Local folklore has it that overgrown N.C. hilltop is the real birthplace of Lincoln





BOSTIC, N.C. -- Note to aspiring saints and office-holders: You'll know you've achieved "legendary" status when whispered tales are attached to your life story with question marks. The higher you rise, the more there are.

Consider Abraham Lincoln. There are tales about him in Washington, where the 16th president saved the Union and was assassinated. Likewise in Springfield, Ill., the closest to a normal "home" the self-made Lincoln had.

Likewise in this Rutherford County crossroads where some say he was born atop Lincoln Hill, just east of larger and more rugged Cherry Mountain.

The world at large believes he was born Feb. 12, 1809, in a cabin near Hodgenville, Ky. At least once, Lincoln himself put this in writing. It's where the National Park Service oversees the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.

The Bostic Lincoln Center holds otherwise. According to its research, what remains of his birthplace is about an hour west of Charlotte, a ruined foundation in a thicket of trees above a creek. It's on private land to which the center has access. Call in advance, and Keith Price or another member will walk you up there on a short run of trails that vanishes in a maze of chestnut oak and pine saplings.



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