Presidential Places
* George Washington's Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm *

Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg was
the boyhood home of the first president.
His family first moved there when
he was six years old, and it is where
the fictional tales of him chopping
down a cherry tree and throwing
a silver dollar across the Potomac
River were set. 

The Washington home was destroyed long
ago, but an archaeological dig unveiled the
exact location of the building in 2008. A few
months before my visit in 2015, a project
was announced to construct an "interpretive
replica" of the house at the site.
* Washington Command Monument *

George Washington assumed
command of the Continental Army
on July 3, 1775 in Cambridge,
Massachusetts. A stone slab, which
I visited in 2012 and 2014, stands
as a memorial at the spot.

* Federal Hall National Memorial *

George Washington took the
presidential oath of office at
Federal Hall in Manhattan on
April 30, 1789. It was torn down
in 1812, and the present day
building was erected to serve
as city hall. The statue was
placed in 1882.

The memorial was closed when I first went
there in 2011, but two years later I was able
to enter and see artifacts such as the bible
Washington took the oath of office with.
It was also used by later presidents, including
Warren Harding and Jimmy Carter.
* Mount Vernon *

George Washington's beloved home, Mount
Vernon, abuts the Potomac River in Virginia.
The first president inherited the plantation
in 1761 after the death of his half-brother's
widow. Washington passed away in the
mansion on December 14, 1799.

Washington and his wife, Martha,
are interred in a tomb on the
grounds of their plantation. It was
my fourth visit to a presidential
burial site.
* Adams National Historical Park *

The Adams National Historical Park in Quincy,
Massachusetts, encompasses several crucial
Adams sites. Among them are the birthplaces
of John Adams and John Quincy Adams, which
sit next to each other. The saltbox home
where John Adams was born is shown above.
I first visited in 2003, but these photographs
are from one of my many subsequent visits.

The park also includes a stone library, which
was built in the 1870s to hold the books of
the presidents, and Peacefield, the home
that sheltered four generations of Adamses
from 1788 to 1827. The first president Adams
died there on July 4, 1826.

* White House *

The White House, the residence and office
space of the U.S. president, is one of the
best known buildings in the world. Every
president except George Washington has
lived in the White House. His successor, John
Adams, moved into the Executive Mansion
on November 1, 1800.

A wide array of occurrences have taken place
in the White House. One president was married
(Grover Cleveland), two presidents died
(William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor),
and one presidential offspring was born
(Esther Cleveland).
* Monticello *

In my opinion, no presidential residence has
better scenery than Monticello, Thomas
Charlottesville, Virginia home.
Jefferson designed the structure himself and
died there on Independence Day in 1826.
I first visited with my family in July 2005,
but these pictures are from 2015.

In 1786, Jefferson visited William Shakespeare's
home and removed a piece of the playwright's
chair as a souvenir. The blade he used and
the sliver of wood are displayed in an
exhibit in a separate building on the grounds
of the plantation.
* James and Dolley Madison Residence *

Thanks to the Roadside Presidents
mobile app
, my father and I found
the residence of James and Dolley
Madison on Spruce Street in
Philadelphia. According to a plaque,
the couple lived there circa 1796.
* Octagon House *

After the White House was burned
by British troops in 1814, James
and Dolley Madison moved a short
distance away to the Octagon
House. They stayed there at
the invitation of the building's
owner, Colonel John Tayloe III.

On February 17, 1815, President
Madison signed the Treaty of
Ghent on the table pictured
above. The document officially
ended the hostilities of the
War of 1812.

* Montpelier *

Montpelier was the plantation home of James
and Dolley Madison. The mansion was not
much to look at when my family toured it
on July 12, 2005 because of the extensive
renovations it was undergoing. Albeit
unintentionally, I returned to Montpelier
exactly ten years to the day after my first
visit and saw the home filled with Madison
artifacts rather than sawdust and floorboards.

After Madison passed away at
Montpelier in 1836, he was buried
in the nearby Madison family
cemetery. This photograph is
from my second time at Madison's
grave. Pictures from my first
visit can be viewed here.
* Ash Lawn-Highland *

Though it is located right near Monticello,
my family did not go to Ash Lawn-Highland,
the home of James Monroe, when we were
in the area in 2005. I finally toured the home
in July 2015.

The Monroes owned the property from 1793
to 1826. During that time, it was known
simply as Highland. A later owner used the
name Ash Lawn. Because of this, the
site is officially called Ash Lawn-Highland,
although employees there sometimes
refer to it as just Highland.

* James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library *

The James Monroe Museum contains numerous
artifacts related to the fifth president, such as
his clothing and the remnants of his father's
tombstone. The building is located in
Fredericksburg, Virginia, on the site where
Monroe's law office used to stand.
* John Quincy Adams Residence *

Although numerous presidential
residences remain, there are many
that no longer exist. That is the
case with John Quincy Adams'
home on Boylston Street in Boston
where he lived from 1806 to 1809.
It is marked by a plaque with his

* United States Capitol *

After his presidency, John Quincy Adams
was elected to the House of Representatives,
where he served from 1831 to 1848. While
at his desk in the House Chamber, which is
now Statuary Hall, Adams suffered a stroke.
His desk's location is marked by a plaque.
I first toured the Capitol in 2003 with my
family, but these pictures are from 2015.

The stricken congressman was
carried into the Speaker's Room,
where he died two days later.
It is now called the Lindy Claiborne
Boggs Congressional Women's
Reading Room. Learn more
about the room here.

* Congressional Cemetery Public Vault *

Several prominent individuals stayed briefly
in the public vault at Congressional Cemetery
in Washington, D.C. after they died. Temporary
residents included William Henry Harrison,
John Quincy Adams, Dolley Madison, and
Zachary Taylor.

There are several other president-related sites
in Congressional Cemetery, such as the final
resting place of Vice President Elbridge Gerry,
the unmarked grave of Lincoln assassination
conspirator David Herald, and the burial site
of the attendant that granted John Wilkes Booth
access to Lincoln's box at Ford's Theatre.

* Former Tomb of John Quincy Adams *

After the late John Quincy Adams was removed
from from the Public Vault in Washington, D.C.,
he was transported to Quincy, Massachusetts,
and placed in a tomb in Hancock Cemetery.
He was later moved one final time after his
parents' crypt in the United First Parish
 across the street was expanded.
* The Hermitage *

The plantation known as the Hermitage
became the home of Andrew Jackson in 1804.
The property changed greatly over time, as
Jackson and his wife originally lived in a
cabin on the grounds. The house that stands
today was built toward the end of Jackson's
presidency. He retired there and was buried
in the plantation's garden after his death.

As was the case with many early presidents
from the South, Jackson owned slaves.
Examples of slave quarters are preserved
on the plantation grounds. The room on
the right was occupied by "Uncle Alfred,"
who lived at the Hermitage longer than
any other individual.
* Martin Van Buren Residence *

Martin Van Buren served as governor of
New York for two months before he left to
join Andrew Jackson's cabinet. During his
brief tenure as governor, he lived a short
walk away from the capitol building in
Albany. The residence no longer exists, but
is remembered with a plaque.
* Lindenwald *

When I first went to Kinderhook, New York,
with my father and sister in 2004, Martin
Van Buren's home, Lindenwald, was closed.
In 2009, I was able to go inside the house
and see highlights like Van Buren's state-of-
the-art plumbing and bed where he died in
1862. The house was purchased during Van
Buren's presidency, and he retired there
after his term was over in 1841. 

When my family and I toured
Lindenwald in 2009, we were
allowed to take pictures. By
the time I returned with friends
in 2014, photography was
prohibited. This 2009 picture
shows a bust of the president
in his house.
* President James K. Polk Home and Museum *

The President James K. Polk Home and
Museum in Columbia, Tennessee, is also
known as the Polk Ancestral Home. Polk's
time there was limited to his early adult
life and it was mainly his parents'
residence. My father and I toured it in
June 2013.

If anything, Polk is more closely tied to the
house in death. With the exception of the
White House, it is the only Polk residence
still in existence, so the site holds the
largest Polk collection in the U.S. Among
the artifacts is the bible he rested his
hand on while he took the oath of office.

* Polk Place *

Polk Place was intended to be James K. Polk's
home in retirement, but he spent little time
there. He died in the house just three months
after he left office. Polk was buried on the
lawn and was joined by his wife forty-two
years later, but they were later moved
elsewhere in Nashville and Polk Place
was torn down.

* Millard Fillmore Law Office Site *

As I left Vidler's 5 & 10 in East Aurora, New
York, I saw a plaque that marked it as the
location of Millard Fillmore's law office, where
he worked from 1823 to 1830. The law office
burned down in 1904. Fillmore's house, which
was originally situated across the street, was
moved a short distance away.

* Millard and Abigail Fillmore House Museum *

From 1826 to 1830, Millard and Abigail Fillmore
lived in a house on Main Street in East
Aurora, New York. The structure, which was
moved to its present location on Shearer Street
in 1930, was also the residence of Irving Price,
co-founder of toy company Fisher-Price, and
his wife, artist Margaret Evans Price.

The house is usually closed in Winter, but
through an extended invitation I was
given a tour by the very hospitable people
in charge at the Fillmore home. The day
was January 7, 2016, the 216th anniversary
of President Fillmore's birth.
* Millard Fillmore Residence *

In 1831, Millard and Abigail Fillmore moved to
a home in downtown Buffalo. Fillmore returned
there in 1853 after his presidency without his
wife, who died in Washington, D.C. Five years
later he remarried and moved to another home
in nearby Niagara Square. His and Abigail's
house was later demolished and replaced
with a YMCA.

* Millard Fillmore Death Site *

In 1874 Millard Fillmore died at his home
in Buffalo's Niagara Square. The building
was demolished in 1919 and the location
is now marked by a plaque. I visited in
January 2016.

* Franklin Pierce Homestead State Historic Site *

Franklin Pierce was born in 1804 on a site
in Hillsborough, New Hampshire that has
been lost to time. Shortly after his birth,
his family moved to a homestead built
by patriarch Benjamin Pierce, who was
a general in the American Revolution.

The house in Hillsborough was Franklin
Pierce's residence for most of his early
years, except when he was away in pursuit
of an education. Pierce left the home for
good in 1834 when he married Jane
Appleton. My visit occurred in 2014.
* Pierce Manse *

The Pierces lived in downtown
Concord, New Hampshire, in the
the home shown above from 1842
to 1848. It was relocated to a less
urban part of the city in 1971
and was spared from demolition
Days before I visited in 2014,
one of its chimneys was
destroyed by lightning.

Many Pierce items are exhibited
at the site such as one of the
president's shirts. Next to that
is a black fan used by Jane Pierce.
All three of their offspring died
young, and Mrs. Pierce wore
black in mourning.
* Franklin Pierce Residence *

After they left the White House,
Franklin and Jane Pierce lived
intermittently in a house at 52
South Main Street in Concord,
New Hampshire. The former
president died there in 1869.

After Abraham Lincoln's assassination, a
crowd formed at Pierce's house to question
why it was not decorated in mourning.
From his doorstep, Pierce stated that his
public service was enough of a testament
to his patriotism. The gatherers were
satisfied and dispersed. Due to a fire
in 1981, the steps are all that remains.

* Wheatland *

I first traveled to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in
2005 to see the grave of James Buchanan,
but I did not tour his home in the city at that
time. In 2013 I returned to Lancaster and
visited Wheatland.

Buchanan owned Wheatland for
twenty years. He died in a second
floor bedroom there in 1868,
and the property was inherited
by his niece, Harriet Lane.
Buchanan had no spouse or

* Lincoln Home National Historic Site *

In 1844, Abraham Lincoln purchased the
home pictured above in Springfield, Illinois.
It was the only home he ever owned. He
lived there with his wife and children until
1861, when they departed for the White
House. The area around the home is also
maintained to look as it did during the
Lincoln family's time there.

This video still captures one of my favorite
moments from my travels. The park ranger
at the historic site explained that the railing
was original to the home, so Lincoln would
have held it walking up and down the stairs.
She invited us to follow suit, and I was thrilled
to use the same handrail as Lincoln. Hands-
on history allows for great opportunities.

* President Lincoln's Cottage *

To escape the high temperatures of downtown
Washington, D.C., the Lincolns spent several
summers in a cottage at the Soldiers' Home
in the Northern part of the city. Today the
facility is the Armed Forces Retirement Home
and the cottage stills stands, open for tours.

* Surratt Boarding House *

What is now a Chinese Restaurant
was once a boarding house
operated by Mary Surratt, the
first female executed by the U.S.
government. The building was
where conspirators met to plot
the kidnapping of President Lincoln.

I ate at the Wok and Roll in 2015.
Admittedly, it was bizarre to eat
beef and broccoli in the same
space that John Wilkes Booth
and others had gathered to
conspire against Lincoln a century
and a half prior.
* Ford's Theatre *

On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln attended
a performance of the play Our American
at Ford's Theatre, located several
blocks from the White House. He sat with
Mrs. Lincoln and their guests in the presidential
box, where he was shot around 10:15 p.m. 

Booth used the single shot deringer shown
above to assassinate the president. The
weapon was left at the scene, and it is
also on display in Ford's basement.

In the basement of Ford's Theatre,
there is a museum that houses
artifacts related to the assassination.
This picture showcases the clothes
that Lincoln wore the night he was
shot by actor John Wilkes Booth.

After the shooting, Lincoln was carried
across the street to the boarding house of
William Peterson. The president died there
at 7:22 the following morning. The
Petersen House is now part of the Ford's
Theatre site, although the bed there is
a replica. The actual bed Lincoln died in
now belongs to the Chicago History Museum.

* Fort Lesley J. McNair *

On July 7, 1865, four of the convicted conspirators
in the Lincoln assassination were executed.
Two days shy of the 150th anniversary of
that historic event, my parents and I visited
the former location of the gallows. The
present day site is occupied by tennis courts.
Photography is prohibited at the fort,
which was formerly the Washington Arsenal.

* Andrew Johnson National Historic Site *

One of the features of the Andrew Johnson
National Historic Site in Greeneville, Tennessee,
is the president's homestead. The Johnson
family did not live in the house during the
Civil War, and over the course of the conflict
it was occupied by both Northern and Southern
soldiers. Johnson remained loyal to the Union,
and Confederate soldiers left graffiti at his
home and called him a traitor.

The park also encompasses another Johnson
home, the cemetery where he and his family
are buried, and a visitors center. Inside the
latter, my father and I were handed a ticket
to use to vote whether Johnson should have
stayed president or if he should have been
replaced. We both voted against his removal
from office after viewing the exhibits. The
center also has the president's tailor shop.

* Wormley Hotel Site *

In 1877, a conference of Democrats and
Republicans was held at the Wormley Hotel
near the White House to decide who would
receive contested electoral votes in the
presidential election. A deal was made that
gave the votes, and the presidency, to
Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. The hotel
was torn down in the early 1900s.

* Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center *

The first presidential library to open was
Rutherford B. Hayes', which was built
on the grounds of his estate, Spiegel Grove.
President Hayes died at his beloved estate
on January 17, 1893 and was buried
in a nearby cemetery next to his wife,
Lucy. They were disinterred and relocated
to the estate grounds in 1915.

The Hayes Presidential Center, which is in
Fremont, Ohio, opened in 1916. Twelve
years later, five sets of gates from the
White House were added to the grounds.
The gates had been placed at the White
House during Hayes' tenure and the
president's son, Webb, worked for
several years to obtain them for the library.
* James A. Garfield National Historic Site *

James Garfield purchased this property in
Mentor, Ohio, in 1876. Extensive renovations
were made on the house, which was dubbed
"Lawnfield" by reporters during the 1880
campaign. Lawnfield was where Garfield
conducted his front porch campaign, a
strategy that was used by subsequent
presidential candidates from Ohio.

After the president's death, his widow had a
library added to the house as a memorial.
The library contains Garfield's books
and a wreath from his casket that was sent
by Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
I visited in January 2016.

* James A. Garfield Assassination Site *

On July 2, 1881, mentally ill office-seeker
Charles Guiteau shot President James A.
Garfield at the Baltimore & Potomac
Railroad Station in Washington, D.C. The
station was demolished in 1908. The
precise location of the shooting is now in
the middle of Constitution Avenue NW on
the north face of the National Gallery of Art,
as is shown on this map overlay.

On November 19, 2018, wayside signs about
the slaying were unveiled on the National Mall
along the south face of the gallery. I drove
down from Rhode Island to attend the
ceremony, at which Garfield descendants were
also present. All four presidential assassination
sites are now marked in some form.

* Chester A. Arthur Residence *

The building at 123 Lexington
Avenue in Manhattan is split
between apartments and a spice
store named Kalustyan's. Back
in the 1800s, it was filled with
lavish items from Tiffany &. Co.,
when it was the home of Ellen
and Chester A. Arthur.

Several pivotal Arthur moments occurred at
the home, including the deaths of Ellen and
Chester in 1880 and 1886, respectively. The
most crucial event took place on September
20, 1881, when Arthur took the oath of office
there after the death of James Garfield. The
details are listed on a plaque at the building,
which I first visited in May 2011. The only
other president to take the oath in New
York City was George Washington.

* William McKinley Assassination Site *

On September 6, 1901, an anarchist named
Leon Czolgosz shot William McKinley at the
Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
Most of the buildings at the expo were intended
to be up only temporarily, so the location of
the assassination, the Temple of Music, was
torn down after the event ended. The site
is now marked by a plaque in a road median
in a residential neighborhood.

* Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society *

The Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
Resource Center houses several artifacts
related to the assassination of William
McKinley. Most notably, the collection includes
the nickel-plated steel revolver used by Leon
Czolgosz to shoot the 25th president.

Also on display is the tea towel Czolgosz used
to conceal his weapon. My father and I tried
to see the exhibit in 2010, but the building
was closed. Access generally requires a
scheduled appointment, which we made
for our return to Buffalo in 2016.
* Milburn House Site *

While in Buffalo for the 1901 Pan-American
Exposition, William McKinley stayed at the
home of John Milburn, the event's president.
McKinley was brought there after he was
shot, and that is where he died. The house
was torn down in 1957, but the site's
significance is noted on a historic marker.

* William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum *

William McKinley's hilltop tomb is situated
right near his presidential library and museum
in Canton, Ohio. The McKinley Library is
run by the Stark County Historical Society
rather than the National Archives and
Records Administration.

Although the facility is called the William
McKinley Presidential Library and Museum,
it was filled mostly with displays unrelated
to the president. McKinley was confined
to one room, which was scant with artifacts.
That exhibit's main focus was on animatrons
of the president and First Lady Ida McKinley.

* Sagamore Hill *

Theodore Roosevelt lived at Sagamore Hill
on Long Island from 1887 until his death at
the home in 1919. As is the case with many
presidential residences, it was used as a
summer retreat for the first family during
his time in office. My family visited the home
on August 15, 2004, but we have no video
or photographs of the house. We do have
a picture of my sister and me with a
Theodore Roosevelt interpreter, though.

The most interesting thing I learned at
Sagamore Hill was that some of the wild
animals TR domesticated were given free
rein in rooms where the Roosevelt children
were not allowed. After our tour, my sister
and I helped fold the American flag at
the house after it was lowered for the day.
* Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site *

After President William McKinley was shot,
Vice President Theodore Roosevelt ended
his vacation and went to Buffalo, where
the wounded leader was. When McKinley
seemed to be on the mend, Roosevelt left
the city, but had to return when the president
took a turn for the worse. After McKinley's
death, TR took the oath of office in the front
parlor of the mansion of the wealthy Ansley
Wilcox. It is now a National Historic Site.

TR rushed down from the mountains
to get back to Buffalo, and he
was not in proper attire to take the
oath of office. He had to
borrow some clothing for the
swearing-in ceremony. The
overcoat he wore was on display
when I was there in June 2005,
but was not in January 2016.

