Spiegel Grove

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Spiegel Grove.jpg
Exterior view of Speigel Grove, the family home President Rutherford B. Hayes in Fremont, Ohio, ca. 1930-1970. Hayes was the nineteenth President of the United States, serving from 1877-1881.

Spiegel Grove is the former home of President Rutherford Birchard Hayes. It is located in Fremont, Ohio, and the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center currently occupies the site, which is open to the public under the direction of the Ohio Historical Society. Spiegel is the German word for mirror, and the home is named after pools of water that form on the estate’s grounds after a rain.

Spiegel Grove was constructed from 1859-1863. The home’s original owner was Sardis Birchard, Hayes’s uncle and guardian, who used Spiegel Grove as a summer residence. Hayes became Spiegel Grove’s owner in 1873, and he chose to make this his permanent home. Upon completion of his presidency in 1881, Hayes expanded the home to make room for his 12,000 volume library, to provide additional room for guests, and also to install indoor plumbing. In 1889, Hayes ordered the construction of another addition to make room for his children and grandchildren who commonly visited. This final addition created a thirty-one room mansion. Both Hayes and his wife, Lucy Hayes, died at Spiegel Grove and are interred on the grounds.

Spiegel Grove remained in the Hayes family until the first decade of the 1900s, when the family deeded the property to the State of Ohio. In 1916, a museum and library opened on the site, commemorating Hayes’s political and military contributions to Ohio and to the United States. This was the first presidential library commemorating a United States president.

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