Hayes family travels inspire exhibit
Rutherford B. Hayes enjoyed traveling. He was the first United States president to travel to the West Coast while in office. After his beloved wife Lucy died, Hayes filled the void of her loss with travels. His children and grandchildren caught the travel-bug as well, as evidenced by their numerous steamer trunks and travel journals that are in the Center's collections.
Inspired by this unique global archive, the Hayes Presidential Center created Tales of Travels from the President’s Attic. The exhibit opened Sept. 11, 2012, and continues through January 27, 2013, in the Hayes Museum. It is made possible through the generosity of title sponsor Croghan Colonial Bank. *NOTE: The Hayes Presidential Center is CLOSED Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Tales of Travels from the President’s Attic takes a look at travel when it was a luxury few people could afford and when the risks were very real. Visitors can see what early tourists – like Rutherford and Lucy Hayes – saw when they visited Yosemite Valley in the late 1800s (nine years prior to its designation as a National Park), what a 19th-Century hunting party encountered on the Great Plains, or the barely-explored lands of Alaska three decades before it became a state. A focal point of Tales of Travels from the President’s Attic is dozens of travel trunks left by the Hayes family in the attic of President Hayes’ home. From leather to wood, small to large, camel-back to square, the trunks tell not only the story of varied trips but also the evolution of travel. Along with these behemoth-sized precursors of the suitcase, the exhibit showcases travel photos, clothing, souvenirs, and journals dating from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. A video component of the exhibit plays 20th Century home movies of the Hayes family’s travels to France and Scotland.