During a cloudy day, we took a quick trip to visit the Lincoln Trail Homestead historical site, about 10 miles from Decatur, Illinois. It is believed to be Lincoln’s first home site in Illinois, from March 1830 until March 1831, of pioneer Thomas Lincoln and about 12 members of his extended family, including grown son Abraham Lincoln. The site is just a hundred steps away from Sangamon River.
Abraham Lincoln himself described his life at the Lincoln Trail Homestead Memorial in this 1860 account, which he wrote for John L. Scripps of the Chicago Press and Tribune to be used as a campaign biography:
March 1, 1830, Abraham having just completed his twenty-first year, his father and family, with the families of the two daughters and sons-in-law of his stepmother, left the old homestead in Indiana and came to Illinois. Their mode of conveyance was wagons drawn by ox-teams, and Abraham drove one of the teams. They reached the county of Macon, and stopped there some time within the same month of March. His father and family settled a new place on the north side of the Sangamon River, at the junction of the timberland and prairie, about ten miles (16 km) westerly from Decatur. Here they built a log cabin, into which they removed, and made sufficient of rails to fence ten acres of ground, fenced and broke the ground, and raised a crop of sown corn upon it the same year. These are, or are supposed to be, the rails about which so much is being said just now, though these are far from being the first or only rails ever made by Abraham.