Presidential Pathways: An Introduction

I have written about some of my sight collecting adventures, which so far have focused on visiting baseball stadiums, but I have not yet delved into sharing my pursuit of presidential sights.  In 2007, I started making an effort to visit presidential birthplaces, burial places, and libraries.  While searching through the Internet I stumbled upon a great resource, which has been instrumental to my travels: Rachel Kochmann‘s book, Presidents: Birthplaces, Homes, and Burial Sites.  She coordinated a summer trip with her husband and visited all the locations listed in her book.  She has updated the book numerous times, but I have stuck with the original book I purchased.

Here is my tally of presidential sights:

  • Birthplaces = 12
  • Burial Sites = 19
  • Libraries = 7
  • Completed Presidents = 8 (Van Buren, W. H. Harrison, Grant, Taft, Coolidge, F. D. Roosevelt, Truman, and Nixon)

Unlike Kochmann, I do not try and visit all houses associated with presidents unless it is convenient to visiting the three primary sights.  I have visited some presidential homes, but they can be difficult to visit because many are privately owned and there are often multiple locations with presidential ties.  I also make a distinction between visiting “unofficial” presidential libraries and those operated by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  So far I have only counted NARA-operated libraries towards my goal of visiting all of a president’s key sights.

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