July 8, 2008

William Howard Taft National Historic Site

Today we went to see three long-standing historic sites of the Cincinnati area.

First up was the William Howard Taft National Historic Site. The site includes the house in which the 27th President of the United States lived his entire childhood.

This desk was used in the law practice of Taft's father.

This "portable" gas lamp came with its own cord.

The house has been restored to how it appeared during Taft's childhood. The furniture is of the period, although not necessarily owned by the Tafts.

Let's go up the stairway.

The stairway ends at the second floor where bedrooms can be found on either side of the hall.

Did you know William Howard Taft was the only President of the United States to later become Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

This display demonstrates how the elephant is a direct descendant of William Howard Taft who at over 300 pounds, by the way, was the heaviest U.S. President ever elected.
Strangely enough, he is also the only president since 1909 to have facial hair while in office.

This Bible was used in both 1909 and 1921 in Taft's swearing in as President and Chief Justice.
The house had indoor plumbing by the fall of 1851. Here is one of its cisterns.
In case the front of the house looked small, here is the back. The house was subdivided and apartments were rented out in the 1940s before being acquired by the William Howard Taft Memorial Association in the 1950s.
Then, on Taft's 107th birthday, September 15, 1964, the home became a National Historic Landmark.

The house is located in the Mount Auburn Neighborhood. Mount Auburn was founded as a hilltop retreat for Cincinnati's social elite where wealthier people could escape the dirt, heat, smoke and crowded conditions of the lower city.

To be continued...

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