Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
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|Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center|
Fremont, Ohio, United States
|Named for||Rutherford B. Hayes|
|Size||52,640 square feet (4,890 m2)|
|Management||Hayes Presidential Center, Inc.|
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center is a complex comprising several buildings related to the life and presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes. Located in Fremont, Ohio, the center comprises the Rutherford B. Hayes Museum and Library and Spiegel Grove, an estate encompassing the Hayes home, residence to several generations of the Hayes family. Opened in 1916, the Rutherford B. Hayes Center Library was the first presidential library and one of only three for a 19th-century president. The Center is supported by the private foundations, the Ohio Historical Society and Hayes Presidential Center Inc.
The library holds the 12,000 volume personal library of Rutherford B. Hayes, as well as materials relating to his military and political career, particularly of his presidency from 1877 to 1881. It also contains 70,000 volumes plus newspapers and journals from the time of the Civil War to the eve of World War I.
The library was built by the state of Ohio in 1916, and was expanded in 1922 and in 1968. Stephen A. Hayes, the great-great grandson of President Hayes, is the President of the Board of Trustees for the Presidential Center.
The center became national news in 1996 when the Associated Press reported that a real estate company in Florida sent a computerized letter to the Hayes Center, apparently inviting the former president to buy a condominium: "Rutherford, we're excited for you!" it read. The director of the center graciously turned down the offer for the long-dead President Hayes.
The library has continued its special interest in Rutherford B. Hayes and concentrates on the history of the U.S. from 1850 to 1917, especially the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Spanish-American War, railroad, education, black history and Indian/government relations. Second, the history of Ohio and the Sandusky River Valley and the Northwest are of interest. There is a large genealogical collection. The library contains history books on nearly every county of Ohio, but also on counties of many other states of the U.S. Some materials are also available online.
- Joseph Scott Mendinghall (1984), PDF (32 KB), National Park Service and PDF (32 KB)
- Associated Press, 23 February 1996
- Official site
- "Life Portrait of Rutherford B. Hayes", broadcast from the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center from C-SPAN's American Presidents: Life Portraits