* Theodore Roosevelt Assassination Attempt Site *

Displeased with his former protégé and
presidential successor, William Howard Taft,
former President Theodore Roosevelt ran
as the Bull Moose Party candidate in the
1912 election. In October of that year,
he was on the campaign trail when he
was shot by bartender John Schrank.

The incident occurred as Roosevelt exited the
Hotel Gilpatrick in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Another hotel now stands on the site, and
a display about the shooting is located in
a room just off the lobby. I visited the hotel
in 2012. Despite his injury, TR continued
to the Milwaukee Auditorium, where he
spoke for over an hour before he sought
treatment. He quipped, "it takes more
than that to kill a bull moose."

* William Howard Taft Residence *

Eight years after his presidency, William
Howard Taft
became chief justice of the U.S.
Supreme Court. He moved to Wyoming Avenue
NW in Washington, D.C., and that is where
he died in 1930. The building later served
as the Syrian Embassy, and there is nothing
there that notes Taft's nine years of residence.

* Woodrow Wilson House *

In 2005, my family and I visited the Woodrow
Wilson House on S Street NE in Washington,
D.C. The Wilsons moved there after leaving
the White House, and it is where the former
passed away in February 1924.
Edith Wilson resided there until 1961.

I interned in Washington, D.C. during the
summer of 2015 and decided to return to
the Wilson House. It was possibly the best
tour I have had at a historic home. The
highlight was sitting at the president's
Steinway piano.

* Harding Home *

Warren Harding moved into the home shown
above in Marion, Ohio in 1890, the year
before he and divorcée Florence DeWolfe
married. They lived at the house up until
Harding's presidency. Like several Ohioans
before him, Harding campaigned from his
front porch.

Next to the home is an old portable voting
booth. It is made mostly of metal, and
the inside was unbearable in the June heat.
Before we went to the house, my father
and I visited the tomb of President and
Mrs. Harding, which is elsewhere in Marion.
* Calvin Coolidge Homestead District *

In 2007, my family visited the Calvin Coolidge
Homestead District in Plymouth, Vermont. The
general store in the picture above was once
run by John Coolidge, and his famous son
was born in an adjoining house in 1872.
They are part of the district, as is the
homestead where Coolidge's father later
lived and the cemetery where the family
is buried.

Coolidge was asleep at the family homestead
in Vermont when word came in that President
Warren G. Harding had unexpectedly died.
He was awoken with the news and was
sworn in as president by his father, who
was a notary public. The bible and
kerosene lamp used in the ceremony
are kept in the same room Coolidge
took the oath in on August 3, 1923.

* Calvin Coolidge Residence *

Calvin Coolidge married Grace Goodhue in
1905. The following year, they moved to
 a home on Massasoit Street in Northampton,
Massachusetts. They owned the home until
1930, when they moved to a larger house in
the city. I stopped by in May 2013.

Today the house is a private duplex, but
I have read several accounts of a friendly
resident allowing visitors to sit on the porch
just like Coolidge. No one was around
when I stopped by, but I felt it would not
be an issue for me to walk up and take a
picture of the plaque.

* Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum *

Most presidential libraries are
large centers run by the National
Archives and Records Administration,
but Coolidge's is housed at the
Forbes Library in Northampton.
Coolidge lived in the city for
years and served as its mayor.
He began to donate his collections
to the public library in 1920
when he was vice president-elect.

Among the artifacts displayed at the Forbes
Library are a feathered Sioux headdress
worn by Coolidge, a pair of elephant tusks
gifted to him by Theodore Roosevelt, and a
wall-eyed pike he caught in Lake Vermillon,
Minnesota. I have seen the exhibit twice,
in 2013 and with a friend in 2014.
* The Beeches *

After they left the White House
in 1929, the Coolidges briefly
returned to their home on
Massasoit Street in Northampton.
In 1930, they moved to a larger
home a mile and a half away called
"The Beeches," where the former
president later died of a heart attack.

I could not find the address for the home
online before I first went to Northampton
in 2013, but I had success the next year.
The house is still privately owned, but I
discretely walked up to the gate to get
a better look at the former Coolidge home.
* Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum *

My father and I visited the Hoover Library
in West Branch, Iowa, in 2004. Our main
intent was to see Herbert Hoover's burial
site on the property, and we have still images
only of his grave and the cottage he was
born in. We have no video or photographs
of the library or any of its exhibits.

Across from the cottage, Hoover's father,
Jesse, operated a blacksmith shop. Like
Hoover's birthplace, the building is open
for visitation. Inside, my father and I saw
a box that was marked as a seat for the
president and his older brother. This is a
screenshot from a video my father took.

* Roosevelt Residences *

Franklin Roosevelt's mother, Sara,
had double townhouses built on
East 6th Street in Manhattan that
were completed in 1908. Past the
front door, each unit has a separate
entrance. Mrs. Roosevelt lived in
one townhouse, while Franklin
and Eleanor lived in the other.

