Forkland Abraham Lincoln Museum
Forkland is located on the southwestern section of Boyle County, Kentucky
and the northern part of Casey County. This part of Kentucky was once
known as the Hunters' Trace and Forkland lies in the extreme northern area
of land claimed by the Cherokee Indian Nation. The first white men
started moving into this area about 1780. Fork Gray, built about 1793
near the Boyle and Marion County line along the North Rolling Fork River,
was probably the first permanent structure built in the community. It
is believed to be the first house built between Harrodsburg and Bardstown.
Today, many houses partly constructed of hand-hewn logs stille stand, but
have been covered over and hidden.
As more people moved into the Forkland area, they established churches,
schools, post offices and stores. One-room schools began cropping up
all over the area and remained until 1928 when the Forkland School was
built. Because it was impossible to travel across the knobs in winter
months Forkland School was built by the families of the community. The
people of the community donated about $4,000 in funds to start the school
voluntarily taxed themselves in order to get the money necessary to finish
construction. Local people helped with the building of the structure.
In 1938 a WPA project helped in the construction of a gymnasium for the
school. Even before the gym was built the boys attending the Forkland
School were playing conference basketball and doing well. Games were
The Forkland Community Center in rural Southwest Boyle County, Kentucky,
was formed in 1971 after the Forkland School was closed. The people of the
Forkland community pooled their money to buy the school buildings and
incorporated the Community Center. Its dual purpose is to preserve and
promote the rural heritage of this unique and scenic knobs area and to
provide a facility for a variety of community uses. Several events are
held here each year, as well as art classes and other educational events.
There is still a school library in the building containing some of the books
that were in the school when it was in operation.
The Forkland Abraham Lincoln Museum was opened on March 1, 2008 after receiving a grant from the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln
Bicentennial Commission and the Kentucky Historical Society. Lucey
Shipley Hanks, mother to Nancy Hanks Lincoln and grandmother to Abraham
Lincoln, moved to
Kentucky after the death of her husband James Hanks.
She had been living with a sister Rachel Shipley Berry and her husband
Richard in the Forkland area of Mercer County (now Boyle) but in 1790 she
married Henry Sparrow, Sr. in Mercer County, Kentucky. Lucey's
daughter Nancy apparently moved to Washington County, Kentucky with her aunt
and uncle and their children. There she met and married Thomas
Lincoln. Nancy and Thomas were the parents of President Abraham
Lincoln. Lucey and Henry Sparrow lived on Scrubgrass Road in the
Forkland area of Boyle County for over 34 years and had eight children whose
descendants are scattered throughout Boyle, Mercer, Anderson, Washington and
other counties of central Kentucky. They are buried on Scrubgrass Road
but the graves have been destroyed and the exact location is lost. Because so little seems to be
known about the maternal side of President Lincoln's family, the Abraham
Lincoln Museum at Forkland was built. In the museum you will find
photographs of family members, Lincoln artifacts, and authentic newspapers
about the death of Abraham Lincoln. Other artifacts in the museum show
the life that people like Lucey and Henry Sparrow lived on the "Fork".
We welcome you to come and experience what life was like in the 1800s-early
1900s in the Forkland area. You may also do genealogy research in the
history room or purchase items in the gift shop. We welcome any
information about the families connected to this beautiful area of Kentucky.
There is a much more extensive history of the Forkland Community, its
people and heritage in the book Forkland Heritage: Its People Past and
Present 1793-1996, Vol. I and II. A copy may be purchased from
the merchandise section on this site.