With recent news reports about the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX, it reminds us of the presidential library right here in the Pioneer Valley.
The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library and Museum may not be as impressive as more recent presidential libraries, but is the local one ideal for a day trip. It may not even have its own building, but it is worth a visit nevertheless. It is located in Northampton’s Forbes Library, which is the city’s public library. One may also want to take a drive by 21 Massassoit Street in Northampton, which is where the Coolidge lived.
Coolidge was the 30th president of the United States. He became president in 1923, when President Warren Harding died of a heart attack in San Francisco. Coolidge learned that he was president while visiting his parent’s home in Vermont. As the White House’s website put the scene: “By the light of a kerosene lamp, his father, who was a notary public, administered the oath of office as Coolidge placed his hand on the family Bible.”
From the local presidential library website:
“The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum contains materials documenting the private life of Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), beginning with his birth and formative years in Vermont, his student days at Amherst College, and his years as a young lawyer in Northampton. Exhibits and manuscripts, written and pictorial, cover his political career from Northampton to Boston to the White House and his post-presidential years as a Northampton resident.”
Admission is free.
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129.