BW and I visited Lincoln Land in Spencer County recently. I became disenchanted. In February 1809 his family moved to Indiana. They paid a ferryman to take them across the Ohio River. I was amazed because there is a huge bridge right there. Why didn’t they just use it?
They used primitive trails in the woods and cut their way the last few miles to get to their homestead. They were not the tallest cornstalks in the field if you know what I mean. A railroad track passes within two blocks of their cabin. Why didn’t they just travel on the train? I would have and no one ever said I was a “Roads Scholar.” There is a building beside the track with running water and restrooms. And there is a paved road that passes on the other side of the place. We saw cars passing as we stood looking at the foundation of the Lincoln cabin. Why did they hack through the woods like Daniel Boone who came through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky? Why didn’t they use the road and save much labor and time? I wonder about their mental aptitude.
Does this new evidence suggest that the Lincoln’s lived an upscale life unknown to their neighbors and friends? The same evidence will prove that the Lincoln’s had a staff. My evidence is a home video showing young Abe, sister Sarah and mother Nancy Hanks down on the farm. Nancy and Sarah’s hair was coiffed under dainty dust caps. Abe’s hair was neatly combed and swept up in a “do” that might be stylish today. All three had sparkling teeth. They obviously had good dental care and brushed and flossed daily. All three had flawless complexions; no worry lines, zits or dirt. They had white necks providing credence that they lived their lives inside while others did the manual work and served them.
I noted their hands. All three had delicate citified hands with no calluses. Their fingernails were evenly manicured. Abe looked almost delicate. I grew up on a farm and boys and their dads looked much tougher and more muscular than Abe. Their clothing was clean, pressed and fit them quite well. There was no glaring fashion faux pas, no miss-matching tops and bottoms. There were no rips in their garments. Their shoes showed no signs of plowing, walking in the woods or running from aborigines. They were smiling and content; no indication of weariness, want or worry in their faces.
They were said to live impoverished lives. Not in the video. Employee records show they journeyed five miles east and worked at Holiday World. As employees they were given discounts and free soft drinks all day long. They also went to Dale and visited Florence Henderson.
Two scruffy men with a tractor were working on the place which suggests the family played hopscotch, button, button who’s got the button and video games while those men worked. I was a bit disillusioned by my visit. Abe the rail splitter must have been a good campaign slogan but hardly described him as he sat in the shade using an emory board on his nails. Tsk, tsk.
Larry Vandeventer – I am a Calvertville native. Reach me at 317-839-7656 or at Goosecrick@aol.com. Read about me, my books, and my columns on my two websites – Larryvandeventer.com and Rambler1956.com. I am a graduate of Worthington High School and Indiana State University.