Search For:

Share This

No Title 1993

Larger than Life Lincolns

B&Bs Built for Romance

Larger than Life Lincolns

How do you take bigger than life and make bigger than life?

That was the challenge and assignment for two sculptors whose legendary subject, Abraham Lincoln, was to be cast in bronze in legacy projects both would call magnificent obsessions.

For Louisville artist Ed Hamilton, it was like letting the genie out of the bottle.

“As a child, I would look up in wonderment of this tall man with big hands and arms folded in front of him standing on a rock and I would rub his feet,” he says, referring to the Lincoln statue gracing the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. “Maybe there was magic and fate in those rubs, as I would one day create my Lincoln for all the ages.”

California sculptor Paula Slater felt the weight of the challenge, knowing that her larger-than-life, full-figure bronze portrait would be a landmark sculpture towering 16 feet above its granite base in front of Springfield’s new Washington County Judicial Center.

“The history of Lincoln’s search for evidence of his parents’ marriage, and the discovery of their marriage records in Washington County 13 years after his death, was so compelling along with Brad Bourgoyne’s site-plan design, ‘In Sacred Union,’ which tells this little-known story, was so elegant that it fueled my creativity,” she says.

As part of the Kentucky Lincoln Bicentennial celebration that began in February 2008 and runs through 2010, several legacy sculptures were planned. Hodgenville’s sculpture, “The Boy Lincoln,” was dedicated in May 2008. Hamilton’s piece, “Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Park,” will be the focal point of Louisville’s Waterfront Park, which will be a portal to Kentucky’s Lincoln sites, including the Lincoln Heritage Trail that was unveiled a year ago. Statue dedication is scheduled for June 4. Slater’s sculpture in Springfield is tentatively set to be dedicated in mid-April.

Springfield’s Lincoln
For her sculptural interpretation, Slater created a portrait of Lincoln as he looked two years before he became president when he visited Kentucky.

“Lincoln had not yet grown his trademark beard and the extreme hardship of the Civil War had not yet taken its toll on his face,” she says. “I sculpted him as a proud and thoughtful man as he searched in vain for his parents’ marriage bond.

“I think this portrait will help to share with the world the meaningful part that Springfield played in Lincoln’s parents’ lives and ultimately in his own life. Lincoln gazes from the new Judicial Center toward the Old County Courthouse where his parents’ marriage bond is still housed.

“His search has finally ended.”

Louisville’s Lincoln
The park-like setting on Louisville’s Waterfront Park figured into the way Hamilton approached his design—that, and Lincoln’s humble beginnings that helped mold him into what the artist calls a man of the people and for all the ages to come.

“I wanted to create him as though he had walked to the site, saw the rock, sat down, and started reading. Lincoln was a people person. He loved to talk and he loved to read. It was exciting to have him in a pose as if someone had walked up to him and he put his hand out and said, ‘Come sit; let’s talk.’”


Hodgenville’s Newest Lincoln
Dedicated in May 2008, Hodgenville’s new bronze sculpture depicts young Abraham Lincoln with his dog, Honey, his fishing pole, and Webster’s Elementary Reader. The work also includes two in-ground granite slabs that depict the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Lincoln lived in our area from birth until he was nearly 8 years old, and there are no other pieces depicting this age,” says Iris LaRue, director of The Lincoln Museum. “We wanted a sculpture that would invite children and adults to approach and closely examine it, to feel friendly and to invite photographs.”

Springfield’s Lincoln Reveal
Highly detailed, “In Sacred Union” shows the veins on the back of Lincoln’s hands and historically accurate clothing. On the base beneath his boots, Slater sculpted Kentucky’s state flower, the goldenrod.

The tentative date for the sculpture unveiling is in mid-April at the new Washington County Judicial Center in downtown Springfield at the corner of East Main Street and South Cross Main Street. The new site is directly across from the historic 1816 Courthouse, which will be converted into the Abraham Lincoln Ancestral Museum. Visit for updated information or call Kathy Elliott at (859) 336-5440. To learn more about sculptor Paula Slater and to see images, visit

Louisville’s Lincoln Reveal
In Louisville, plans to dedicate Ed Hamilton’s monument, “Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Park,” are set for June 4. Click along with the progress of Hamilton’s sculpture by visiting

To make the rock that Lincoln sits on, Hamilton called in Forest Boone of Museum Rock Products, the expert who created the base for his York sculpture, installed in 2003 on the Belvedere plaza overlooking the Ohio River. Then he played with scale.

“It had to be bigger than life,” he says, explaining the 12-foot version. “He had to have presence.”

