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Month: October 2018

Presidential Sites – Visiting the Home of America’s Forgotten President

Posted on October 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

He served as president of the United States from 1921 to 1923, until his premature death cut short his term in office. In a small central Ohio town, the home where he conducted a front porch campaign for president is sometimes open for tours which chronicle the life of America’s forgotten president…

About 40 miles north of Columbus, Ohio in the central part of the state sits the town of Marion. It is the home and final resting place for the 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding.

A Quick Overview Of Our 29th President

Warren G. Harding was elected in 1920, succeeding the popular Woodrow Wilson, who has served two terms in office. Harding served only two and a half years in office before suddenly passing away in August, 1923.

His administration was initially known for the scandals perpetrated by members of his cabinet, which surfaced mainly after his death. History in general has not been kind to Harding, with many scholars ranking his presidency as one of the worst. However, new information and biographies have recently been published, painting a more positive reflection. Few recall, for instance, that Harding was one of the earliest champions of the civil rights movement.

Visiting Marion And The Harding Sites

Although it looks like a typical middle America town, Marion has certainly carved a place for itself in history. In 1920, native son Warren Harding conducted his campaign for president here, largely from the front porch of his home. It is now a museum, open for visitors Thursdays through Sundays in summers and weekends in winter.

Located not far from the historic downtown area, the Harding home is a handsome Victorian built in 1891 by the future president. Inside are original furnishings from Harding’s time, along with a beautiful restoration of the many rooms. Of particular note is the wrap around porch and spacious grounds surrounding the home. This is where Harding conducted a front porch campaign for president, delivering speeches to thousands of onlookers camped literally on his front lawn.

Next door to the home is a smaller structure that was built in early 1920. It was specifically constructed for the press covering Harding’s ascent to the presidency. Now it’s a museum, with memorabilia and personal items from Harding’s life and career. As you visit the quiet and peaceful site, imagine the crowds of thousands on the grounds as they listened to Harding deliver campaign speeches.

Within walking distance is downtown Marion, with its many local shops and restaurants. It’s ideal for a stroll, particularly to the Wyandot popcorn museum, where popcorn is served amidst popcorn machines from the past. Local art walks are conducted on select Fridays and the downtown area is alive with activity.

While in town, attend a performance at the historic Palace Theater, built in 1928 and restored in the 1970’s. And if you like a taste of the vine, visit Shamrock Vineyards, a local winery producing all manners of wine styles from grapes grown here in their vineyard.

Summary

America’s forgotten president, Warren G. Harding, is commemorated in Marion, Ohio with a museum and beautifully restored Victorian home. Marion is a pleasant small community with several unique attractions, and is just a short drive from Ohio’s capital city, Columbus. It is a perfect destination for a day trip from Columbus or for history lovers traveling through Ohio.

Presidential Historic Sites – Visiting the Shores of Lake Erie and America’s 20th President

Posted on October 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

Welcome to another in a series of travelogue articles spotlighting presidential historic sites and presidential museums. Situated near the southern shores of Lake Erie in picturesque northeast Ohio is the home of America’s 20th president, James Garfield…

Mentor And Northeast Ohio: An Overview

About thirty miles east of downtown Cleveland, you’ll find a number of small lakeside communities that hug the southern shore of Lake Erie. Dotted with historic architecture and awash in delightful lake breezes, these communities provide a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

There is kind of a New England ambiance here. Summer is delightful, spring and autumn are generally crisp and cool. Outdoor activities are in season no matter what time of year, and winter is popular for snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and other snow sports.

This area is also the heart of Ohio’s wine country. The temperate effect of Lake Erie, along with fertile soil, make this an ideal terrain for grape growing. Wines from this region are garnering national attention, with numerous wineries welcoming visitors for tastings.

Shopping is another major draw. Many of the small towns have appealing and walkable downtown areas with specialty shops, antique stores, and fashionable outlets. For foodies, you’ll find no shortage of welcoming restaurants serving the freshest local fish and other inventive cuisine.

Of course, the star of the show in this area is Lake Erie itself. Numerous charters will take you out into the lake for fishing expeditions, sunset sails, or charter trips. Several beaches beckon families and sun lovers alike.

