(for the record, I didn’t have the camera, or Jake wouldn’t have made the face – I figure putting it on the blog will cure his camera attitude… 😉 and you can tell Eli was SO excited!!! actually, we were all pretty tired between the bum and the storm and the not-so-great parking lot camping the night before.
The park is a beautiful, tho small National Park, and the rangers there were super!
The ranger that gave us our grounds tour told the kids about the kids that lived here when U.S. Grant first visited the farm; the farm belonged to the parent’s of a military friend of Grants – when the friend, who was to be stationed elsewhere, found out that Grant was going to be stationed close, he made Grant promise to visit his family. (Grant would later marry his friend’s sister)
The very first person to greet Grant on his very first visit to the farm, was 6 yr. old Emma, little sister of his soldier friend. The ranger really got into telling our 6 y.o. Emma about that 6 y.o. Emma, and from then on, Emma was quite vested in this particular Jr. Ranger program! LOL!
We got a tour of the house (quite personalized I might add!). The park was very quiet this day, so we got the red carpet treatment!
Inside ‘White Haven’, which is what they called the home on the Dent farm, there are several rooms on the main floor that are open to the public. In one of the rooms, there is a picture frame hanging on the wall above the fireplace – the frame is really a tv, and it’s where you watch a short little film about life in White Haven during the time that Grant, and Mr. Dent both lived there. Mr. Dent was a slaveholder, and Grant was, of course, against slavery. The ‘magic mirror’ showed a lively dinnertime conversation that might have taken place in the home at the time.
We were given insight into the running of the farm, and the work that Grant might have done in the farm office… the park has an original blotter used by Grant, and you can even distinguish part of his signature on it.
This is the winter kitchen. Located under the house, the heat produced while the slaves cooked the day’s meals, would have risen and helped to heat the house during the daytime.
Molly liked this activity in the kids area – it’s right next to a bunch of dress-up clothes – clothes that the Grants (Pres. U.S. Grant and his wife Julia) would have seen on their around the world trip.