Spiegel Grove: The Hayes estate
Spiegel Grove is the name given to the estate of 19th U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes. It was so named for the large puddles of rainwater that collect beneath the towering trees following a storm. "Spiegel" is the German word for mirror - an accurate description for these nature-made reflecting pools. The Hayes Presidential Center is located within 25-acres of the President's original estate.
President Rutherford B. Hayes inherited the property known as Spiegel Grove from his maternal uncle, Sardis Birchard. Birchard purchased the property on November 5, 1846. He had long admired the large wooded acreage. Its large trees and thick underbrush are said to have reminded him of the German fairy tales of his youth. He kept the property in its natural state until 1859 when he began construction of a house on the property. Birchard never married. His intent was that his nephew and family reside there with him in his retirement.