Chief curator of cultural history Dale Ogden said Tuesday the bench mallet is a rare surviving artifact linked to Lincoln during the period when his family lived in Spencer County, from 1816 to 1830.
The mallet is inlayed with nails that form Lincoln’s initials “A.L” and the year “1829.” Ogden says he’s certain of the mallet’s authenticity.
Lincoln would have used it to drive wooden pegs into furniture he and his father made.
Ogden says an Evansville man whose ancestors knew Lincoln’s family kept the mallet as a secret heirloom for five generations. That man has temporarily loaned the mallet to the museum.