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United States Presidents Homes - Top Ten
- Old Town Alexandria, Virginia - George Washington
From 1759 until the American Revolutionary War, George Washington, who at the time aspired to become a prominent agriculturist, operated the estate as five separate farms. Washington took a scientific approach to farming and kept extensive and meticulous records of both labor and results.
Following his service in the war, Washington returned to Mount Vernon and in 1785-1786 spent a great deal of effort improving the landscaping of the estate. It is estimated that during his two terms as President of the United States (1789-1797) Washington spent 434 days in residence at Mount Vernon. After his presidency, Washington tended to repairs to the buildings, socializing, and further gardening. One of his most successful ventures was the establishment of a distillery in 1797; he briefly became one of the new nation's largest, if not the largest, distillers of whiskey.
John Adam's Home
- Quincy, MA
Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Massachusetts, preserves the home of Presidents of the United States John Adams and John Quincy Adams, of U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain Charles Francis Adams, Sr., and of the writers and historians Henry Adams and Brooks Adams.
The national historical park's eleven historic structures tell the story of five generations of the Adams family (from 1720 to 1927) including Presidents, First Ladies, U.S. Ministers, historians, writers, and family members who supported and contributed to their success. In addition to "Peacefield," home to four generations of the Adams family, the park's main historic features include: John Adams birthplace (October 30, 1735), the nearby John Quincy Adams birthplace (July 11, 1767); the Stone Library (built in 1870 to house the books of John Quincy Adams and believed to be the first presidential library) containing more than 14,000 historic volumes.
- Charlottesville, VA - Thomas Jefferson
Work began on Monticello in 1768, and Jefferson moved into the South Pavilion (an outbuilding) in 1770. The original design was based on the classical style of Palladian architecture. When Jefferson left Monticello in 1784 for extended travels in Europe, the original design of the house was largely completed except for porticos and decorative interior woodwork. Upon his return, Jefferson expanded his vision for Monticello to incorporate features of Palladian buildings and ruins he admired overseas. Further work to the new design began in 1796. Construction of Monticello was substantially completed in 1809 with the erection of the dome.
- James Madison - Orange, Virginia
Montpelier was the estate of James Madison, fourth President of the United States. It is four miles south of Orange, Virginia, and covers some 2,750 acres.
The land, in the Piedmont of Virginia, was acquired by James Madison's grandfather, Ambrose Madison, and his brother-in-law Thomas Chew, in 1723. Ambrose and his family moved to the plantation, then known as Mount Pleasant, in 1732. When Ambrose died only six months later, poisoned, it was said, by three slaves, his wife Frances managed the estate; in time she was assisted by their only son, James, later Colonel Madison. Colonel Madison's first-born son, also James, was born in 1751 at Belle Grove, his mother's family estate in Port Conway, but was soon taken to Montpelier where he spent his first years before being taken to a new house built by his father half a mile away. This new house forms the heart of the main house at Montpelier today. Built around 1764, with two stories of brick in Flemish bond, and a low, hipped roof with chimney stacks at both ends.
Home of Abraham Lincoln
- Springfield, IL
Lincoln Home National Historic Site preserves the Springfield, Illinois home Abraham Lincoln lived in from 1844 to 1861, before becoming the 16th President of the United States. The presidential memorial includes a four-block historic district surrounding the home and a visitor center.
The house, purchased by Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd Lincoln in 1844, was the first and only home that Lincoln ever owned. Located at the corner of Eighth and Jackson Streets, the house contains twelve rooms spread over two floors. During the time he lived here, Lincoln was elected to the House of Representatives, in 1846, and elected as President, 1860.
- Home of Two Presidents - Charles City, Virginia
Sherwood Forest has the distinction of being the only private residence in the United States to have been owned by two unrelated United States Presidents. William Henry Harrison inherited the plantation, then named Walnut Grove, in 1790 and held it for three years. He sold the 3,000 acre property in 1793 having never lived in the house. Harrison's successor John Tyler purchased the plantation, which by then had been reduced to 1,600 acres, in 1842 and lived there after leaving the White House.
