Ok, so we know we're a long way from Hollywood here at the Oakeley Arms, but we were glued to the coverage of the Oscars 2013, as Daniel Day-Lewis made Hollywood history. The British actor became the first person ever to win the Oscar for Best Actor three times - leaping ahead of legendary names like Marlon Brando, Tom Hanks and Jack Nicholson, who all have two Best Actor wins each.
Daniel Day-Lewis scooped up the award for his role as US President Abraham Lincoln in the epic historical drama Lincoln, directed by Steven Spielberg. The film, which was released in UK cinemas last month, chronicles the last months of Lincoln's life in the mid nineteenth century as he battles to abolish slavery in the USA.
Despite being born into a poor farming family, Abraham Lincoln is known as one of the greatest American Presidents of all time. He led the country through one of it's most testing periods, both morally and consitutionally - the American Civil War (1861-1865).
President Abraham Lincoln
Image by Alexander Gardner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It is thanks largely to Lincoln that slavery was abolished and thousands of slaves across America were given the freedoms and rights of white American citizens. But, did you know that President Lincoln's roots can be traced back to a tiny village not too far from the Oakeley Arms Hotel?
Ysbyty Ifan is a tiny rural hamlet on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, and it is believed that Lincoln's great, great grandfather, John Morris, lived and worked in the village. His daughter, Ellen, left behind rural North Wales and emigrated to America with a group of local Quakers, sometime in the early 1600's.
She met and married Cadwaladr Evans (who was, coincidentally, from nearby Bala) and the couple settled in Pennsylvania. They had a daughter called Sarah Evans, who in turn had a daughter called Nancy. Nancy was to eventually marry Thomas Lincoln, and their second son Abraham would change the course of American history forever.....
Much of Ysbyty Ifan is run and managed by the National Trust. It is set in the beautiful, rugged and remote hills of eastern Snowdonia, and is well worth a trip to explore. For more information see the National Trust website. Ysbyty Ifan is a short 30 minute drive from the Oakeley Arms. If you'd like to visit during your stay with us, please ask staff for directions.