Like Mother, Like Son

Like Mother, Like Son

Like Mother, Like Son
By Ben Kemp, Cottage Operations Manager

“Of his mother he [U.S. Grant] said that she was the best woman he had ever known; unselfish, devoted to her family, thoroughly good, conscientious, intelligent, of a quiet and amiable disposition, never meddling with other persons' affairs, genuinely pious without any cant, with a strong sense of right and justice; unobtrusive, kind-hearted, and attached to her Church and country. I said, ‘General, you have most of your mother's characteristics;’ to which he simply replied, ‘Yes, I think so.’" -Michael J. Cramer (Brother-in-Law of U.S Grant)

Firmly Planted

Firmly Planted

“He [Grant] loved to ride through woods and note the different trees, and he knew them all, and speak of their growth and habits. He loved the growing grain and the means and processes of quickening it. He loved horses and farm animals, and a quiet, contemplative life mixed with the activity of outdoor work." -General E. F. Beale

From an early age, trees would have represented a resource to Ulysses Grant, a means to a livelihood….

In Spite of Myself

In Spite of Myself

By Grant Cottage Operations Manager, Ben Kemp

From an early age, Ulysses Grant had an awareness of politics. His father, Jesse, was involved in political discussions and debates during Grant’s childhood, even running for office and serving as Mayor of both Georgetown and Bethel, Ohio. Due to this, Grant would have had a natural aversion to political matters because of what it entailed. Contentious debating, public speaking, and self-promotional campaigning were distasteful to his reserved character. The only thing that would eventually serve to overcome his apprehensions was an overwhelming sense of duty.

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

DEAREST  JULIA

      I have just been delighted by a long and interesting letter from my Dear Julia and although I wrote you but two or three days ago I answer this with my usual punctuality.  You say you write me letter for letter well I am satisfied that my love is returned and you know how anxious one is to hear often from the one I love and it may appear to me that you do not write as often as you really do. Your letter was one of the sweetest you have ever written me and your answer to the question I have so often asked was so much like yourself, it was just what I wanted you to say; boldness indeed: no my Dear Julia that is a charge that can be never laid to you -- There is a part of your letter that is entirely incomprehensible to me.  I dont know whether you are jesting or if you are serious. I first loved Julia I have loved no one els […].

Hope & Healing on a Mountaintop

Hope & Healing on a Mountaintop

Many modern day visitors to Mount McGregor are surprised to see hulking stone buildings  when ascending the mountain road make their way to the U.S. Grant Cottage Historic Site. Their first question upon arrival at the visitor center is frequently, “What is that huge facility with the big buildings and high fences?” Although the Historic Site mainly interprets the end of Ulysses S. Grant’s life it also provides historical information about the mountain and its varied uses over the years. This helps the visitor understand the setting and the emotional, psychological and physically transformative power of that setting on the many who have visited and even called Mount McGregor their home over the years.

The Story of the Christmas Pickle

The Story of the Christmas Pickle

As Christmas approaches, my family looks forward to their annual opportunity to be hailed as “The Great Pickle Finder.” This American tradition of hanging a blown glass pickle ornament on the family Christmas tree became popular at the end of the nineteenth century and a favorite one in my family for generations. Originally imported from the Lauscha region of Germany (renowned for its blown glass), ornaments of glass in the shapes of fruits and vegetables found their way into many U.S. homes of the period. How the pickle specifically became a favorite, however, is a compelling story with a setting of Christmas in 1864. It has an additional intriguing element bringing the founder of this tradition into a shared experience with Grant Cottage’s first caretaker – one that would profoundly affect both men. The story begins at the infamous Confederate prison camp (Camp Sumter) at Andersonville, Georgia.