While the area is well known as a day trip destination from Cleveland, it is also a great family vacation spot or for couples looking to relax and unwind for a few days.

President Garfield’s Historic Home

James Garfield, a prominent Civil War general, bought this large farm house in 1876 to accommodate his large family. At the time, he was serving in the House of Representatives. He was also an enthusiastic farmer, planting many crops on the grounds.

Rather unexpectedly, Garfield won the nomination for president in 1880 and conducted his campaign largely from the front porch of this home. He won by less than 10,000 votes, the narrowest margin in history. Sadly, after he left for Washington to assume office, he never returned to Ohio. He was shot after just a few months in office and died two months later, in September, 1881.

Today, the restored home is a popular spot for visitors, not only for presidential historians, but those who appreciate seeing a restored 19th century home. Guided tours are given daily and last about 35 minutes. Visitors will see Garfield’s study and election headquarters, and a room where he monitored election results via telegraph service.

You can also explore the visitors center, a restored carriage house near the main home. It is here that you can learn about Garfield’s life and career, and view a short film about his ascent to the presidency and untimely death.

Many visitors come here to enjoy the peaceful, expansive grounds and the invigorating lake breeze. It is a perfect spot for a family picnic, or to simply relax and savor the fresh air.

Located between Cleveland and Buffalo, this part of north east Ohio is particularly attractive. It is a perfect place to stop for lunch and an afternoon visit before heading in either direction. We recommend an overnight stay in the area to truly experience the many charms and relaxed pace along the southern shores of Lake Erie.

Presidential Sites – Visiting the Home of James Polk, America’s 11th President

Posted on October 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

Welcome to another in a series of travelogue articles spotlighting presidential historic sites. America’s 11th president, James Polk, was born in North Carolina and later moved to neighboring Tennessee. His birthplace in North Carolina and family home in Tennessee are both open to visitors and historians. Join us as we visit both sites and learn more about President Polk…

President James Polk: An Overview

James Polk was born into a North Carolina farming family in 1795. Ten years later, Polk’s father moved his family into Tennessee, where Polk eventually made a name for himself. After his graduation from the University of North Carolina, he established a law practice in Columbia, Tennessee.

In 1822, Polk was elected to the Tennessee Legislature and married his wife Sarah, who became an integral part of his later campaigns. Polk himself was well known as a staunch supporter of President Andrew Jackson and became a United States Senator at age 29 in 1824. He remained in the Senate for fourteen years, before successfully running for governor of Tennessee.

With his national ambitions intact, Polk was drafted as a compromise candidate for the presidency in 1844. Running on a campaign of continued westward expansion, he won the election and served as president until early 1849.

During his productive administration, the boundary of the United States was extended to the Pacific Ocean, and thousands of square miles of land was acquired in the northwest territory.

After leaving the presidency, Polk returned to Tennessee. Long suffering from rather frail health, only three months later he died of cholera at age 53.

Polk Home In Columbia, Tennessee

In historic Columbia, Tennessee, in the eastern part of the state, visitors can tour the only remaining home where Polk lived. The handsome two story structure was built in 1816 by Polk’s father. It is here where Polk lived as a young lawyer until his marriage in 1824.

Tours of the home are available year around for $7. Over 1000 items belonging to Polk and his family are displayed here, and there is a beautiful garden adjacent to the property. Campaign memorabilia, inauguration items, and White House china are among the many items to see. A small gift shop is also on site which carries a number of interesting presidential themed gifts.

Polk’s Birthplace

In Pineville, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, a memorial site is dedicated to James Polk on the land where he was born. The actual birthplace building is long gone, but faithful reconstructions of period buildings now occupy the site.

Visitors can view a film about Polk’s life and his presidential administration. The buildings are authentically furnished and emphasis is placed on Polk’s North Carolina roots.

Summary

Both of these historical sites give visitors and historians a glimpse into the life and administration of President James Polk.

Polk’s influence is still felt today. He was a visionary who foresaw the need for western expansion and making the United States a continental country.

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