -5 pm Thursday-Sunday
We are closed on Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day
Living History Programming takes place between May 1st and October 31st with additional special events throughout the year. Grounds are open year-round 8:30 am until dusk
|Welcome to 1840s Rural Illinois
Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, part of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area, preserves the 19th century home of Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, father and step-mother of our 16th president. Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer living in Springfield by the time his parents moved here, but his burgeoning law practice often brought him to Charleston and the farm, especially during the 1840s. Abraham Lincoln also owned a portion of the farm which he deeded back to his father and step-mother for their use during their lifetime.
Today Lincoln Log Cabin is an 86-acre historic site that is owned and operated by the State of Illinois, managed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Division of Historic Sites. The site includes an accurate reproduction of the Lincolns’ two-room cabin that was reconstructed on the original cabin site in 1935-1936 as a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) project. The National Park Service oversaw the creation of Lincoln Log Cabin State Park with CCC labor. The CCC camp, Camp Shiloh, was located within the park’s boundaries and its enrollees were WWI veterans. Today the ten acres in the northwest corner of the park where Camp Shiloh was located is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A working, living history farm has been developed around the cabin, and a second historic farmstead, that of Stephen and Nancy Sargent, has been moved to the site to help broaden visitors’ understanding both of life in the 19th century and Lincoln’s legal practice in the community. The site also includes the Moore Home, where Lincoln bid farewell to his family in 1861 before leaving to assume the Presidency, and the gravesites of Thomas and Sarah Lincoln at the Thomas Lincoln Cemetery.
Moore Home Restoration Project
The Rueben Moore home is the site of Abraham Lincoln's last visit to Coles County where he dined with his stepmother, extended family, and friends. The existing structure, just one mile north of Lincoln Log Cabin, is a Civilian Conservation Corps project and is in need of restoration. 2011 marked the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's visit and farewell and provides a timely occasion for us to be actively preserving those links to our national story. The Lincoln Log Cabin Foundation is working to raise the funds necessary to begin this important work. For more information on how to contribute, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lincoln's last visit to Coles County featured in the New York TImes.
Saturday, February 28 @ 2:00 p.m. - Stephen Parry presents The Hayloft Gang.
Narrated by Garrison Keillor, The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance tells the story of a changing America through the lens of one of the nation's most popular country music radio shows during the 1930s and ‘40s: The National Barn Dance. The one-hour documentary weaves rare performance footage, home movies, and candid photographs with firsthand accounts from fans and performers. Interviews with historians, folklorists, and media experts reveal historical and cultural perspectives of this unique period in America’s history. Uncle Ezra, a popular comedian featured on the show, was a keynote speaker at the dedication of Lincoln Log Cabin State Park in 1936. Stephen Parry, writer, director and producer will have the audience view the documentary in its entirety in the auditorium and answer questions after. This is an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar program.
Lincoln Log Cabin Foundation Annual Dinner!
Friday, March 6, 2015 @ 6:00 p.m. in the ballroom of Unique Suites Hotel in Charleston.
Join us as we commemorate the death of President Lincoln with the poetry of Walt Whitman performed in first-person by professional storyteller Brian “Fox” Ellis. Whitman’s most famous poems, “Oh Captain, My Captain” and “When Lilacs Last Bloomed” were written as eulogies for our martyred president. After Lincoln’s assassination Whitman gave regular lectures on Lincoln to rave reviews. Ellis recreates a program Whitman delivered on the Life of Lincoln woven with his Civil War poems and recollections of their misty morning encounter during the war. Please join us for an exciting evening of history, food, and fundraising. A silent auction will also be offered.
Tickets are $60 per person, a table of eight may be purchased for $420, payment by credit card is available via our Paypal account, which can be accessed from the “donate” button on the right. Click here for Reservations
Please e-mail: email@example.com with questions.
Saturday, March 7, 2015 @ 2:00 p.m. in the Visitor Center Auditorium
The Cabinetry of Thomas Lincoln
Join us an intimate look at Thomas Lincoln, the tools of his trade and examples of his master cabinetry work with Steve Haaff. Steve is a native of Spencer County, Indiana, and has had a lifelong passion for woodworking. He is particularly drawn to furniture in the federal style (1790-1820), which dates from the same time period as when Thomas Lincoln was working as a carpenter and cabinetmaker. Haaff’s first exposure to the work of Thomas Lincoln was while visiting an elderly cousin in the early 1980s who owned an original corner cabinet that Thomas built for the family. That encounter began a lifetime journey to find, document, and reproduce examples of Thomas's work resulting in a new understanding and appreciation of the man who raised our 16th president. Just who was Thomas Lincoln? Many early and later biographers of Abraham Lincoln have downplayed the significance of our 16th president’s father. In their efforts to make the rise of Abraham Lincoln from humble roots to the nation’s highest office more spectacular, he had to rise above the primitive, ragged, uneducated class of pioneers. It was into this lot that many historians cast Thomas Lincoln, often labeling him as "uneducated and lacking ambition." Steve Haaff’s presentation will address the myths and mischaracterizations about Thomas Lincoln by examining his autobiography found in existing examples of his work. It presents evidence about his vocation, training (apprenticeship program), and common practices in early 19th century cabinet making, furniture styles, influences on his work, income, clientele, his competition and eye witness accounts. Period tools of the carpenter and cabinetmaker’s trade will be displayed along with images of his work and faithfully reproduced copies.
This temporary exhibit celebrated the 75th anniversary of Lincoln Log Cabin and was on display in 2011 and 2012. Access the story
Click here for a GPS Tour of Lincoln sites in Charleston!
Please consider making a donation to help support the efforts of the Lincoln-Sargent Farm Foundation in maintaining vital education programming, producing special events, and meeting the needs of Lincoln Log Cabin to continue the preservation of our rural heritage. Click here to download a form for mailing or donate via PayPal: