Sunday, December 28, 2008

Raise the Rutherford!

The Seven Days of Hayes
December 24 – December 30

A week-long celebration commemorating Rutherford B. Hayes’s arrival in Cincinnati on December 24, 1849 and ending with his wedding to Lucy Webb on December 30, 1852.

On the Fifth Day of Hayes . . .
The Hayes Anniversary Celebration at Spiegel Grove

Yesterday, the Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio, commemorated the wedding of Rutherford B. Hayes and Lucy Ware Webb with the Hayes Anniversary Celebration. I decided to road-trip it to Spiegel Grove and attend the festivities. In addition to the museum exhibits (including a popular holiday train display) and the home being open for tours, special activities took place in the museum including music, Christmas carols, and Father Christmas.
On the grounds of Spiegel Grove, Civil War reenactors from the First Independent Artillery Battery demonstrated how soldiers survived during harsh weather with a Wintertime Encampment. In addition the South Creek Clydesdales provided horse-drawn sleigh (and carriage) rides through the grounds. The weather, however, was beautiful and 65 degress so it seemed more like spring than winter.
I had been to Spiegel Grove before but I was able to spend a little more time there yesterday, including talking to some of the reenactors, walking around the grounds, and taking in a sleigh ride.

With the rain and melting snow, one was able to experience first hand how Spiegel Grove was named "for the large puddles of rainwater that collect beneath the towering trees following a storm. 'Spiegel' is the German word for mirror - an accurate description for these nature-made reflecting pools." (From the Hayes Presidential Center)
Finally, since I know everyone was interested, I took a picture of what the Hayes's 621 West Sixth Street home looked like . . . I have seen two references about the home including one account that it was their legal Cincinnati residence until 1873 when they permanently moved to Spiegel Grove following his second term as Governor. Another reference is that they moved to Walnut Hills in 1867 to a address I cannot find! It is killing me not knowing.
"Raise the Rutherford!" is a continuing, slightly humorous series to raise awareness of Rutherford B. Hayes and erect a statue of him in Cincinnati.

1 comment:

Nan Card said...

Thank you Dan for your visit to the Hayes Presidential Center during our Hayes Anniversary Celebration. With your permission, I posted your photographs and the video of Spiegel Grove filmed on Dec. 27th during "Sleigh Rides through Spiegel Grove" on the Hayes Presidential Center website ( It was a great holiday event for hundreds of visitors who enjoyed touring Spiegel Grove, the Hayes Home,and the Museum. Your fine research on President Hayes' years in Cincinnati is greatly appreciated! The best to you in the New Year!

Nan Card
Curator of Manuscripts
Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
Spiegel Grove
Fremont, Ohio