Many people visit this area of Ohio every year, and a lot of them head to the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museum. The grand estate in which the library and museum abide are a treasure trove of history and learning.
Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th U.S. President, in office from 1877-1881. He was also a U.S. Congressman, an Ohio governor, a General in the Civil War and loving husband to wife Lucy and father to eight children. He was born October 4, 1822, in Delaware, Ohio, raised by his mother and her brother, after his father’s tragic early death. The Library and Museum are housed on the grounds of Hayes’ estate, Spiegel Grove, a large wooded area which includes the original home built by the President’s uncle, Sardis Birchard.
Admission to the grounds of Spiegel Grove and the library are free, but tours of the house and museum are charged at low rates. You can tour the home, the museum or both. The museum tours are self-guided, but the home tours are led by a guide. Check their website for specific times and days, as some parts of the estate are closed at different times of the week and year.
Civil War buffs and genealogists will spend hours at the library, with its special collections regarding those subjects, as well as rich photo and print, manuscript and local history compilations, not to mention the greatest grouping of items related to Hayes’ presidency . President Hayes was interested in many subjects, such as genealogy, local history, and the Gilded Age period. The library houses his personal collection of over 1200 volumes.
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museum is a wonderful way to spend a vacation day, learning more about our country and the men and women who shaped our history.