As we are planning our summer road trip I am looking at what historical places of interest we can visit. We are heading to Ohio in September for a conference so I thought I would look up a few places that have historical significance that we may want to add to our Ohio road trip agenda. Here are a few places I’d like to try and work into our visit.
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park (Dayton)
Aviation is something that has been an interest in our family for generations. My grandfather was in the Air Force and my mom has her private pilots license. Visiting the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park is our top of stop! Did you know that the Wright brothers were from Ohio? I didn’t. In fact, Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, and Paul Laurence Dunbar were all from Dayton Ohio. Thanks to these men, Dayton, Ohio is known as the birthplace of aviation. Did you know there is only one building left standing where the Wright brothers operated their bicycle business? You can visit it while at the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park.
Tomb of William Henry Harrison (North Bend)
William Henry Harrison was the ninth President of the United States. When visiting the tomb of William Henry Harrison you will learn about his life and his accomplishments. Above the tomb, you can take in a panoramic vision of the Ohio River Valley. Harrison was born in Virginia but as an adult, he settled in the Ohio River Valley. His family stayed in the North Bend area, his grandchild, Benjamin was born there. Benjamin went on to be the 23rd President of the United States. It was Harrison’s wish to be buried on Mt. Nebo in North Bend, Ohio. He was buried on July 7, 1841, in a simple family tomb on the summit of Mt. Nebo. In 1871 the Harrison family sold its estate, with the exception of the six acres constituting Congress Green Cemetery. That same year, the President’s son, John Scott Harrison, offered the site and the tomb to the State of Ohio, on condition that it be preserved.
The tomb has 24 vaults containing the bodies of William Henry Harrison; his wife, Anna, who died in 1864; their son, John Scott, father of President Benjamin Harrison; and other members of the family. Several sealed vaults are unmarked.
James A. Garfield House (Mentor)
The 20th President of the United States, James Abram Garfield, had a home in Mentor, Ohio. Today, you can visit that home and get a glimpse into what life was like for our 20th President. In 1880, James Garfield used his front porch as a platform to greet thousands of well-wishers during his presidential campaign. Today, you can walk on that same front porch and travel back in time to see what life was like for Garfield and his family.
The James A. Garfield National Historic Site is open November – April on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-5pm. From May – October, the site is open daily from 10am-5pm. Guided tours of the Garfield home occur on a scheduled basis throughout the day. Please call ahead for the daily tour schedule. Though times may vary, the last tour of the day is always at 4:15pm.
William Howard Taft National Historic Site (Cincinnati)
Who knew that Ohio was home to so many Presidents? Ohio is also the birthplace to William Howard Taft, our 27th President. Taft was also a Chief Justice, he’s the only person to have ever held both offices. High atop one of Cincinnati’s most prominent hilltops stands the two-story Greek Revival house where William Howard Taft was born and grew up. The home has been turned into a museum containing many items from Taft’s personal life and political career.
Guided Tours of the Taft House are given every thirty minutes. The last guided tour of the day will be 4:00 p.m. Currently, the historic site is open 7 days a week – 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.