The Evansville Press, April 28, 1935

Article was typed as it was worded in the newspaper.

Industrial School Planned for Lincoln Village

Souvenirs Will Be Manufactured for Sale to Visitors in Park at Rockport; Dedication Will Be Held Fourth of July

Special Correspondence

Rockport, Ind.-- Rockport's Lincoln Pioneer Village will be completed within a few days and ready for its dedication on July 4.

Village Under Construction

Above is a scene at Rockport's Lincoln Village as FERA workers put the finishing touches on the blockhouse and a large log cabin.

The village, located in a corner of the big city park and surrounded by a high stockade, is the realization of a dream of George Honig, sculptor and Lincoln lore authority.

George Honig                     Bess Ehrman

George Honig, Rockport sculptor, who designed the village, is pictured at left. On the right is Mrs. Bess V. Ehrman, president of the Spencer County Historical Society which is sponsoring the project.

Sponsored by the Spencer County Historical Society, with Mrs. Bess Ehrman, president, and built as a relief project, the village duplicates log cabins, stores, public buildings, churches and schools that stood in Spencer County between 1816 and 1830, the years that Abraham Lincoln lived there.

When finally completed, it will consist of some 22 buildings--all constructed of logs.

Plans are being made by Honig to organize an industrial school in the park adjoining the village. Here souvenirs will be manufactured for sale in the village and students will receive practical instruction in various crafts.

Nancy Hanks Doll

The Nancy Hanks Doll, designed several years ago by Honig to represent pioneer womanhood, probably will be made in the proposed industrial school.

The doll, dressed in the drab clothes, has finely chiseled features to represent a stern character. It was awarded a prize in a national doll show several years ago.

Honig also has outlined plans for miniature hand-cut clapboard shingles with a pen and ink sketch showing the famous rail-splitter, Lincoln, making them.

This same type of hand-split shingles was used to roof all the buildings in the village. Weaving of small coverlets and linsey-woolsey cloth will also be revived.

Work was started on the village four months ago.

Hauled 3000 Logs

"For a time the workers had a hard job getting used to swinging axes like their forefathers did in pioneer days," Honig said, "but by the time we got the first cabin up they were really acquainted with their tools."

Some of the men began as loggers, hauling more than 3000 logs donated for the village, from surrounding Spencer County farms to the park.

Others started digging a long trench around the village for planting the stockade poles. Six men had the task of splitting huge logs up into shingles.

One completed two-story log cabin taken from the old Gentry farm was donated by Henry Hock. It was moved to the village and its tottering walls strengthened and repaired.

Interesting Buildings

Some of the points of interest about the village include:

Judge John Pitcher's law office where Lincoln trudged 17 miles to borrow a law book.

The home of Daniel Grass, a meeting place for early settlers.

The old Pigeon Baptist Church where Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lincoln and young Abe worshiped. The father and son helped build it in 1823.

The home of James Gentry Sr., neighbors of the Lincolns during their residence in Spencer County.

Daniel Grass's Store, the first one in Rockport.

Spencer County's first courthouse.

A house for exhibits of pioneer industries.

Tom Lincoln's cabin.

Replica of Blockhouse

A blockhouse similar to those that once stood in Spencer County at Enterprise, Grandview, Newtonville and the mouth of Anderson Creek. It was at this creek that Lincoln worked as a ferryman.

The Gentry Store, William Jones' Store, and William Bayse Store, and a lean-to cabin and the Grigsby Cooper Shop.

Not only have the cabins been built much in the same manner that early settlers constructed theirs, but materials have been confined to those available to the pioneers.

For instance, there are no hinges on the heavy stockade gate. It is swung on a pivot pole, with wood bearings.

Wooden peg hinges have been painstakingly carved out for the cabin doors. Wooden pegs are used instead of nails.

Chimneys are stone only part way up, then constructed of small branches, mud plastered.

Now, with the dedication date nearing, many Spencer County residents are searching attics and barn lofts for pioneer furniture with which to furnish the village.