The Lincoln Trail Homestead State Memorial
is a 162 acre (0.65 km²) state parkIllinois Department of Natural Resources
. . located on the Sangamon River
in Macon County
near Harristown, Illinois
, United States.
Home of Lincoln family
The state memorial is believed to contain the site of the homestead
, from March 1830 until March 1831, of pioneer Thomas Lincoln
and about 12 members of his extended family
, including grown son Abraham Lincoln
The Lincolns moved to this location, west of Decatur, Illinois
, from Indiana in March 1830. Using local logs, they constructed a 18 x log cabin
on the site. It was here that Abraham split rails for his father's 10-acre (4-hectare) field, and also "hired out" to split rails for neighboring pioneer farmers, inspiring his later political nickname, the Rail Splitter
. Split-rail fences
were used by pioneer farmers to confine their stock, or to prevent free-range livestock from getting into and damaging a crop field.
The homestead was not successful. The Lincoln family's corn
crop produced a disappointing yield, partly because it was planted directly in the sod
of the tallgrass prairie
, and many of the members of the family then developed severe cases of malaria
associated with living in the Illinois wetlands. Following this came the winter of 1830-1831, known to pioneers as the Winter of the......