Grover Cleveland Birthplace Museum

Story: Bryan Stephens
Photography: National Park Service
Saturday, May 4, 2019

Grover Cleveland is the only American President to be born in the state of New Jersey and one of two American Presidents having connections to New Jersey with Woodrow Wilson being a governor of New Jersey prior to being President. Cleveland is also the only American President to serve two non-consecutive terms as President. In Cleveland’s first term he was the 22nd president from March 4th, 1885- March 4th,1889 and as the 24th president from March 4th, 1893-March 4th,1897. With Benjamin Harrison serving in between Cleveland’s two terms as president.

Cleveland was born in this house in March of 1837. When he was still young, his family moved to New York. When Grover entered adulthood he studied and practiced law and then eventually entered politics. Grover Cleveland was a bachelor upon entering office but soon after taking office he married Frances Folsom. Prior to getting married his sister Rose served as first lady. When Cleveland married he was 47 years old and Frances was 21 years old. To this day Cleveland is the only American president to get married while in the White House. When Grover Cleveland ran for re-election his campaign was poorly managed and he lost his re-election campaign to Benjamin Harrison. However, in the following presidential election, Cleveland defeated Harrison to become president once again, mainly due to hyperinflation under the Harrison administration.

Within the Grover Cleveland Birthplace museum there is an array of artifacts related to Grover Cleveland. There are campaign memorabilia from different campaigns that Cleveland has been in. Also in the collection are artifacts such as the cradle Cleveland slept in as a baby, suits worn during his presidency, the chair Cleveland used in the White House, and even a slice of the wedding cake from Grover’s and Frances’ wedding. Throughout the house there are many interesting artifacts and stories to learn about America’s 22nd and 24th president.

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace museum is in Caldwell, New Jersey and is a registered state historical site run by volunteers. There is no fee to enter the museum but they do accept donations and have memberships available at $35 for an individual and $45 for a family membership. The site is open Wednesday-Sunday from 10am-12 noon and 1pm-4pm. Upon arriving there was a sign posted saying to knock on the door and a volunteer will let you in. Inside the house, only the first floor is open to the public and visitors have the option to have a tour guided by a volunteer or to do a self-guided tour.

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