National Geographic : 1952 Feb
147 Royal P1'oto Co. Theodore Roosevelt (Hat Lifted, Left) Visited Lincoln's Kentucky Birth Site in 1909 A century after Abe entered the world, President Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial Build ing, which now shelters the cabin (pages 150, 151, 152). His wife and daughter Ethel accompanied him. The type of conveyance used, the kind and number of livestock herded along by the pioneer family, and the route taken by the party are subjects of dispute among historians. However, the Lincoln Memorial Highway Commission of Kentucky, reporting to the Governor of Kentucky in 1935 after an ex haustive study of documentary and other evi dence, officially designated the route of the proposed memorial highway through Ken tucky. Though this recommended route never has been marked with roadside signs, I was able to follow it by using the commission's report as a guidebook. North we went out of Elizabethtown, leav ing a comet's tail of white dust as our tires churned the gravel surface of Kentucky route 251. Soon the gravel changed to earth. Farms stopped and scrub woods began. The road took on a deserted air. Suddenly we passed a couple of armed sentries in full battle dress. To our left in a clearing we saw a large group of tanks. A sign nailed to a tree proclaimed "Bivouac Area 14." We had entered the huge Fort Knox Military Reservation. Nobody stopped us, so we kept going, look ing for Mill Creek Cemetery where Abe's grandmother lies buried. We pulled aside and ate dust as a truck convoy roared by. The terrain on all sides was chewed by tanks, and now we saw the metal monsters everywhere. Ahead, an unmanned half-track was stopped on the road. "Its driver is probably in the ditch, pinned down by 'enemy' fire," said Jean, looking around apprehensively. "I don't like this. Let's get out of here." "Tank Trap" Forces Detour A deep ford finally turned us back. For all I knew, it could have been a tank trap. Later, from near Radcliff on U. S. 31 W, we entered the reservation again and found Mill Creek Cemetery, an island of sleep in the midst of modern war games. East of here was the farm of William Brum field, who married Nancy, Tom Lincoln's sister. With them in her final years dwelt Bathsheba Lincoln, mother of Tom and Nancy, widow of Capt. Abraham Lincoln, and grandmother of young Abraham.