The Lincoln Pioneer Village was created in 1935 to promote the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln lived in southern Indiana during his childhood and adolescence. George Honig, a Lincoln expert in Rockport, suggested the idea of recreating a village in honor of the assassinated President to the local historical society. They supported the idea and requested assistance from the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) and later the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Many FERA and WPA projects involved the creation of recreational areas but most were local parks. The reconstruction of early 1800s log cabins for a living history museum was a bit outside the norm.
FERA workers built ten log buildings plus wells, fencing and other period pieces for the complex. The WPA workers added more buildings and extensive landscaping for the village. Although more buildings, including artisan shops and Native American structures, were in the original plan, no additional construction occurred on the grounds.
The Lincoln Pioneer Village was a successful educational and tourist attraction. School groups from all over the state visited the site. However, by the 1970s, the buildings had deteriorated and fewer people were visiting. A series of reconstructions took place in during the mid-1980s and continued into the 1990s. In 1998, the village received funding through the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology to restore six of the cabins.
The Lincoln Pioneer Village is open from April-August.