Lincoln State Park is located in southern Indiana in what is now Spencer County approximately 35 miles east of Evansville. The park was established in 1932 and encompasses 1,747 acres. 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 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. To see photos of these sites, take our virtual tour.
Sarah Lincoln-Grigsby Gravesite
Within the park’s boundaries you will find the gravesite of Abraham Lincoln’s sister, Sarah Lincoln-Grigsby, located in a small cemetery next to the Little Pigeon Baptist Church. Thomas and Abraham Lincoln helped to construct the original church and the family occasionally attended services there. The current structure contains a cornerstone from the original church.
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.
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 witnesses slavery.
Col. William Jones Home
The park also includes the restored Col. William Jones Home near Gentryville. Col. Jones was a merchant, farmer, politician, and Union Colonel during the 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 east of Gentryville on Boone Street.
Within Lincoln State Park you will also find the Lincoln Amphitheatre. Lincoln Amphitheatre is home to an outdoor drama portraying how Lincoln’s boyhood on the Indiana frontier forged the character he came to be known for later in his life. Lincoln Amphitheatre also hosts a variety of concerts throughout the summer and fall. The amphitheatre is a state-of-the-art roofed outdoor theatre that was constructed in 1987. For more information, visit the Lincoln Amphitheatre website http://www.lincolnamphitheatre.com.