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James A. Garfield

Here’s a picture of James Garfield standing by his front gate in front of his Mentor Farm (“Lawnfield”) in the fall of 1880.  By the time this photo was taken, he had won the presidential election of 1880.  This is what the house looked like the last time Garfield saw it, too.

The National Parks Service now runs Garfield's home, Lawnfield.  Here is the link.   http://www.nps.gov/jaga/

People can take a virtual tour of the Lawnfield property – interior and grounds -- at http://www.wrhs.org/html/lawnfield/tour.htm
 
This accesses a site originally created by the Western Reserve Historical Society.  At some point in the future this site link may no longer be active.

 


Lawnfield
 Mentor, Ohio

 
This picture shows the east side of the Garfield home, circa 1900, after Lucretia added the Memorial Library addition onto the back portion of the house.  The library was the first presidential memorial library in the country and set the precedent for future presidential libraries being established.  Lucretia used it to house her husband’s many books and personal papers.  A fire-proof vault sits within the library and is the spot where Garfield’s papers were stored until the 1930s.  They are now part of the Garfield Collection at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.  The original books are still housed in the library at Lawnfield in Mentor. 
This is a modern view (taken in 2005) of the east side of the Garfield house.  The tree to the far right is a Weeping Beech that was planted in 1900!
   

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

Val-Kill-Hyde Park, NY.
 http://www.nps.gov/elro/index.htm

“The greatest thing I have learned is how good it is to come home again.”Eleanor Roosevelt 

The only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady, “Val-Kill” (Dutch for “waterfall” and “stream”) welcomes visitors in the style of Eleanor Roosevelt.  She chose Val-Kill for her retreat, her office, her home, and her "laboratory" for social change during the prominent and influential period of her life from 1924 until her death in 1962.  Located on the Roosevelt family estate in Hyde Park, New York, visitors may tour Mrs. Roosevelt's Val-Kill Cottage and enjoy the lovely gardens and grounds on the site.  You may also wish to visit and enjoy the Franklin Roosevelt historic sites, the restaurants, and cultural activities offered close-by.

 


Ulysses S. Grant

 

Ulysses S. Grant was born here in Point Pleasant near the mouth of Big Indian Creek at the Ohio River on April 27, 1822.  This restored one-story, three-room cottage, which was built in 1817, was next to the tannery where Grant's father, Jesse, worked.  You can tour the small cottage that is furnished with period items and some family pieces, such as Jesse Grant’s trunk.  At one time, the birthplace made an extensive tour of the United States on a railroad flatcar and was also temporarily displayed on the Ohio State fairgrounds.

 

U.S. Grant Birthplace (born Hiram Ulysses Grant -1822;
home built in 1817) -Point Pleasant, OH


 

U.S. Grant Boyhood Home (1823-1839) – Georgetown, OH
http://ohsweb.ohiohistory.org/places/sw09/index.shtml

This was Grant’s childhood home from 1823 until 1839, when he left to attend West Point.  Ulysses Grant lived in this home longer than any other during his lifetime.  His parents, Jesse and Hanna Grant, built the original two-story brick section of the house when they moved 20 miles east to Georgetown from Point Pleasant, OH (where Hiram Ulysses - later changed to Ulysses Simpson) had been born the year before.  Additions were made over the years to enlarge and improve the house for Grant, his parents, and four siblings.  The house now holds Grant and Georgetown memorabilia and has seasonal tours. 

During his youth here in Georgetown, Grant attended school, worked in his father's tannery, and spent hours in his favorite pastime - working with horses.  The little schoolhouse on Water St. can be visited nearby.  From age 6 to 13, Grant attended school there and his teacher, John White, is mentioned in Grant’s “Memoirs.”

 


U.S. Grant Log Cabin “Hardscrabble” (1856) – near St. Louis, MO http://www.nps.gov/ulsg/historyculture/hardscrabble.htm


Ulysses cultivated the 80 acres near White Haven (St. Louis, MO) given to the Grants as a wedding gift and managed the rest of the land of his father-in-law, Colonel Frederick Dent.  With help from the Dent family slaves, Grant established a farm and constructed his own house – a log cabin, the first home that Julia and he ever owned.  Julia recalled that it was “so crude and homely I did not like it at all, but I did not say so.  I got out all my pretty covers, baskets, books, etc., and tried to make it look home-like and comfortable, but this was hard to do.  The little house looked so unattractive that we facetiously decided to call it Hardscrabble.” 

They only lived there for three months, but due to its association with the famous General and President, it was dismantled and moved three times, until it was finally located on the property of the present day Grant’s Farm (http://www.grantsfarm.com/), which is owned and operated by Anheuser-Busch, and adjacent to Ulysses S. Grant NHS.

 


U.S. Grant Home (1865-1880) – Galena, IL
http://www.granthome.com/


The brick house, which was designed by William Dennison, had been constructed in 1860 for a former Galena, IL city clerk.  Thomas B. Hughlett, on behalf of a small group of local Republicans, purchased the house for $2,500 in June 1865 and presented it to U.S. Grant two months later.  On August 18, 1865, the citizens of Galena greeted the return of its victorious Civil War general with a grand celebration.  A "grand triumphal arch" spanned Main Street, and a holiday atmosphere prevailed with a jubilant procession, speeches, and evening fireworks.  Julia Grant recalled that "there was a tremendous and enthusiastic outpouring of people to welcome him . . . After a glorious triumphal ride around the hills and valleys, so brilliant with smiles and flowers, we were conducted to a lovely villa exquisitely furnished with everything good taste could desire."  Quite the contrast to “Hardscrabble”!

Following his election as President in 1868, he visited this home only occasionally.  In 1873 Grant commented that "although it is probable I will never live much time among you, but in the future be only a visitor as I am at present, . . . I hope to retain my residence here . . . I expect to cast my vote here always."  The house was maintained by caretakers in anticipation of the President's visits, the local newspaper reporting that it was "in excellent order and ready for occupation at any time," adding that "visitors are always admitted."  Grant made his final visits to his Galena home in 1880.
 

  

U.S. Grant Home “White Haven”

 – Dent Farm (1820-1868)
 – Grant Farm (1868-1885)
      (St. Louis, Missouri)

 http://www.nps.gov/ulsg/index.htm

 

Second Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant was assigned to St. Louis' nearby Jefferson Barracks following his graduation from West Point in 1843.  Soon after arriving in the city, he visited the family of his former roommate, Frederick Dent, at their plantation on Gravois Creek.  There he met Fred's sister Julia, and afterward his visits became quite regular.  Upon learning of his regiment's impending transfer, Grant proposed to Julia in 1843, and the couple eventually married in 1848.

The White Haven property was a focal point in Ulysses' and Julia's lives for four decades.  The Grants lived here off and on during the 1850s.  Although the family moved to Galena, Illinois, in 1860, the Grants continued to think of “White Haven” as their family home.  By 1870, President Grant owned nearly 650 acres of the “White Haven” farm and began readying the property for a relaxing retirement.  Although circumstances caused him to abandon those retirement plans, Grant retained ownership of the property until a few months before his death in 1885. 

Today, that home commemorates Julia and Ulysses’ lives and loving partnership against the turbulent backdrop of the 19th Century.


Grant Cottage
http://faculty.css.edu/mkelsey/usgrant/cottage.html


In this house in June and July of 1885, former General and President Grant fought the pain and weakness of throat cancer as he raced to complete his “Memoirs” and provide financial security for his family.  The furnishings, decoration, and personal effects remain just as they were in 1885.  The cottage is owned by New York State, with tours and programming provided by the Friends of Grant Cottage.

 

   

 

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