Kathy Witt is a regular contributor to the Traveling Kentucky column.

Back to Top

B&Bs Built for Romance

February is the acknowledged month for acting on romantic whims, pitching woo, and exchanging meaningful ogles. Fulfill those fancies at an agritourism Kentucky bed and breakfast, where romance is always in the air.

Vineyard romance
The six guest rooms at the stately circa 1857 Springhill Winery and Plantation Bed & Breakfast near Bardstown are named, and deliciously so, for a type of wine: Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet, Rosé, Beaujolais, and Pinot Noir. And like a fine wine, each has its own character, from Victorian ambience to Renaissance flair to antebellum graciousness.

Breakfast is Southern-style comfort served on china that can be served to you in bed on request. Couples may tour the wine cellar, sample Springhill’s award-winning wines with the wine master, and have a special label affixed to their bottle. With advance arrangements, innkeeper Eddie O’Daniel will have fruit and cheese tray, wine, and flowers waiting.

Romance country-style
Return to the simpler life at The Stables at Willow Oak Farm Barn, Bed & Breakfast, a 220-acre farm in Maysville, and let nature take its course.

The two originally designed bedchambers have beautifully appointed furnishings, premium mattresses, luxuriant high-thread-count sheets, and goose down comforters—the best kind for serious snuggling. The claw-foot tub in each guest room suggests a lazy afternoon wiled away in a scented bubble bath.

Outside, trails crisscross the farm and are perfect for a quiet stroll. In the common area, a warm fire crackles in the huge stone fireplace and beckons couples closer. The smells of fresh baked goods fill the air. Innkeeper Leesa Stewart presents homemade desserts each evening. In the morning, biscuits, sausages, bacon, gravy, and fried apples typically appear on the morning menu.

Suite romance
Luxurious guest rooms await at The Hermitage Bed and Breakfast in aptly named Pleasureville. Set in postcard-perfect scenery in the midst of classic Kentucky horse country, the inn has five bedrooms.

Innkeeper Leslee Botorff and staff are “willing to try to make everyone’s dreams come true.” This has included creating romantic candlelight settings in the woods and on the deck, packing lakeside picnics, and illuminating hot tub and pool at dusk.

Enjoy hiking, biking, or horseback riding on 120 acres of wooded trails. Wake up to the nose-tingling aroma of locally roasted coffee and homemade breads.

Heated romance
Check into the 1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor in Springfield and into an inn that celebrates Valentine’s Day—and sumptuously so—the entire month of February. Well-known for its grand historic elegance, this bed and breakfast, situated at the top of a long drive that curves around its alpaca farm, has spacious antique-appointed rooms heated up with fireplaces and Jacuzzis for two.

A number of dreamy packages enhance the inn’s already romantic atmosphere and, as innkeeper Todd Allen says, “fulfill the desire for rekindled passion.” The inn’s Wine, Dine & Whirlpool for Two Package offers an exclusive limo tour of two or three area wineries or bourbon distilleries for a private tasting.


1851 Historic Maple Hill Manor
2941 Perryville Rd.
Springfield, KY 40069
(859) 336-3075
Room rates from $119 a night. Visit the inn’s Web site for details and prices of special Romance Packages, including the Ultimate Honeymoon or Anniversary Escape, as well as other themed packages, including a Girlfriends Getaway and a Kentucky Experience.

Springhill Winery and Plantation Bed & Breakfast
3205 Springfield Road
Bloomfield, KY 40008
(502) 252-9463
Room rates from $115 a night. Special packages are available, including an Anniversary Special and Group Ghost Tours. Summertime visitors can enjoy dinner theater that includes the drama Restless Spirits (based on events at Springhill), dinner, wine, and dessert.

The Hermitage Bed and Breakfast
1267 Bunk Road
Pleasureville, KY 40057
(502) 461-9664
Room rate: $125 a night. The Honeymoon Suite Package, which includes red roses, chocolates, and the innkeeper’s “little extras,” is $130.

The Stables at Willow Oak Farm
4075 Bridle Path Lane
Maysville, KY 41056
(606) 759-8038
Room rates from $89 a night. A Romance Package for $295 per couple includes early check-in, a private in-room couple’s massage by a licensed massage therapist, flowers and chocolates, plus bottle of wine, cheese, and fruit tray delivered to your room.

For more information about these and other agritourism B&Bs, go to the Kentucky Agritourism Web site at, select the Lodging category under the “Find an Attraction” box, and click “Find It.”

Kathy Witt is a regular contributor to the Traveling Kentucky column.

Back to Top

Don't Leave! Sign up for Kentucky Living updates ...

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.