Rutherford B. Hayes enjoyed traveling. He was the first U.S. president to travel to the West Coast while in office.
After his beloved wife Lucy died, Hayes filled the void of her loss with travels. His children and grandchildren caught the travel-bug as well, as evidenced by their numerous steamer trunks and travel journals.
Inspired by this unique global archive within its collections, the Hayes Presidential Center created “Tales of Travels from the President’s Attic.” The exhibit opens Tuesday, Sept. 11 and continues through Jan. 27, 2013 in the Hayes Museum. It is made possible through the generosity of title sponsor Croghan Colonial Bank.
Stacks of trunks stored in the Hayes Home attic were
inspiration for “Tales of Travels from the President’s Attic,”
on exhibit Sept. 11 through Jan. 27, 2013 at the Hayes
Presidential Center. (Photo courtesy of the Rutherford B.
Hayes Presidential Center)
“Tales of Travels from the President’s Attic” takes a look at travel when it was a luxury few people could afford and when the risks were very real. Visitors can see what early tourists – like Rutherford and Lucy Hayes – saw when they visited Yosemite National Park in the late 1800s, what a 19th-Century hunting party encountered on the Great Plains, or the barely-explored lands of Alaska three decades before it became a state.
A focal point of the exhibit is dozens of travel trunks left by the Hayes family in the attic of President Hayes’ home. From leather to wood, small to large, camel-back to square, the trunks tell not only the story of varied trips but also the evolution of travel. Along with the behemoth-sized precursors of the suitcase, the exhibit showcases travel photos, clothing, souvenirs, and journals dating from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. A video component of the exhibit plays 20th Century home movies of the Hayes family’s travels to France and Scotland.
The Hayes Museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7.50 for adults, $6.50 for senior (age 60 and older), $3 for children 6 to 12 and free for children younger than 6. For information call 800-998-PRES or visit www.rbhayes.org.
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center is located at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues, Fremont.