Rutherford B. Hayes

Rutherford B. Hayes’ parents moved to Delaware, Ohio, from Dummerston, Vermont, and built the first brick house in town, where Hayes was born, in 1822. They moved to another house in town a year later.
Being in a downtown location, the home was later occupied by businesses, such as a furniture store, before it burned down in 1910. A gas station was built on the lot in 1920, and remains there nearly 100 years later. The Daughters of the American Revolution made a small memorial there in the 1950s, with a plaque and some landscaping, which was paid for by the Standard Oil Company.
Hayes mostly stayed in Ohio through his youth and education, finishing up at Harvard Law School, then returning to Fremont, which was then called Lower Sandusky, to start his legal practice. He led a successful effort to rename the town after the Colonel John C. Fremont, hero of westward expansion. Hayes moved to Cincinnati in 1849 and lived there until he went off to the Civil War, then returned to Ohio, joined Congress, and became Governor of Ohio.
He moved back to Fremont in 1873, with his growing family, to Spiegel Grove, a 25-acre estate which he inherited from his uncle, who had built it as a summer retreat. This would be the Hayes’ home for the rest of their lives.
Hayes was elected President in 1876, and after serving one term he returned to Spiegel Grove and doubled the size of the house to 30 rooms, with additions for a library and indoor plumbing. He died here in 1893, at the age of 70.
The family gave the property to the state of Ohio, and funded a museum and library on the grounds. They continued to live in the house until 1965, after which it was opened to the public.
The museum and library, which opened to the public in 1916, was the first presidential library, and is one of only three libraries for presidents that served in the 19th century.
It has displays about the president and his times, and had a major renovation in 2016, for its centennial. Though owned by the state, the site is operated by the Hayes Presidential Center, a private nonprofit.
At least one tree on the property dates back to before the American Revolution.
Gates from the White House were donated in 1928.
Hayes and his wife Lucy are buried in a small cemetery on the southern end of the property. The granite for the memorial came from his parent’s home in Vermont.
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