In 1898, Charles H. Schoff took a photo of the rock from deck of the Echo, a Columbia River packet steamboat that ran between Wenatchee and Orondo, where he served as an engineer. Ed Ferguson, a deckhand on the boat, was reading a biography of Abraham Lincoln, and remarked that the face in the rock resembled the late president. Over time, the feature became known to crew members and passengers as Lincoln Rock.
In the July 1902 issue of The Ladies Home Journal, a photograph of Lincoln Rock taken by M. P. Spencer was published as part of an array titled “Rocks That Have Faces on Them.” This led to the feature's national recognition.
In 1945, a proposal was made for the state to acquire the land encompassing Lincoln Rock as a park. Ultimately, the plan was dropped due to the cost of acquiring the land. In 1981, the Chelan County Public Utility District developed the present-day park across the water from Lincoln Rock to be managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Originally planned to be called Eastgate, the park’s name was changed to Lincoln Rock at the request of locals.