Join Truda Shinker, our membership manager, as she visits the sites in the Ohio History Connection network! This month's road trip took her to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums in Fremont.
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located in Fremont, about halfway between Toledo and Cleveland. Coming from Columbus, it is an easy drive through rolling farmland. And while it may be a bit of a drive for members from southern Ohio, it is well worth the time.
The site consists of the Hayes home, the Presidential Library and Museum and the grounds--each are not to be missed. The home has been lovingly restored and provides a fascinating glimpse into President Hayes' private life, as well as life in 19th century Ohio. The Presidential Library and Museum chronicles the contentious 1876 presidential campaign and the Hayes presidency, as well as the Hayes family, the history of Fremont and other related topics. The spectacular grounds have walking paths, over 1,700 trees, wildflowers, the Hayes tomb and a lot of squirrels. Be sure to wear your walking shoes!
Address: Spiegel Grove, Fremont, OH 43420 (this is the actual address of the site and what you will want to use when you navigate there with your phone or GPS)
How much time: In order to see both buildings and the grounds, I would budget at least three hours.
My favorites: The house tour is not to be missed. My favorite part of the house was President Hayes' bathroom/office/tool storage area. Also be sure to look up while you're in the home--many of the rooms have elaborate wallpaper on the ceiling. In the museum, I was especially taken with the section on the lower level devoted to telling the story of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes' relationship. They were head over heels in love and it was a delight to see their gifts and notes to each other.
Truda's Tips: Be sure to go to the museum first to check in. You can find out when the next house tour starts and visit the restrooms. You can also grab a map of the museum and check out the museum store.
Don't Miss: When you're touring the grounds, don't forget to look for the plaques on many of the trees. President Hayes enjoyed naming trees in honor of people who he felt made great contributions to society. He would have a tree ceremony where the honoree would put his hands on the tree, and the trees would be marked with plaques.