The townhouses are now owned by a college,
but I stopped by in August 2013 to photograph
the plaque mounted to the building's exterior.
The marker explains the layout of the building
and also mentions its significance: FDR rested
there after he contracted polio, and it was where
he learned he was elected president in 1932.
Eleanor also held meetings there with civic
and political groups early in her career.

* Gold Coast Railroad Museum *

A railroad museum in Miami, Florida, houses
the Ferdinand Magellan, a Pullman rail car
used primarily by three presidents: Franklin
Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D.
Eisenhower. The back platform is where
Truman held up the incorrect "Dewey Defeats
Truman" newspaper in 1948, as seen in this
. Ronald Reagan also used the rail car
on one occasion during his 1984 campaign.

Stateroom C was used by the
three presidents and has a toilet
disguised as a seat, which is
on the right in the picture above.
It now also houses the small
wheelchair FDR used to get
through the train's narrow
corridors. It weighs 50 pounds.
* Franklin Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum *

Although the first presidential library was built
to honor Rutherford B. Hayes, the modern
presidential library tradition began with
Franklin Roosevelt. He wanted to have influence
over the storage and display of his collections
and papers, and he had a library built at his
longtime home in Hyde Park, New York. Every
president since FDR, as well as Herbert Hoover,
has a library operated by the National Archives
and Records Administration.

One item that was on display at the museum
was Roosevelt's 1936 Ford Phaeton. The
vehicle was outfitted with hand controls
so the disabled president could operate it.
After his death in 1945, FDR set a precedent
of presidents being buried at their libraries.
Several, although not all, subsequent
presidents have elected to do the same.
* Harry S. Truman National Historic Site *

In 1919, Harry and Bess Truman moved
to the house her grandfather built decades
before at 219 North Delaware Street in
Independence, Missouri. They resided there
for many years before, in 1953, the Trumans
finally purchased the house. It was left to
the National Park Service after Bess' death.

The Trumans lived a modest life at the home
before they moved to Washington, D.C.,
and they maintained that lifestyle when
they returned after Harry's presidency.
The site has over 50,000 Truman artifacts,
owing to the direct transfer of the house
from Bess Truman to the NPS. Part of
the collection is the former president's
last car, a green 1972 Chrysler Newport.

* Blair House *

In this picture, I stand in front of
Blair House, which has seen its
share of historical events. It was
where Abraham Lincoln unsuccessfully
asked Robert E. Lee to take command
of the Union Army. More notably,
Blair House was the scene of an
attempt on the life of Harry S.
Truman by Puerto Rican nationalists.

While the White House underwent renovations,
Truman stayed close by at Blair House. Two
men who supported Puerto Rican independence
tried to storm the building, but were thwarted.
One was killed, while the other was wounded
at the front steps. Officer Leslie Coffelt of the
 White House Police Force died in the attack.
He remains the only member of the Secret
Service who died protecting the president.
* Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum *

Independence, Missouri was Harry S. Truman's
hometown, and that was where his presidential
library opened in 1957. The former president
maintained an office in the building and was
later buried in its courtyard. The library
also displays his famous "The Buck Stops
Here" sign, which he kept in the Oval Office.

Another part of the museum has an exhibit
with the handguns that were used by Puerto
Rican nationalists Oscar Collazo and Griselio
Torresola in their 1950 assassination attempt
on Truman. My father and I went to the
library in August 2009.
* Eisenhower House *

In 2012, I was in Newport, Rhode Island, to
photograph a bust of John Adams for Roadside
America when I came upon the summer
White House of Dwight D. Eisenhower. The
yellow structure was built around 1873 as
the residence of Fort Adams' commandant.
Ike stayed there in 1958 and 1960, and it
is available to rent for weddings, clam bakes,
and other events. The rates are expensive.
* Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library *

Dwight D. Eisenhower lived from 1898 to
1911 in the house pictured above in Abilene,
Kansas. Years later, the surrounding land
became the location of his presidential
library, a separate building for his museum,
and the Place of Meditation, which is his
final resting place.

For me and my father, the most interesting
artifact on display in the museum was
the pen used by General Walter Bedell
Smith, Eisenhower's chief-of-staff, to
sign the German Instrument of Surrender.
We were there on August 12, 2009.
* St. Mary's Church *

A sign that hangs outside St.
Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode
Island marks it as the location
of the September 12, 1953
wedding of John F. Kennedy and
Jacqueline Bouvier. I have seen
the church several times, but
have never gone inside it.
* Kennedy Bunker *

While we were in Florida in 2013 to visit
my grandparents, my father and I took
some time to visit Peanut Island, where
a fallout shelter was built during the Cold
War to protect President John F. Kennedy
in the event of a nuclear attack. Kennedy
liked to vacation in nearby Palm Beach.

The "Kennedy Bunker" was later opened as
a tourist attraction by the Palm Beach
Maritime Museum. Visitors can go inside
the 1,500 square foot shelter and see bunks,
rations, and gas masks from the time period.
There is also a desk, but I do not know if
it is original to the bunker.
* Dealey Plaza *

Dealey Plaza in the heart of Dallas, Texas
was the setting of the assassination of John
F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. The
Texas School Book Depository, where assassin
Lee Harvey Oswald was perched, is now
open as the Sixth Floor Museum.

