SCHOOL TOURS OF THE HAYES HOME AND MUSEUM
The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, Ohio is home of the nation's first presidential library and museum. The Center is a tribute to Rutherford B. Hayes, the 19th president of the United States. It opened to the public May 30, 1916.
Rutherford B. Hayes earned widespread public recognition for his heroism and leadership during the Civil War. As commander of the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, he rose in rank from major to brevet major general. He was wounded five times in battle. His military achievements paved the way for a political career that led to the presidency. President Hayes served one term in the White House, from 1877-1881, choosing not to seek re-election. Hallmarks of the Hayes administration were equality for all and education for the masses. His honesty and fairness in dealing with issues, from the rights of freedmen to prison conditions, resulted in a renewed respect for the office of the president. Hayes and wife Lucy retired to Fremont to take up residence at their beloved Spiegel Grove estate. Amid the towering trees and expansive lawns, Hayes set about collecting artifacts that would relate the story of the Gilded Age to future generations. After his 1893 death, Hayes' foresight inspired his son Webb C. Hayes to conceive plans for creating a facility to honor his father and display his artifacts and collected records. Work on the structure started in 1912.
Today the three-story Hayes Museum/Library complex showcases those same artifacts, as well as President Hayes' diaries, presidential papers, books and family possessions. The displays chronicle Hayes' life emphasizing his influence and impact on the nation, the State of Ohio, the presidency, the Civil War and the period of American life known as the Gilded Age. The Hayes Museum is host to numerous exclusive exhibitions. In addition to being a repository for primary sources related to President Hayes, the Hayes Research Library is home to one of the area's largest genealogy collections.
The Hayes Home is a stately 31-room brick mansion constructed in three stages between 1859 and 1889. The Hayes Home contains original furnishings belonging to the President and his family. Guides take visitors through two floors of the home, explaining its history and offering insights into the lives of President and Lucy Hayes.
Spiegel Grove itself is a historic landmark. Representing a quarter of the President's original 100-acre estate, the grounds contain remnants of two historic trails: the Scioto Indian Trail and the Harrison Trail (a supply route during the War of 1812). The graves of President Hayes and his wife Lucy, both of whom died at Spiegel Grove, are located on the grounds. Guided grounds tours of the 25-acre site are available.
Information about scheduling a tour for your class:
The Hayes Center recommends one adult for every 12 students
The Hayes Museum and Hayes Home are wheelchair accessible.
There are no dining facilities at the Center, unless prior arrangements have been made. Birchard Park is a short two-block walk away for those interested in a picnic experience. (The park has shelters and restrooms).
Hayes Home and Musem
- School tours of the Hayes Home and Museum take about 2 hours. This allows students time to move between the facilities.
- The Hayes Center can accommodate groups of up to 120 students each day.
- Knowledgeable guides provide age-appropriate tours of the Hayes Home.
- Docents lead students through the Hayes Museum's permanent and temporary exhibits.
A Museum Store is located in the Museum building. At least 15 minutes additional time should be scheduled for classes who plan to shop.
Hours of Operation
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday (closed Monday)
noon - 5:00 p.m., Sunday and federal holidays
$3.00 per building or $5.00 for both buildings for students, chaperones, and teachers.
The Hayes Presidential Center is in Fremont, Ohio, off of exit 91/6 of the Ohio Turnpike (I80/90) or via US 20, US 6, SR 53, or SR 12.
Bus Driver's Instructions
Buses should take Hayes Avenue to the insection of Buckland Avenue (a flashing yellow light marks the intersection.) After turning right onto Buckland, make an immediate right to enter the grounds of the Hayes Presidential Center. Students should be dropped off at the main entrance of the Hayes Museum/Library (the tan sandstone building). Bus parking is located on the north side of the Museum/Library.
If your scheduled arrival time is delayed for any reason please call 419-332-2081 or 800-998-7737.
To check on date availability for your visit please complete the reservation form . You also may contact the Center's Reservation Coordinator between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday through Friday at 419-332-2081, ext. 238. If the Reservation Coordinator is away from her desk, please leave a voice mail message and she will return your call.