What to know about the site:
The Warren G. Harding Home, located at 380 Mount Vernon Ave. Marion, OH 43302 has been designated a National Historic Landmark.
Built for $3,500 in 1891 as a wedding present for his fiancé, Florence Kling, the future president and first lady lived in the home while he worked as the editor and publisher ofThe Marion Daily Star, as state senator from 1899-1904 and Ohio’s lieutenant governor from 1904-1906.
Except for his time spent in the United States Senate from 1915-1921, Warren G. Harding lived in this house in Marion with Florence until he was elected the 29th president of the United States in 1920.
The home’s original wooden porch was replaced with a large, rounded stone porch in 1903 and took center stage during Harding’s 1920 presidential bid. Instead of traveling around the country campaigning, Harding conducted the fourth and last “front porch campaign” in the United States, following the traditions of James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison and William McKinley. He gave speeches to crowds that gathered around his Marion home, some who traveled across the country to hear him speak. Harding spoke from his front porch for the majority of his campaign, a strategy that helped him carry the election by a landslide 60-percent of the popular vote. He became the 8th Ohioan to serve as president.
Today, the restored Victorian Queen Anne-style home is furnished almost completely with original items owned by the Hardings. Beside the home stands a Press House that was built as the headquarters for the media during his 1920 campaign. Reporters from newspapers around the country used the building as a staging area prepare and transmit stories about Harding’s speeches to their readers. The building now serves as a museum celebrating the lives of the President and First Lady.
The house has undergone a series of renovations since it was made into a museum in 1926. From 1963 to 1965, the house was restored to its 1890s appearance. A little over a decade later in 1978, the home was turned over to the state of Ohio, which designated the Harding Home to be operated by the Ohio Historical Society. From 2003 to 2007, the home’s front porch, library and parlor were all restored to what they looked like in the 1920s.