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

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.