‘Original’ birthplace of Abraham Lincoln holds holiday open house

Dec. 02, 2012 @ 08:56 AM

Holiday celebrations took place yesterday at a museum dedicated to preserving the local lore that America’s 16th president was born right here in Rutherford County. Visitors to the Bostic Lincoln Center’s Holiday Open House were invited to enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, peruse the museum’s historic artifacts and judge for themselves if a possible local suitor failed to make an honest woman out of Honest Abe’s mother.

An extensive library, documents and photos and other exhibits housed at the museum make the intriguing case that the future president was birthed in a cabin perched on nearby Puzzle Creek, not in Kentucky.

As for paternity, the honor could belong to Mr. Abraham

Enloe, a prominent local landowner and supposed benefactor of Lincoln’s mother Nancy Hanks.

Indeed, a picture of Enloe owned by the museum shows an uncanny resemblance to the adult President Lincoln.

There’s been a national resurgence of interest in the admired president in recent years, including Hollywood fare such as the critically acclaimed Lincoln and, less notable, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

But for museum visitor Sharon Logan Kelly, Lincoln was always a regular topic of conversation in her childhood home - particularly the mysterious circumstances surrounding his birthplace. Her father, Blaine Logan, owned Logan’s Hardware in Forest City and was a founding member and past treasurer of the Bostic Lincoln Center.

“Dad loved this place,” she recalled. “He was very convinced Lincoln was from the Bostic area, and a proponent of the idea that Lincoln’s DNA should be tested for paternity.”

The museum is currently involved in petitioning such a request, with the hope that DNA from sheets wrapped around Lincoln after he was shot, and from Mrs. Lincoln’s blood-spattered dress, will finally prove what many have long believed: the Great Emancipator was a Tarheel.

Asked if she shared her father’s convictions, Kelly said, “I think there’s something to it.”

Bostic Lincoln Center’s Secretary and volunteer docent Guynell Green also heard the same stories as a child, from her principal Tom Melton at Bostic Elementary.

“I remember Mr. Melton firmly taught that Lincoln was born in Rutherford County,” Green said.

A collection of toy soldier figurines donated by Walter Walukewicz was also on display at the museum, including scenes depicting Confederate Band soldiers, General Robert E. Lee and his Protectors and other figurines representing the Civil War so closely associated with Lincoln.

The collection will be a permanent exhibit at the Bostic Lincoln Center. Additional figurines from the Revolutionary War include North Carolina’s famed Overmountain Men, and from the French and Indian War, the Green Mountain Boys.

The open house was one of several holiday events scheduled yesterday in Bostic. Others included “A Hillbilly Christmas Carol” presented by the Rutherford Community Theatre, music by the First Baptist Church Choir, and an early visit by Santa.

The Bostic Lincoln Center is open three days a week - Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Admission is free, although donations are accepted. Special group tours are available by appointment.

For more information, visit the museum’s website at www.bosticlincolncenter.com.