By Terri Weeks
Posted On: Apr 25, 2022
Eight of the first 44 presidents have come from Ohio -- more than any other state except Virginia (which also produced eight). We're proud of our presidential history here in Ohio and have many historic sites around the state where you can learn about these Ohioans who led our country. And one of these presidents was born in the county where I live - which I think is pretty cool!
Ulysses S. Grant - 18th President of the United States - was born in Point Pleasant (Clermont County) and raised in nearby Georgetown (Brown County), both in Southwest Ohio. This year, there are several celebrations honoring the 200th Anniversary of his birth.
Three sites that stick out to me as the best spots to visit and learn about this historical figure are his Birthplace, Boyhood Home, and Schoolhouse. Plus, you can easily see all three in the same day. For even more historical fun, Clermont County offers a new self-guided "Land of Grant Trail" with 17 stops (including the three above) for you to explore.
Grant's Birthplace is a logical place to start your tour. We learned about Grant's parents, Jesse and Hannah. The house contains several interesting artifacts from Grant's life. I was fascinated by several personal items: a locket containing a lock of Grant's hair, the gloves he wore to his first inauguration, and the Bible presented to him at that inauguration.
The Grant family moved to Georgetown the year after Ulysses was born. It takes about a half-hour to drive from the birthplace to his Boyhood Home.
Grant grew up in this house and the volunteer tour guides tell interesting stories about his life, including things that he liked (horses) and didn't like (working in his father's tannery). Grant will even tell you his own stories—an animatronic model of Grant as a teen is a high-tech feature of this historic site. Just touch his compass, apple, book, or wallet and he'll tell you about them.
The home contains several original pieces of furniture, including Grant's cradle. I love seeing ordinary items with a tie to history and this site didn't disappoint. I even saw the field binoculars that Grant used as a General during the Civil War.
Just a few blocks away, you can also visit the schoolhouse that young Grant attended. It's a two-room schoolhouse—one room was a classroom and the other was where the teacher lived. I learned that Grant's parents paid $1.50 per quarter for him to attend.
All of the Land of Grant historic sites are within an hour's drive of Cincinnati, making it an easy day trip. But if you'd like to stay locally, consider the Bailey House B&B which is housed in a historic home very close to Grant's Boyhood Home.
All three of the sites are open on Wednesday - Sunday between 12-5PM from May 1st to October 31st. The season officially kicks off with U.S. Grant Days (April 30, 2022), a festival that includes music, fireworks, lightshow, site tours (sites will be open this day and free of charge), and other activities that history buffs will appreciate.
*This article was originally published in April 2016 and was updated for April 2022