The vivid, terrible details of the assassination
were notably captured by dressmaker Abraham
Zapruder, who stood on a concrete block in
Dealey Plaza with his Bell & Howell Zoomatic
movie camera.

This x in the middle of Elm Street marks the
spot where the president was fatally struck
with a bullet to the head. He was then rushed
to nearby Parkland Memorial Hospital, where
he was pronounced dead at age 46.

The death of Kennedy has been the subject
of many conspiracy theories. Perhaps the
most prevalent is the theory that a gunman
was positioned behind the fence on Dealey
Plaza's grassy knoll.
* Parkland Memorial Hospital *

After he was shot, President John
F. Kennedy's motorcade rushed
from Dallas' Dealey Plaza to
Parkland Memorial Hospital. Vice
President Lyndon Johnson was
secured in a room in the building
and was kept in the dark about
Kennedy's condition for a substantial
amount of time.

Half an hour after he was struck down,
Kennedy was declared dead in Parkland's
Trauma Room 1. Two days later, Lee
Harvey Oswald, who was charged as
the assassin, also died at the hospital.
* Texas Theater *

After he killed President John F.
Kennedy and police officer J.D.
Tippit, Lee Harvey Oswald ducked
inside the Texas Theater in Dallas'
Oak Cliff neighborhood. Oswald,
who did not pay for a ticket, was
observed by a local store manager.
He alerted the ticket booth worker,
who telephoned the authorities.

Oswald briefly sat in on a showing of War
is Hell
 before he was arrested. The orientation
of the theater has been altered since 1963,
but based on row and seat numbers, I
sat in the approximate spot where Oswald
was before his apprehension. The original
seats were replaced long ago.
* Dallas Municipal Building *

The Dallas Municipal Building was the location
of police headquarters in 1963. It was there
that Lee Harvey Oswald was interrogated
about the Kennedy assassination. He spent
his last nights in the cell pictured above,
which was slated to be destroyed sometime
after my April 2012 visit.

Usually the Oswald-related sites
inside the building are off limits
to the general public, but my father
and I were given access. Here we
are at the entrance to the parking
garage where Oswald was shot
by Jack Ruby on live television.
The glass doors were not in place
in 1963.

* Veterans of Foreign Wars Building *

In 2015 I interned with the U.S. Capitol
Historical Society, which operates out of
the VFW Building in Washington, D.C.
In the 1960s, the building was occupied
by the Warren Commission as it investigated
the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I
worked primarily across from Earl Warren's
former office, seen above.

During my last week at the
internship I had the privilege
of sitting in Chief Justice Warren's
chair, which is now located
elsewhere in the building. Learn
more in this C-SPAN segment.

* John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum *

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and
is situated at the tip of Columbia Point in
Boston's Dorchester neighborhood. It was
dedicated in October 1979. I first went to
the library in 2004 and have returned many
times since then. The pictures shown here
are from May 29, 2011, the 94th anniversary
of Kennedy's birth.

My favorite artifact at the library has long
been the coconut that Kennedy carved
a rescue message into after the PT boat
he commanded was sunk during World
War II. The coconut was later transformed
into a paperweight, which JFK used on
the Resolute desk in the Oval Office.
* Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park *

The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical
Park includes many places from the 36th
president's life. That includes Junction School,
the small schoolhouse where LBJ learned to
read at age four. In 1965, he sat outside
the school with his first teacher, "Miss Kate,"
as he signed the Elementary and Secondary
Education Act into law.

Other things to see included Johnson's car
collection, the Lockheed plane he often used
as vice president, a replica of his birthplace
that he had constructed during his presidency,
and the Johnson Family Cemetery. In our
rental car, we listened to an audio tour that
played the song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My
Head," which LBJ liked to listen to as he rode
around his ranch.

Part of the park experience is touring the
Texas White House, which LBJ purchased
from his aunt in 1951. The president suffered
a fatal heart attack in his bedroom there
in January 1973. The Texas White House
became accessible to park tourists in 2008,
the year after Mrs. Johnson's death.

The park is separated into two districts: the
LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, and Johnson City,
which is 14 miles away. The main attraction
in Johnson City is the president's boyhood
home, where he spent many years and
where his mother, Rebekah, taught elocution
to local children who helped with chores.
The home was restored in the 1970s.

* Dallas Love Field *

Dallas Love Field was where Air
Force One landed with President
John F. Kennedy at 11:39 a.m.
on November 22, 1963. Three
hours later, the president was
dead and Lyndon Johnson was
sworn in aboard the plane. U.S.
District Judge Sarah T. Hughes,
LBJ's friend, became the first
female to administer the oath.

* Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum *

Lyndon Johnson's presidential library opened
in 1971 on the grounds of the University of
Texas at Austin. The imposing building's
design was intended to evoke Johnson
himself, who was broad-shouldered, tall,
and was found by many to be intimidating.

