Visit the virtual trail at www.kylincolntrail.com
A new Web site taking visitors on a virtual tour of historic sites along the new Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail was launched in advance of national and statewide Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial commemorations in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Like the real locations along the trail itself, the Web site at www.kylincolntrail.com maps the Kentucky people, places and events that shaped the Lincoln legacy and tells the story of his early years in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail is a project of the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office in partnership with the Kentucky Historical Society, Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, Kentucky Department of Tourism and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The first marker along the trail was unveiled by Gov. Steve Beshear and other guests during a Feb. 19, 2008 special ceremony on Lincoln Square in downtown Hodgenville.
The Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail is a scenic route across central Kentucky to be designated by 27 markers and including signature historic sites in Hodgenville, Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Elizabethtown, Nicholasville, Springfield and Richmond, as well as additional sites across the state that illuminate Lincoln’s life. Highlighting each of these, the Web site also features other historic Kentucky places located nearby, to extend visitor interest beyond the trail itself. This new trail reinterprets and updates the original Lincoln Heritage Trail created in the early 1960s through Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois.
The inaugural marker unveiled by Gov. Beshear depicts the founding of Hodgen’s Mill, the community that came to be known as Hodgenville, and the connection between this early settlement and the Lincoln family. Remaining markers will be placed throughout the spring, including directional and highway signage.
"These historic sites are important nationally, and visitors from around the globe are drawn to Kentucky because of a persistent fascination with President Lincoln. Because his formative years were spent in Kentucky, that had a strong influence on the man he ultimately became," said Lindy Casebier, executive director of the Commerce Cabinet Office of Arts and Cultural Heritage and vice chair of the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial Inaugural Committee. "Through projects like the new Kentucky Lincoln Heritage Trail, the Kentucky Heritage Council works to preserve and celebrate our historic sites and make our past accessible."
In addition to the Web site, the trail is featured in a colorful new folding map designed to guide automobile travelers along the route. Research and development of the trail, signs and collateral materials were developed through federal Transportation Enhancement funding with support from each of the partner agencies.
"We're very proud that together, these agencies have exponentially increased the value of this investment for Kentucky taxpayers and that this funding has served as a catalyst for additional public and private support," said Donna M. Neary, Heritage Council executive director and state historic preservation officer. "Also, we all recognize the Internet as a key marketing tool for the 21st century and this Web site creatively showcases Lincoln sites and this new interpretation of the trail."
The Web site was designed by New!West Public Relations, Advertising and Marketing of Louisville. A key feature is an interactive map of Kentucky with icons and pop-ups offering more information about each of the heritage trail sites including driving directions, Web links and phone numbers. The Web site includes a numbered listing of the markers and text on each, as well as information and links about the local community and nearby points of interest.
For more information about Lincoln Bicentennial events in Kentucky, visit www.kylincoln.org.
An agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office is responsible for the identification, protection and preservation of historic and cultural resources throughout the Commonwealth, in partnership with other state and federal agencies, local communities and interested citizens. This mission is integral to making communities more livable and has a far-ranging impact on issues as diverse as economic development, jobs creation, affordable housing, tourism, community revitalization, environmental conservation and quality of life. www.heritage.ky.gov