Over the summer, we decided to visit a few local historical places. I never realized that the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site was so close to home! Located just south of St. Louis, Missouri, this area was preserved for future generations by the National Park Service.
We first entered the beautiful Visitor Center and browsed the exhibits. I believe tours take place on the hour and are FREE! The site is open from 9:00-5:00 daily. We then joined a ranger led tour to learn more about the property.
This historic site was known as “White Haven” in the mid-1800’s and was a large plantation owed by Frederick Dent. At this time, St. Louis was the 8th largest city in the United States and this location was ideal. Mr. Dent had a daughter, Julia, who Ulysses would marry. The new couple lived at White Haven from 1854-1859 and raised their children here. Ulysses would then become a famous Civil War General and the 18th president of the United States.
At one time, White Haven covered about 850 acres. Today, it is much smaller, but a few of the structures still remain including the main house, summer kitchen, chicken house and ice house. As part of the tour, you are able to enter the house and browse the downstairs rooms.
Does the green color of the house seem strange since the plantation was called White Haven? Paint analysis showed that the home was painted several colors, but during the time the the Grant family was living here it was painted a color called ‘Paris Green’ with dark green trim. How unique!
I also picked up a National Park Ranger doll in the gift shop! If I could be anything else besides an accountant as my day job, it would be a Park Ranger (hopefully with a sidekick dog – Ellie!)
If you have young kids, be sure to check out Grant’s Farm which is just across the street!