Santa Claus, Indiana is one of the most popular tourist attractions in this area of Indiana, but if you live here, you might also be interested in some quieter destination points for new family adventures. Here are three destination points that are incredibly rich with history. These will places will capture the interest of the whole family as they get to peek back in time almost two centuries.
Lincoln Boyhood National Museum
The Lincoln Boyhood National Museum preserves the farm and homestead where Abraham Lincoln grew up. He lived at this site from 1816 until 1830. He left the property at 21-years-old. Lincoln’s mother is even buried at Pioneer Cemetery not far from Lincoln’s childhood home.
At this park, you will also find the Lincoln Living Historical Farm and a museum with artifacts related to Lincoln’s life. You can see the site of the original cabin in which Lincoln lived and not far from the original site, you can visit a replica farmhouse with park rangers dressed in period clothing. This living history site is so realistic that the park employees actually raise real livestock, cultivate real crops and uses period farming equipment in the process.
St. Meinrad Archabbey
This historic, picturesque 259-acre campus is open to the public and even offers overnight accommodations with modern technological amenities. Still, the campus is rich with historic architecture, sculptures, furnishings and artwork. Most of the buildings are ADA accessible for people with disabilities. It features a gift shop and dining facilities. The Abbey Café offers handcrafted soups, pies, and sandwiches.
This destination points allows visitors a unique glimpse into monastic Catholicism during the mid-1800’s. The monastic cemetery is a historic masterpiece of its own. Though ancient iron crosses that once marked the graves were replaced last century with small compact stone crosses, you will be able find historic outdoor sculptures. Plus, an antique crucifix looms over the grounds which are surrounded by ancient, towering evergreens. If you visit this campus, be sure to take a tour of the historic outdoor sculptures.
Colonel William Jones House
Not far away in Gentryville, you will find the Colonel William Jones House. Lincoln slept here in 1844 on the night he gave a campaign speech for the Whig Party presidential candidate Henry Clay. William Jones is the man credited for steering Lincoln towards the Whig Party in the first place. Lincoln once worked odd jobs for Jones.
Though William Jones was in his sixties when the Civil War broke out, he joined the Union Army. He was killed at the battle of Atlanta in 1864, three years after reconnecting with Lincoln and joining the Union Army. His house is the perfect example of Federal architecture with the exception of a second floor observatory. The historic site is free to the public.