When it comes to supplying men who would go on to hold the highest office in the land, only the state of Virginia has been the birthplace of more future presidents than Ohio. Seven men from the Buckeye State would eventually live in the White House. One of the most colorful them was unquestionably Ulysses S. Grant.
Born Hiram Ulysses Grant on April 27, 1822, the man who would lead the Union army to victory during the Civil War and then be elected president came from very humble beginnings. Located just a stone’s throw from the Ohio River, there is not a lot to Point Pleasant, Ohio today, but back then it was just a huddle of simple homes on what was considered the frontier. The small wooden frame house where Grant was born was one of them.
The family didn’t stay there long, moving to nearby Georgetown when young Hiram was about a year old. He grew up there, helping his father run his tannery business, hauling freight, and earning a reputation as a hard-working and honest young man.
It’s certain that when the Grant family moved away from Point Pleasant, they never imagined their old house would someday become a “mobile” home. But that’s exactly what happened.
At the end of the Civil War, Grant was a national hero, and nowhere was he celebrated more than in his own home state of Ohio. After he died, in 1885, everybody wanted to celebrate his life and his achievements. To help further that effort, the house where he was born became a traveling memorial to the hometown boy who made good.
The house was carefully disassembled piece by piece, put on a towboat, and taken downriver to Cincinnati. There the house was carefully rebuilt and put on display in Goodale Park during the centennial celebration of the Northwest Territory. Thousands of people lined up to tour the house and were thrilled to be in what they considered the presence of such greatness.
In 1888, the house was disassembled once again and moved to Columbus, Ohio, to be rebuilt for new long lines of crowds eager to see the home where the great man was born.
But people everywhere wanted to see the house, not just in Ohio. So eventually it was put on a railroad car and traveled the country, drawing crowds wherever it stopped. When it arrived in the town, it attracted more visitors than any traveling circus ever would.
Eventually the house was returned to Columbus and put on display at the state fairgrounds. It remained there until 1936, when it was taken apart, loaded onto trucks, and moved once again, this time to back to Point Pleasant, where it was erected back on its original foundation. The president’s “mobile” home’s traveling days were over.
Today the house is managed by Historic New Richmond, Inc. under the auspices of the Ohio History Connection. It is open to visitors from 10 AM to 5 PM Wednesday – Saturday and Sundays from 1 to 5 PM, May through September, and by appointment year-round. Parking is limited and RVs might find it difficult, so you are advised to leave your rig at a local campground and drive your car or tow vehicle when you visit. The street address for your GPS is 1551 State Route 232, Point Pleasant, Ohio. For more information, call 800 283-8932.
Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Suzie O’Connell’s Starlight Magic, from her popular Northwest romance series. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section of the bottom of that page (not this one). To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Thought For The Day – Have you ever listened to someone talk for a while and then wondered, “Who ties your shoelaces for you?”