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.