Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center

First stop on our swing through Ohio was the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center and Museum in Freemont. Hayes, a Republican, the 19th President of the United States serving one term from 1877–1881. As president, he oversaw the end of Reconstruction, began the efforts that led to civil service reform, and attempted to reconcile the divisions left over from the Civil War and Reconstruction.



Campaign Buttons

Campaign Buttons


The museum had some interesting items including a set of campaign buttons from his election, and a large campaign banner. It also housed his official carriage (the 1870’s Presidential Limo).

Rutherford Hayes was the first President to visit the West. He made a long journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific by train, stagecoach, buggy, army ambulance, steamer, ferry boat, tug boat, yacht, and ocean vessel.



Stops included Lake Tahoe, Yosemite and the San Francisco Bay area.

According to records kept, the total public funds spent for the trip was only $575.

He returned home just in time to cast a vote for his successor, James Garfield.

We also visited Rutherford Hayes’ home, which was on the same property as the museum.


We learned that he was the first official “tree hugger.” Hayes would make his guests find a tree on the property and hug it. Then he would attach a plaque commemorating it as that person’s tree. Pictured below is Grover Cleveland’s tree. Legend has it that Clevelend refused to hug a tree, but stumbled when getting into his carriage, and he backed into this tree keeping him from falling.

Grover Cleveland Tree

The Hayes Museum had a special exhibit of First Ladies’ Red Dresses. One of the causes championed by former First Lady Laura Bush while in the White House was women’s heart health. She provided voice and star power to the National Institute of Health The Heart Truth campaign’s The Red Dress fashion show in New York.

The Hayes Presidential Center continues that White House initiative with its exhibit “Dressed for Life: First Ladies’ & Red Dress Collection.”


Nancy Reagan’s Red Dress


More photos in the gallery.


Pro Football Hall of Fame

Next stop was Canton, Ohio to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This was a great museum for any football fan to visit. You can relive the history of American football. One treat was a great re-cap film of the 2015 Superbowl. Forgot how close and exciting that game was.

Here are some highlight pics.



View more in the gallery.


William McKinley Museum & Home

We weren’t able to make it to President McKinley’s museum this trip, but we did find the home he lived in. It was part of the national First Ladies Museum (which was closed for renovations). Here are a few photos of the home.







Our next stop: New York