The site of Abraham Lincoln's first home, the Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park and Memorial near Decatur, Ill., has never taken its place with those that came later, including Lincoln's New Salem near Petersburg, Ill., nor the Lincoln Home in Springfield, Ill.
"The Lincoln Log Cabin site has a reconstructed barn and house and a huge visitor's center, and he didn't even live there," said Dr. Judy Parrish, Millikin University professor of biology and president of Macon County's Community Environmental Council. "A lot of people don't realize that."
Members of the Community Environmental Council and other groups have formed a Lincoln Heritage Action Group. The group is working on improving the Lincoln Trail Homestead State Park.
Many people do not realize that when Lincoln first came to Illinois from Indiana with his family in 1830, they settled along the Sangamon River about eight miles west of Decatur and stayed until spring of the following year.
The group has applied to the National Park Service for funding and is looking for other grant possibilities. Members are also exploring the idea of bringing events to the park and re-establishing river access.
Organizations represented on the Lincoln Heritage Action Group include Caterpillar Inc., the city of Decatur, Decatur Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Macon County Conservation District, Macon County History Museum and Millikin University.
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