My father and I visited Texas in
April 2012, while the library was
undergoing extensive renovations.
Therefore we did not get to see
much other than Lady Bird's office,
a short film on LBJ, and the
typical Oval Office replica that
graces many presidential libraries.

* Watergate Hotel and Office Building *

The chain of events that led to Richard Nixon's
resignation started at the Watergate Hotel
and Office Building, which was burglarized
on June 17, 1972. The crime was orchestrated
by the Committee to Re-elect the President
and was covered up by Nixon's administration.
* Oakhill Office Building *

This Arlington office building may seem
unfamiliar to most people, but it holds great
historical significance. At spot 32D in the
parking garage, FBI official Mark Felt met with
Bob Woodward of The Washington Post
as he investigated the Watergate Scandal.
The informant was known to the public only
by his alias "Deep Throat" for several decades.

In 2014, it was announced that the building,
garage and all, was going to be demolished
within three years. When I interned in
Washington, D.C. the following year, I was
sure to see the garage since I knew it was
my only opportunity.

* Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum *

The Nixon Library opened in 1990
in Yorba Linda, California, the
birthplace of Richard Nixon. At the
time of our visit in August 2008,
there was no exhibit in place that
covered the Watergate Scandal that
led to Nixon's resignation. Artifacts
we saw ranged from the flag that
draped Nixon's coffin to the gun he
was given by singer Elvis Presley.

Outside the library, near the
graves of Richard and Pat Nixon,
we came across the trellis that
their daughter Tricia was married
under in 1971. The ceremony was
held at the White House.
* Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum *

Of all the presidential libraries overseen by the
National Archives and Records Administration,
only Gerald Ford's is located entirely separate
from his presidential museum. The library is
in Ann Arbor, Michigan, while the museum,
where Gerald and Betty Ford are buried, is
in Grand Rapids. The museum's collection
includes the official proclamation of Richard
Nixon's pardon and the pen Ford used to
sign it on September 8, 1974.

One of the most notable images from the
70s was in 1975 during the Ford presidency.
In April, the city of Saigon in South Vietnam
fell to opposition forces. The day before
Saigon was captured and the war ended,
a picture was taken that showed U.S.
government employees crowded on a
staircase as they prepared to be evacuated
via helicopter. The stairs and chopper are
now in the possession of the Ford Museum.

* Jimmy Carter National Historic Site *

The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site is
in Plains, Georgia, the president's hometown.
When in Plains, a good starting point is
the former Plains High School, which in
1996 reopened as the visitors center for
the historic site. Jimmy and his wife,
Rosalynn, both attended the high school,
and Mrs. Carter was the valedictorian of
the class of 1944.

A train depot in town served as Jimmy
Carter's campaign headquarters for the
1976 election. Visitors can go inside and
see an assortment of memorabilia. It was
fun seeing so many Carter-related locations
in town, but the highlight of our 2013
visit was meeting the Carters themselves.

The president's boyhood home is also
open to visitors, as is his father's general
store, which is also located on the old
family farm. The house Jimmy and Rosalynn
Carter bought in 1961 is also part of
the National Historic Site, but it not
open to the public yet because they
still live there. The Carters plan on
being buried in the home's backyard.

Plains has many other commemorative sites
dedicated to the Carter family, such as Mrs.
Carter's childhood home, a monument in
the center of town, and the preserved gas
station of the president's brother, Billy.
These places are not officially part of the
National Historic Site, nor is this giant
peanut, but I felt obligated to put a
picture of it somewhere. The peanut
is a great photo-op spot.

* Jimmy Carter Residence *

From October 1952 to October
1953, Jimmy Carter and his family
lived in U.S. Army housing in
Rotterdam, New York. A plaque
in the area notes the Carters'

At the time, Carter was in the Navy and was
furthering his education at Union College in
Schenectady. In July 1953, his father died
and he inherited the family peanut farm.
He was honorably discharged from the Navy
four months later and the family returned
Plains, Georgia, where Carter ran the farm.

* Washington Hilton *

In 2003, 2004, and 2005 I traveled
to Washington, D.C., and each
time I roomed at a hotel in the
Dupont Circle neighborhood. It
was not until the third time there
that my family learned we were
staying across the street from
the Washington Hilton, which
was the site of an attempt on the
life of President Ronald Reagan.

On March 30, 1981, President Reagan spoke
at the Washington Hilton. As he left, 25-year-
old John Hinckley fired six shots. The president
was hit, as were a secret service agent, a
police officer, and press secretary Jim Brady.
All survived, but Brady was partially paralyzed.
These 2015 photos show a relatively unchanged
scene, except for the addition of a garage,
built to protect officials from similar incidents.

* Ronald Reagan Presidential Library *

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in
Simi Valley, California, is the largest
presidential library in terms of square
footage. Much of that square footage is
needed to display its main attraction, a
Boeing 707 used by Reagan and five of
his fellow presidents. I went through the
plane with my father and his friend, Jay.

The museum's collection also
includes the suit Reagan wore
to his first inauguration in 1981.
The president himself is interred
outside the library in a tomb
that overlooks the beautiful
Simi Valley.
Website Builder