For well over 10 years, we have been traveling to the Ludlow area for camping at Calvin Coolidge State Park, and we frequently pass the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site located in Plymouth, Vermont. I have often wanted to stop and check it out, and finally visited with my daughter on our last camping trip. This is a beautiful area of Vermont, and it is interesting to learn about the history behind it.
The President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site is easy to find, with a large sign out by the road.
I had to loop around the site to find the parking lot, but there is plenty of parking, and we headed to the Visitor’s Center. The Visitor’s Center is interesting to explore, as it has different exhibits.
We were set up with a tour group, which took us around the site to the different buildings.
Calvin Coolidge was born in Plymouth Notch on July 4, 1872, and was also buried in the cemetery here. This homestead was given to the State of Vermont in 1956 by Calvin’s son John.
He was the only president born on July 4th, and it is very interesting to see his actual birthplace, which is very well preserved.
The home contains many original pieces of furniture and other household items, from pictures on the walls to a comforter that Coolidge sewed himself when he was just 10 years old. Even the cross stitch was carefully stitched by one of the family members. While pieces have been moved around the household, seeing the original items is a fascinating look into life years ago.
On August 3, 1923, Vice President Calvin Coolidge became the 30th president of the United States. Our tour guide transported us back to that night, as she told us about how the Secret Service had to contact the Coolidge family, and showed up right where Coolidge took the oath of office at 2:47am. The “Oath of Office Room” still contains the table, Bible, and lamp used in the inauguration.
There are many buildings at the historic site, from homes to a church, store, barns, and more. Some require a tour guide (like the birthplace of Coolidge), while others you are welcome to explore at your own pace.
It was interesting to see the different aspects of life. This barn contained a winter mail sled that contained a tiny stove inside to provide heat to the sleigh driver! The modes of transportation and the farm equipment really took me back in time, and I found myself picturing people working and traveling in the 1800’s. Vermont winters can be tough, and I got a sense of how much work it took to get through those cold winters.
We wrapped up our time at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site by visiting the Plymouth Cheese Store. This has a gift shop, cheese samples, and a cheese factory on-site.
We enjoyed the cheese while we looked out over the mountains, and I like the old style label on the cheese (which I assume is modeled after the original label).
This is a great stop to make in Vermont. I enjoyed learning more about the Coolidge family and the history of the site and the area. It is nice to see everything so well-preserved, and to take a peek back in history.
Visit the Calvin Coolidge Historic Site online at https://historicsites.vermont.gov/calvin-coolidge