Grant birthplace celebrates designation to National Register

Friday, October 16, 1998

BY WALT SCHAEFER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[grant home]
Curator Loretta Fuhrman shows how the bedroom was lighted during the time Ulysses S. Grant lived there.
(Ernest Coleman photo)

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POINT PLEASANT -- Mary Campbell's 31-year quest to have the birthplace of President and Civil War general Ulysses S. Grant placed on the National Register of Historic Places has ended.

The Grant homestead and the 4.75 acres around it along U.S. 52, just east of Big Indian Creek at Ohio 232 here, was officially listed on the historic register by the National Park Service on Aug. 6. A ceremony will be held at the site at 1 p.m. Saturday.

"I've been trying to get this since 1967," said Mrs. Campbell, who moved to Point Pleasant from upstate New York in 1961. "My great-grandfather fought at Gettysburg with the Sixth New York Infantry. I have always been interested in Civil War history.

"The birthplace has only been on the state historical register and not the National Register and it has so much significance. I began contacting the state historical society, elected officials -- state and county representatives -- to have it included," Mrs. Campbell said.

[grant home]
Grant's house.
(Ernest Coleman photo)

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The site encompasses a small white frame house -- birthplace of the 18th president of the United States and commander of the Union Army of the Potomac under Abraham Lincoln. It includes the Grant Memorial Bridge with historic lights and original Civil War cannon on each stone corner piece, a caretaker's house, picnic grove and restrooms.

The site is owned by the Ohio Historical Society and will continue to be operated by Historic New Richmond under an agreement with the state since 1990.

The birthplace was built in 1822. The bridge was constructed in 1927. In 1890, the homestead was placed on a barge which took it to river towns along the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri rivers for display, said caretaker Loretta Fuhrman.

map
The Grant Birthplace is open through October Wednesdays through Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m, and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. From November until April it is open by appointment by calling 1-800-283-8932. School classes and other groups are welcome.
In the late 1920s, it was placed on a rail car and taken to the Ohio State Fairgrounds in Columbus where it was displayed until it was returned to its original foundation in 1936.

Steve Gordon, survey and National Register manager for the Ohio Historic Preservation Office in Columbus, said: "The timing was right" for the national designation.

It becomes one of about 3,300 sites in Ohio so recognized by the National Park Service.

Grant's boyhood home in Georgetown in Brown County is one of 66 Ohio sites designated as National Landmarks -- one step up in prestige from the register, he said.

Mrs Fuhrman estimated 11,500 tourists visit annually during the seven months -- April through October -- the museum is open five days a week.



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