Daily Archives: August 22, 2013

Of Houses and Presidents

I love history and architecture. And in recent years, it seems I’m taking (and planning) vacations that feature the history of American presidents.

Presidents are kind of like our country’s royalty, even though our founding fathers fought hard against this analogy. But I find presidential history fascinating and have read several wonderful books about some of the most interesting people.


Thomas Jefferson

As you read this today, I am visiting Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful home and estate in Charlottesville, Virginia. History geek that I am, I bought tickets for the behind-the-scenes tour, which includes a multi-level tour of the house.



I often travel home to Michigan and have seen a sign on the Ohio Turnpike for the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, which I would love to visit if I could just find the time on my visits home. Did you know that more presidents–eight of them– come from Ohio than any other state?


Rutherford Hayes

And, since I  live in Pittsburgh–on a street that is named for his family’s British ancestral home–I’m not far from George Washington’s Virginia estate, Mount Vernon, which I hope to visit next year.


Mount Vernon

In July, I also enjoyed a (too brief) visit to Washington, D.C., where I visited The National Portrait Gallery. Of course, my favorite room was the presidents’ portraits. I plan to vacation there again very soon to see more.


A favorite painting of Abraham Lincoln in The National Portrait Gallery

And I’ll also have to consult this fun list for future presidential history trips.

~Maria, who is from Michigan, which can only claim one president: Gerald Ford. Pennsylvania also has only one: James Buchanan.


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