Archive for May, 2007

The Presidential Road Trip Begins

May 31, 2007

I am a long-time fan of presidential history. I have a mini-collection of presidential biographies at home, and several years ago, I wrote a children’s book with a presidential history peg: “George Washington Beaver & The Cherry Tree.”

My interest in the topic extends to the homes of the presidents. While in college, I visited Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia with my family and purchased a coffee-table book about presidential homes, replete with brilliant photographs. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to tour the presidential homes myself.

My wife, Kimberly, has always liked the idea, too. One of our early dates was a trip to Monticello in the fall of 1994. Because we are home-schooling our young children, we decided that now is an excellent time to continue our journey and share it with Anthony (7), Elli (5) and Catie (2).

Fortunately, we live in Virginia, a commonwealth rich in presidential history. Our home is within driving distance of some of the most renowned locations on the list of presidential homes — Mount Vernon (George Washington), Monticello (Thomas Jefferson), Montpelier (James Madison) and Ash Lawn-Highland (James Monroe). Although we’ve been to Mount Vernon and Monticello multiple times — and I’ve been to Montpelier once — we decided to start the tour near home and in the beginning, with another repeat visit to Mount Vernon today.

We’ll hit the other Virginia presidential homes as soon as we can and then branch out to the other homes. And we’ll document it all here, in word and in pictures. The first round of photos from Mount Vernon follows this entry, and you can see samples from my Flickr account featured on the right side of this blog.

You’re welcome to join us on the journey virtually and share your thoughts along the way in the comments, and you can e-mail me at

That’s the e-mail address for another of my blogs, AirCongress, where I track audio and video of, by and about Congress and the presidency. If you’re a politicial junkie like me, you should check it out, too. And if you want to know more about me, read my bio at AirCongress.


Mount Vernon: The Mansion

May 31, 2007

Front and rear views of Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington. The property is located along the Potomac River in Virginia, just south of Washington, D.C.

Mount Vernon: The Grounds

May 31, 2007

Mount Vernon slave quarters
Slave quarters

Mount Vernon cooking area
Cooking area

Mount Vernon stove room
Stove room

George Washington's carriage
Mount Vernon carriage
Washington’s vehicles

Mount Vernon stable

Mount Vernon: The Gardens

May 31, 2007

Canterbury bells Foxglove

Boxwood garden

Foxglove Boxwood

Mount Vernon: The Glover Family Tour

May 31, 2007

The Glovers at Mount Vernon Family self-portrait Kimberly can't resist taller men Miss Ornery and Miss Attitude

Please forgive me for what I'm about to do Puzzled by the history of Mount Vernon Another puzzling moment George Washington never looked this cool

The beginning of the tour ... ... and the end of the tour When are we going to eat? The long trek to Mount Vernon Inn

Now that's a soft drink! Bring on the peanut and chestnut soup You sure are sweaty, Daddy

Where The Presidents Lived

May 31, 2007

Richard Nixon (Yorba Linda)
Ronald Reagan (Santa Barbara)

District of Columbia
Woodrow Wilson (plus his birthplace less than three hours away in Staunton, Va.)

Jimmy Carter (Plains)

Ulysses S. Grant (Galena)
Abraham Lincoln (Springfield, plus birthplace sites in Hodgenville
and Knob Creek, Ky., and his boyhood home in Lincoln City, Ind.)

Benjamin Harrison (Indianapolis)

Herbert Hoover (West Branch)

Zachary Taylor (Louisville)

George H.W. Bush

John Adams (Quincy, plus his birthplace in the same city)
John Quincy Adams (Quincy)
John F. Kennedy (Brookline)

Harry S Truman (Independence, plus his farm home in nearby Grandview)

New Hampshire
Franklin Pierce (Hillsborough)

New Jersey
Grover Cleveland (Princeton)

New York
Chester A. Arthur (New York City)
Millard Fillmore (East Aurora)
Franklin D. Roosevelt (Hyde Park)
Theodore Roosevelt (Oyster Bay, plus his birthplace in New York City)
Martin Van Buren (Kinderhook)

James A. Garfield (Mentor)
Warren G. Harding (Marion)
Rutherford B. Hayes (Fremont)
William Howard Taft (Cincinnati)

James Buchanan (Lancaster)
Dwight Eisenhower (Gettysburg)

Andrew Jackson (Nashville)
Andrew Johnson (Greenville)
James K. Polk (Columbia)

George W. Bush (Crawford)
Lyndon B. Johnson (Johnson City)

Calvin Coolidge (Plymouth Notch)

Thomas Jefferson (Charlottesville)
James Madison (Orange)
James Monroe (Charlottesville, plus his mansion in Oak Hill)
John Tyler (Charles City, also previously the home of President
William Henry Harrison)
George Washington (Mount Vernon)

Presidents Of The United States

May 31, 2007

Biographies and other information about the presidents can be found at:
— C-SPAN’s American Presidents Web site, which was created as part of the public affairs network’s series on the nation’s leaders;
–The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia;
— PBS, which produced reports on the presidents as part of its “American Experience” series;;
— The White House Web site;
— And Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

The History Project also is developing and publishing plays that feature each of the U.S. presidents as protagonists. And as of early this year, you can even go to your local bank to learn more about the presidents because they are being featured on $1 coins over the next 10 years.

Coins featuring George Washington and John Adams, the first two presidents, already are in circulation. Here is a chronology of the other 41 presidents:

Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
Grover Cleveland
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Clark Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George H.W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush