Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Presidential Homes

Whew! My husband and I are just back from a non-stop two-week vacation, and I almost feel as if I need another one to recover. We saw so many amazing things, learned so much history, everything from antebellum plantations to World War II battleships.

Our first stop along the way was in Springfield, IL, where we visited the Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library and the Lincoln Family Home.

This is the fourth Presidential Home I've visited.

The home of President and Mrs. Lincoln

My first Presidential Home was that of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The boyhood home of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Ike's house is in Abilene, KS, about 20 minutes from where I grew up, so I've seen it several times. School field trips, whenever relatives came to visit from out of town, and once with my boyfriend-now-husband.

A few years ago, I toured the Ulysses S. Grant home in Galena, IL. 
The Home of Ulysses and Julia Grant
Galena is a little out of the way, but if you ever have a chance to go there, take it! Nearly every building in town is on the National Register, and they are beautiful. Mansions everywhere, charming shops, friendly people.
The Grant home sits atop a hill overlooking the river and was a gift from the town to their favorite son. The county museum in town is well worth a visit, too, as it will fill in the gaps about how Grant arrived in Galena, his Civil War service, and information on the other SIX Civil War generals to come from the town of Galena, IL. (Including one Native American.)

Two years ago, my husband took me to see the home of Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, IN.

Benjamin Harrison House
This house is stunning, inside and out. Broad porches, curving spiral staircases three stories high, amazing woodwork and heavy, baroque furniture. Our docent during this tour was new and had memorized EVERYTHING you could possibly say during a tour and told us all of it. :) The one hour tour took more than two hours, and it was great. 

Each home was different, each reflecting the decorative tastes of the lady of the home. Eisenhower's was the only boyhood home, the rest being the adult homes of their owners. Some had common links, such as the Harrison and Grant homes each having a piece of the Lincoln Presidential china from the White House, and all of the homes having at least one room (and in the case of Lincoln and Grant many, many) rooms with hideous wallpaper. :)

Have you ever visited a Presidential Home? If so, which one(s)?


  1. I live in Nashville so I have visited The Hermitage several times (home of Pres. Andrew Jackson) and visited Monticello in VA (home of Pres. Thomas Jefferson). Like both but really liked Monticello. Thomas Jefferson made many inventions that he incorporated into his home - it is really a neat place to visit.

  2. Interesting post, Erica!! As with Susan - I have visited Monticello; I have also been past the White House - but didn't get to go inside, have visited one of the homes of Abe Lincoln, and also a home of FDR - known as the Little White House near Warm Spring, Ga..


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