This is Part 1 in a 2 part series on Springfield, Kentucky.
In the heart of Kentucky lies the quaint town of Springfield, known for its charming downtown and unique history. Established in 1793, the town in which Abraham Lincoln’s parents were wed and famed quarterback Phil Simms was born is steeped in more than two centuries of history.
Legacy of Lincoln:
Abraham Lincoln is portrayed very prominently in Springfield. His parents, Nancy Hanks and Thomas Lincoln, were married at the local courthouse, where the original marriage certificate is on file. A copy of the document can be viewed at the Lincoln Legacy Museum which is housed inside the courthouse.
Visitors can also view “The Head of Lincoln” which depicts a young Lincoln along with the words to the Gettysburg Address. Also housed in the museum is an original 1864 oil canvas portrait of a young Lincoln, painted by William Cogswell. Civil War buffs should add the museum to their list of places to visit, as artifacts, diaries, and other personal effects of Civil War soldiers are on display. In front of the Washington County Judicial Center stands a sculpture by Paula B. Slater called “In Sacred Union.” This 10-foot-tall work of art was crafted for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Celebration.
Phil Simms Exhibit:
If you grew up a New York Giants fan like I did, you won’t want to miss the Super Bowl XXI MVP Phil Simms Exhibit, located in the Opera House on West Main Street. Giants fans can view the exhibit about the Springfield native for free Monday through Friday from 9am until 4:30pm. The exhibit honors the life and career of Simms as a professional football player and CBS sports commentator.
Though he retired in 1996, Simms played for the NFL for 15 years, leading the New York Giants to a Super Bowl victory in January 1987. Among his many records, Simms still holds the record as the Giants’ All-Time Passing Yards Leader. Today, Simms is a commentator and sportscaster for the NFL.
Kentucky Fiber Trail:
The Kentucky Fiber Trail takes visitors on a journey from “fleece to fashion,” allowing them to see where farmers raise alpaca, sheep, and goats. From there, the trail leads to the US Natural Fibers, the only manufacturing plant for alternative fibers in the country.
Visitors can also drop by the Royalty Fiber Farm showroom and store where finished products are on display and available for purchase. Alpaca farms in the area, like Serano Alpacas & Yarns, offer guided farm and history tours, as well as free weekly knitting or crocheting classes. These stores offers Made-in-USA handcrafted alpaca yarns, apparel, and collectibles.
At Campbell’s West Wind Farm, Norma Jean Campbell teaches classes on wool sculpting, spinning, weaving, and natural dyeing – all tools of the trade passed down through the generations. Her “drafts”, or patterns in today’s terms, were once owned and used by Nancy Hanks Lincoln, mother of our 16th President. A 1784 two-room brick house is located on the property, built by Revolutionary War General Matthew Walton, founder of Springfield.
There’s so much to see in Springfield, so stay tuned for part 2 of this story. For more information, visit http://www.springfieldky.org/.