Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site

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Saint Louis Convention

The National Park Travelers Club held the 2022 convention in Saint Louis and arranged some excursions to nearby park units. On Friday, I took the club’s bus tour to Ste Genevieve and then to Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site. We split into two groups, alternating between the ranger tour of White Haven and visiting the museum.

White Haven

Julia Dent grew up in White Haven, an 850-acre plantation. Her brother, Frederick, roomed with Ulysses S. Grant at West Point. Ulysses visited Frederick at White Haven when stationed nearby and met Julia, his future bride.

The Grants had four children at White Haven. Ulysses returned after being stationed out west and attempted to farm. After the Civil War and then eight years of Grants presidency, Julia and Ulysses retired to New York since three of their four children were there.

The Grants turned White Haven over to William Henry Vanderbilt in 1881, as payment for a debt after one of Ulysses’ financial partners embezzled his funds. The property changed hands and the farmland was developed. Albert Wenzlick rescued the land around the main house from becoming a Grant-themed amusement park in 1913. He and his descendants maintained the house until 1979. Ten years later, the National Park Service took over White Haven

Location: 7400 Grant Rd, St. Louis, MO
Designation: National Historic Site
Date designated/established: October 2, 1989
Date of my visit: July 15, 2022

This large barn houses the museum which showcases exhibits from grant’s military and presidential career as well. There is also a section dedicated to the Grant’s romance and family life.