The Indianapolis News, Friday, June 26, 1936

Typed as it appeared in the newspaper.

Cabin Where Lincoln Memorized Shakespeare Among 4 Buildings Added to Pioneer Village

ROCKPORT, Ind., June 26, Spl.
Four new buildings constructed by WPA workers in the Lincoln Pioneer Village will be dedicated here July 4 as the climax to the Lincoln country summer festival June 28 to July 4.

A fireplace like the one before which Lincoln as a boy sat reading on long winter nights has been placed in a new cabin, a reproduction of the last home of the Lincolns in Spencer County.

Tradition has it that Lincoln was so impressed with Hamlet's soliloquy, Portia's famous "quality of mercy" speech and others that he memorized them with the skill of an experienced actor. James K. Hackett, famous Shakespearean actor, visiting Lincoln in the White House, is said to have told the President that Lincoln read Shakespeare with more expression that he who had made it his life work.

As a permanent Lincoln shrine, a village is gradually being built up in a park here, containing authentic reproductions of some of the buildings extant in Spencer county at the time the Lincoln family lived there. First opened to the public last July4 with eleven buildings constructed by FERA workers, the village is being expanded. During the last year four buildings and a lake have been added.

Believed Accurate in Design.

As the result of extensive research by the Spencer County Historical Society and George Honig, sculptor and designer of the village, the buildings are believed to be fairly accurate reproductions of those of Lincoln's day.

The last Indiana home of the Lincolns, for example, has a bed fastened to the logs on the side walls, an unusual feature of some of the earlier pioneer homes.

The old Pigeon Creek Baptist church, which Thomas Lincoln and his son Abraham assisted in building in Spencer county, has been reproduced, even to the high pulpit and puncheon seats. On the day the village is dedicated, services will be held in the church every half hour.

A barter and market house, where pioneers exchanged wares, has been built and equipped with skins, tobacco and other merchandise popular in Lincoln's day. Old newspapers in the county, dating back as far as 1823, mention these trading marts.

The last of the new buildings is the home of Daniel Grass, founder of Rockport. It is a two-story structure containing five rooms. Much of the furniture in the original Grass home, which has been preserved by descendants of the family, will be place in the house.

A three-acre lake, built outside the stockade surrounding the Lincoln Pioneer Village, will provide recreational facilities, as well as beautify the park in which the village is situated. To give it a pioneer-day atmosphere, a corn-cracker mill has been constructed alongside the lake. There is also an island in the center. Plans are to have pageants here, depicting Lincoln's flatboating trips and other similar incidents of his life.

At the dedicatory program, members of the Spencer County Hospital Society will don costumes of pioneer days and occupy the buildings. Stores will be kept, school will be in session, spinning wheels will fly and butter churned in cedar churns. The entire village will hum with activity. Extensive plans have been made for the program, which will open Sunday and continue for a week, with the final celebration and dedication July 4.

Wayne Coy, state WPA director, will make the dedicatory address the afternoon of July 4. Others appearing on the program are Senator Sherman Minton; Thomas Finley, Madisonville, Ky., who will bring greetings from his state; Dr. Chris-Ross F. Lockridge, director of the Indiana historical bureau; Professor Ross F. Lockridge, director of the WPA workers project; Harvey Chinn, mayor of Rockport; Lieutenant-Governor M. Clifford Townsend, Democratic nominee for Governor; and Raymond S Springer, Republican nominee for Governor. A. P. Eberling, Evansville, president of the Southwestern Indiana Civic Association, will be master of ceremonies.

Preceding the afternoon program, a parade will march through Rockport streets and before the audience assembled in the grand stand in the park depicting the march of progress form Lincoln's time to the present.

The week's program preceding the dedication will open with services Sunday in Pigeon Creek Baptist church, and will include home-coming celebrations, tours of historic shrines in the county, Kiwanis Club day, dedication of the granite marker given by Louis F. Weiss, former mayor of Rockport, and presentation of the play, "Lincoln's First Sorrow," depicting the death of Nancy Hanks Lincoln.