For those wanting to own a piece of Abraham Lincoln-related paraphernalia, now is your chance: a 30-acre plot of Illinois farmland once owned by the 16th president is set for auction Tuesday.
The auction is scheduled days before Presidents Day on Feb. 18, a federal holiday that mainly celebrates presidents George Washington and Lincoln.
The parcel of land is part of a larger 590-acre plot in Charleston, Illinois, being sold off by local retired farmer Ron Best.
Historically, the land once owned by Lincoln was purchased in 1841 from his father Thomas Lincoln, 19 years before the lawyer-turned-politician ascended to office in 1860. (The older Lincoln was reportedly broke at the time.)
Eventually, six acres of that plot became a part of what is now known as the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, an 86-acre park dedicated to Lincoln and his family, as well as life in the 1840s. A log cabin replicating the one Lincoln grew up in also stands on the premises.
The rest of the plot was sold off, with 34 acres going to Best in 1989. Four of these acres were bought by businessman Dan Arnold in 2007 but despite his plans to convert them into another historic attraction, the land remained unused. The remaining 30 acres stayed in the possession of Best, until now.
The retired farmer was quick to note that the land, while of some historical significance, was used for what the Lincolns had originally intended: farming.
“It’s not like Lincoln’s stovepipe hat that you can put on a shelf and say this was Lincoln’s,” he told the Mattoon Journal-Gazette and Charleston Times-Courier, comparing the land to an important couture-related part of Lincoln iconography.
Despite this, the farmer also added that while the land contains proficient soil for farming, its historical significance could alter the total valuation.
“It’s hard to value Lincoln land,” he said.