The plantation, first recorded in a 1616 land grant, was originally known as Smith's Hundred. The house, circa 1720, is a classic example of Virginia Tidewater design: big house, little house, colonnade, and kitchen. It had several owners before Tyler purchased the home and its surrounding 1,600 acres in 1842. He bought the plantation from his cousin, Collier Minge, while he was still in the White House and renamed the plantation "Sherwood Forest" referring to his reputation as a political outlaw.
The Tyler family has owned the plantation ever since, and it was the President's grandson and his wife, who still live at the plantation today. Their children and grandchildren frequently are seen at the Plantation.
- William Henry Harrison - Charles City, Virginia
Berkeley Plantation, one of the first great estates in America, comprises about 1000 acres on the banks of the James River on State Route 5 in Charles City County, Virginia. Berkeley Plantation was originally called Berkeley Hundred, and named after one of its founders of the 1618 land grant, Richard Berkeley.
In 1726, Benjamin Harrison IV built the mansion on the estate and married Anne Carter, daughter of Robert "King" Carter of Lancaster County, Virginia, who was probably the state's most powerful planter. His son, Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the American Declaration of Independence and a governor of Virginia, was born at Berkeley Plantation, as was his son William Henry Harrison, a war hero in the Battle of Tippecanoe, governor of Indiana Territory, and ninth President of the United States.
Theodore Roosevelt's Home
- Oyster Bay, NY
Sagamore Hill was the home of the 26th President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt from 1886 until his death in 1919. It is located at the end of Cove Neck Road, Cove Neck, New York, on Long Island, 25 miles east of Manhattan.
The house and its surrounding farmland became the primary residence of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt for the rest of their lives. Sagamore Hill took on its greatest importance when it became known as the "Summer White House" during the seven summers (1902-1908) Roosevelt spent there as President. Roosevelt died at Sagamore Hill in January 1919 and, according to his wishes, was buried in the small Youngs Memorial Cemetery, just one mile (1.6 km) from his home. Edith Roosevelt continued to occupy the property until her death, nearly three decades later, in September 1948. The house was first opened to the public as a museum on June 14, 1953.
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Hyde Park, NY
Franklin D. Roosevelt was born in what was then the second floor tower bedroom at the south end of the house. At the time, it functioned as the master bedroom; the bedroom which he and later his sons used during boyhood is nearby on the same floor. After marrying Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905, the young couple moved in with his mother. The estate remained the center of Roosevelt's life in all stages of his career. During his presidency alone, he came for almost 200 visits. The estate functioned as a "Summer White House", where the president hosted his political associates as well as other prominent national and international figures.
Harry S. Truman Farm Home and Presidential Museum and Library
- Independence and Grandview, MO
The Harry S. Truman Farm Home, also known as the Solomon Young Farm was the residence of future US president Harry S. Truman from 1906 to 1917. The house is part of Harry S. Truman National Historic Site.
The Truman Farm Home is located 15 milesaway from Independence in Grandview, Missouri. The farmhouse at 12301 Blue Ridge Blvd was built in 1894 by Harry Truman's maternal grandmother, and is the centerpiece of a 5.25 acre remnant of the family's former 600 acre farm. Truman worked the farm as a young man, from 1906-1917. It was here, said his mother, that Harry got his "common sense." Guided tours are conducted during the summer, but there is no visitor center on the site.
The Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library is a library and museum dedicated to preserve the papers, books, and other historical materials relating to former President Harry S. Truman. It is located on a small hill facing U.S. Highway 24 in Independence, Missouri, Truman's hometown.
It was the first presidential library to be created under the provisions of the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act and is administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. It was dedicated in July 1957 in a ceremony which included the Masonic Rites of Dedication; those attending included Herbert Hoover, Earl Warren, Eleanor Roosevelt, and William F. Knowland.
The president and his wife, Bess Truman, are buried in the courtyard of the Library. Their daughter, Margaret Truman, was on the board of directors, and upon her death in January 2008, Margaret Truman's ashes and those of her late husband, Clifton Daniel, were interred there as well.
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