Thursday, May 23, 2019

Grant Days at Ulysses Grants Boyhood Home

Before it gets too far away from me, I want to post some of the pictures from our first event of the season, now nearly a month ago! This event takes place yearly at the Ulysses Grant Boyhood Home historic site, and though we did not attend last year, we did the year prior and had a lot of fun!

I initially planned to go to a rendezvous held the same day but after a few friends said they would be at Grant Days, I decided to go there instead and I am glad I did! I took three of the boys with me and the other children preferred to stay with Grandma.

It was a cool day and really rather perfect weather for donning lots of layers. I didn't know if any of the clothes from last year would fit any of the children but thankfully we managed, although I will definitely need to make my oldest son, David, a new suit for any future events.

Grant Days is a small living history since the area in town is not situated well for a battle. I like these types of events better, though. A battle is a huge crowd draw, but life in the 1860's was SO MUCH MORE than battles. Most civilians of that time, especially those in the more northerly states, likely never saw any type of battle. They continued to live life as best they could, caring for themselves and their families in as normal a way as possible, and probably everyone alike, north and south, desperately wished for an end to the conflict.

I really like seeing the Grant home and I never lose a happy thrill of excitement when I step through the doorway into the home that Jesse Grant built for his family when his famous son was just a little boy. The names and personalities of the prior inhabitants seem to warmly fill the home still; it was, after all, not that long ago the rooms echoed with the sounds of childish voices, the low murmur of adult conversation, maybe the sounds of Ulysses himself giving a sermon (though he was the only child in his family not forced to go to church).

It was also nice to see friends who were encamped in the yard across the road. My oldest son was absolutely thrilled to talk with a blacksmith who came out to demonstrate his craft and was even more thrilled when he was allowed to sit at the forge and make an S hook (with some help!) Since that time he has become obsessed with blacksmithing and hopefully in the future he can do more!

We watched a period style magic show, talked with members of the local Sons of Union Veterans group and enjoyed a nice lunch. A big birthday cake for Ulysses was presented and cut and consumed. Happy birthday Mr. President!



  1. My husband has done some blacksmithing and it is one of the more fulfilling aspects of his life. Crafting so often is! We use S hooks on our oven door to hold the pot holders and we will use wall hooks in our next place for coats. He also has a rebar snake which is cute and guards our desk lamp. So i hope your son continues, as its fun, satisfying, and creates really awesome objects that are just plain useful. Also my goodness the kids just keep on getting older! Im pretty sure thats against the rules. :P

    1. Thank you for your encouragement! It is great that your husband has this outlet for creativity and creating something beautiful and so practical! So thank you for encouraging David to keep on. I am looking into some opportunities he may have at some of our local historic sites to learn from the smiths that volunteer there. We got him an anvil and a hammer so far. . .not sure yet what kind of forge to get/build but he is researching this constantly so I'm sure he will give me some ideas soon! lol It does seem to be so practical and I love how enthusiastic and passionate he was when crafting his little S hook. He got that happy flush on his face and was so proud of his work. Last week we were at another event where a different smith was set up and he was so kind and helpful to David and let him create a few things. . .so maybe this will become something he will continue on at! He is autistic, so when he loves something he LOVES it and it becomes an obsession. It has been model rockets for the past year or so but now it's this. I must say this is far more practical than model rockets! And yes, they do grow too fast! My oldest son is taller than I am now and outweighs me by more than fifty pounds. . .it seems just yesterday he was a 4 lb 10 oz preemie baby.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!