The road to the White House for many U.S. presidents ranged from meager farmhouses to palatial estates. However for some former U.S. presidents, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was the ultimate dream. In this campaign year, avoid the political ads on T.V. and get out on the road to tour some of these former U.S. presidents’ homes. It beats the back and forth of attack ads and provides tremendous insight into some of the country’s most well known presidents.
The Lincoln Home in Springfield, Illinois (see photo): Located at Eighth and Jackson in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln and his family occupied this Greek Revival home from 1844 to 1861. Lincoln bought the home from the Reverend Charles Dresser, the very man who married honest Abe and his wife Mary Todd. Handing over $1,500 for the home, Lincoln would remodel the house several times throughout his stay, even adding on its second story. It was here Abraham Lincoln left for the White House in 1861.
Clinton House Museum in Fayetteville, Arkansas: President Bill Clinton took then girlfriend Hilary Rodham past this tiny brick bungalow home in Fayetteville, Arkansas on the way to dropping her off at the airport. He was a law professor at the University of Arkansas at the time. After a comment she made about how pretty it was, Clinton bought the home on a modest salary, telling Hilary that she had to marry him now. She did in the Clinton House Museum’s very living room. The one bedroom home contains displays of early speeches and campaign memorabilia along with a replica of Hilary’s wedding dress. 17 years after their marriage in that ordinary living room, Bill would be elected president of the United States.
The Truman Farm in Grandview, Missouri: Harry Truman gave up a $100 a month salary at a bank to go work on the family farm, milking cows and dealing with no plumbing or electricity. Truman spent 11 years on the farm in Grandview, a humble home that he shared with his grandmother, parents, sister and brother. The farmhouse can still be visited today and it’s surrounding 10 acres.
Ash Lawn-Highland in Charlottesville, Virginia: With neighbors like Monticello and Montpelier, James Monroe’s Ash Lawn Highland home almost looks simple. Owned by the fifth president of the U.S. from 1793 to 1826, visitors today find a place of residence filled with original Monroe furnishings. Today the home and its 535 working farm estate are owned by Monroe’s alma mater, the College of William and Mary.
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