Presidential Birthplaces
* John Adams Birthplace *
 


Tours of the Adams National Historical Park
in Quincy, Massachusetts, encompass
three family residences, including John
Adams'
birthplace. He was born in the
saltbox home pictured above on October
30, 1735. It is estimated that the building
dates from the 1680s.


My Uncle Craig brought me and my sister
to the ANHP in 2003, but we did not have
a camera with us for documentation. The
photograph of the exterior of the John
Adams birthplace is from 2011, and the
interior picture from 2018.




* Thomas Jefferson Birthplace *
 


Thomas Jefferson's birthplace
   in Shadwell, Virginia, burned down
 in 1770, but a roadside historical
marker denotes that the house
was located nearby. Photographed
July 12, 2015.




* John Quincy Adams Birthplace *



John Quincy Adams' birthplace is a mere
seventy-five feet from the birth site of his
father, President John Adams. Built in
1663, it is the oldest surviving presidential
birthplace structure. Both birthplace homes
are part of the Adams National Historical
Park in Quincy, Massachusetts. At the times
of the presidents' births, in 1735 and 1767,
respectively, the area was part of the town
of Braintree. Its northern precinct, where
the Adamses were born, became the
independent town of Quincy in 1792,
during John Adams' vice presidency.






John Adams used one of the dwelling's
front rooms as a law office. In 1779, it was
in this space that Adams drafted the
Massachusetts State Constitution. As an
intern with the Adams National Historical
Park in fall 2018, I worked on a project
that, in part, developed a plan to augment
the interpretation of law office-related
accounts. These included Adams' court
cases and the drafting of the constitution.
* Martin Van Buren Birthplace *
 


Martin Van Buren was born in a house
attached to his father's tavern, but the
structure is no longer standing. A sign in
Van Buren's hometown of Kinderhook, New
York marks the site today. Taken July 2009.




* Zachary Taylor Birthplace *
 


A roadside historical marker stands
in Barboursville, Virginia to
acknowledge Montebello, the
plantation birthplace of President
Zachary Taylor. Visited July 12,
2015.




James A. Garfield Birthplace *
 


After a short trek through the woods of
Moreland Hills, Ohio, my posse reached the
rock-mounted plaque that signifies the
birthplace of James A. Garfield. The last
president born in a log cabin, his life began
at this spot on November 19, 1831. The
area was known as Orange Township at
that point in time.






The log cabin where Garfield was born no
longer exists, but a similarly-styled structure
sits close by the actual birth spot. Pictures
taken January 10, 2016.
* Chester A. Arthur Birthplace *
 








The second vice president to ascend to
higher office because of assassination was
Chester A. Arthur, native son of Fairfield,
Vermont. The precise location of Arthur's
birth is unknown, and a partisan rumor
that he was born in Canada was spread
in the 1880s in an attempt to invalidate
his authority.


Here I pose with some cows by
the Arthur birthplace historic
marker, about five miles from the
Chester A. Arthur State Historic
Site. The small yellow cottage
there is a re-creation of a
subsequent Arthur residence in
Fairfield, not his birth home. A
friend and I visited both in 2019.




* Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace *
 


The Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace
National Historic Site is a re-
creation of the Manhattan
townhouse where the president
was born on October 27, 1858.
The original building was razed
in 1916, and was closed during
my first visit in May 2011.






When I next returned to NYC in
August 2013 I was able to tour
the brownstone's interior. A
basement display case exhibits
the shirt, glasses, and papers
damaged in the assassination
attempt on Roosevelt during his
1912 re-election campaign.




* Calvin Coolidge Birthplac*
 


On July 4, 1872, Calvin Coolidge was born
in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, in a structure
that abutted his father's general store. Cal
remains both the lone U.S. president and
vice president born on Independence Day.
 
 




Victoria Coolidge gave birth to her only son,
the thirtieth president, in this room in this
bed. The Coolidge birthplace is part of the
President Calvin Coolidge State Historic
Site, which my family saw in August 2007.
* Herbert Hoover Birthplac*
 


The Herbert Hoover National Historic Site,
adjacent to Hoover's presidential library
in West Branch, Iowa, includes buildings
such as his small birth cottage and his
father's blacksmith shop. President and
Mrs. Hoover are interred on a hilltop
that overlooks the two room birthplace.






A sign at the birth home notes that it was
constructed in 1871, three years before the
president's birth on August 10, 1874. The
Hoover family moved to a larger dwelling
in 1879. Visited August 21, 2004.
* Franklin Roosevelt Birthplace *
 


The longest-serving president, Franklin
D. Roosevelt
, was born at Springwood,
his family's Hudson Valley estate in Hyde
Park, New York. I first toured the home in
August 2004, but these pictures are from
a subsequent visit of mine in July 2018.






President Roosevelt spent much of his
adulthood residing at Springwood as well.
He was sitting in the mansion's dining room
on November 8, 1932 when he learned he
had defeated incumbent Herbert Hoover
in that year's presidential election.
* Dwight Eisenhower Birthplac*
 



Dwight Eisenhower was the first of two
presidents born in Texas, the other being
Lyndon B. Johnson. Despite their close
associations with Texas in their adulthoods,
George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
were born in Massachusetts and
Connecticut, respectively.






The home where General Eisenhower was
born on October 14, 1890 is located in
Denison, Texas, about seventy-five miles
north of Dallas. A tour guide named John
led me and my father through the house
on April 21, 2012.
* John F. Kennedy Birthplac*
 



John F. Kennedy was born on the
second floor of this house on Beals
Street in Brookline, Massachusetts
on May 29, 1917. At the time the
home had a green and cream motif,
similar to what is shown in this
2010 photograph. The building was
repainted gray and ivory in 2012
to reflect a paint scheme selected
by JFK's mother, Rose, in the 1960s
when it first opened as a historic site.
The deliberate decision by the National
Park Service to revert to an inaccurate
design confounds me.






I have visited the home several
times, always on the anniversary
of Kennedy's birth. These photos
are from May 29, 2010, which
would have been the president's
ninety-third birthday. I returned
in 2011, 2014, and then in 2017
for the one hundredth anniversary.


* Lyndon B. Johnson Birthplace *
 









The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical
Park is the location of the thirty-sixth
president's
grave, his "Texas White House,"
and a replica of the home was born at on
August 27, 1908. My father and I visited
the ranch in April 2012 while completing
my presidential burial site quest.






In 1964, President Johnson hired
an Austin architect to reconstruct
his birthplace, which was torn
down in the 1940s. The replica
was built using old photographs
as references. LBJ himself gave
tours and interpreted the house
for guests.




* Richard Nixon Birthplace *
 

 
This is a video still of Richard Nixon's
birthplace, located on the grounds of his
presidential library in Yorba Linda,
California. The house was constructed in
1912 by Nixon's father, who built it from
a catalog. The president was born there
on January 17, 1913, and I toured the
home with my father on August 11, 2008.




* Jimmy Carter Birthplace *
 



Plains, Georgia, has many Jimmy
Carter-related sites, including
the former Wise Sanitarium,
where he was born on October
1, 1924. Carter was the first U.S.
president born in a hospital.










President Carter's mother, "Miss Lillian,"
received her nurse training at the Wise
Sanitarium prior to giving birth to her son.
On October 18, 2001, with President Carter
in attendance, the facility was named the
Lillian G. Carter Nursing Center. It is now
referred to as Lillian G. Carter Health and
Rehabilitation. Visited June 9, 2013.




* George H.W. Bush Birthplace *
 



In June 1924, the forty-first president
was born on the second floor of a home at
173 Adams Street in Milton, Massachusetts.
Later in the year, the Bush family relocated
to Greenwich, Connecticut.


The home remains privately owned and
is not open for tours, but there is a plaque
at the corner of Adams and Hutchinson
Streets that notes its significance. My
father and I visited in April 2011.




                      * George W. Bush Birthplace *
 


George W. Bush was born on July 6, 1946
at Grace-New Haven Hospital in New
Haven, Connecticut. His parents, Barbara
and George H.
W. Bush, were living in New
Haven while his father was a student at
Yale University.






The hospital, which is still an active facility,
was subsequently renamed Yale-New
Haven Hospital. At the time of my visit on
July 20, 2018, there was no marker that
noted its presidential connection.

Sources Consulted                                                                                                                                                     



"The Brownstone Townhouse of Theodore Roosevelt." nps.gov. Updated June 16, 2019. https://www.nps.gov/thrb/learn/historyculture/brownstone.htm.

Clotworthy, William G. Homes and Libraries of the Presidents. 2nd ed. Blacksburg, VA: McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, 2003.

Kochmann, Rachel M. Presidents: A Pictoral Guide to the Presidents Birthplaces, Homes, and Burial Sites. 9th ed. Bemidji, MN: Arrow Printing, 1994.

Picone, Louis L. Where the Presidents Were Born: The History and Preservation of the Presidential Birthplaces. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing, 2012.

"Reconstructed Birthplace." nps.gov. Updated March 31, 2012. https://www.nps.gov/lyjo/planyourvisit/reconstructedbirthplace.htm.

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