30 - Calvin Coolidge

Our nation's only president born on Independence Day, Calvin Coolidge was born on July 4, 1872, in Plymouth Notch, Vermont.  Coolidge's father operated a general store and Coolidge was born in the small house where the family lived that was attached to the back of the store.  John and I visited in 2013:

The Coolidge family moved into a home across the street from the store when Coolidge was four years old.  This home, along with the birthplace, are now part of the President Calvin Coolidge National Historic Site.  This is a photo from my visit in 2013:

When he was twelve, Coolidge left home for Black River Academy in Ludlow, Vermont.  Upon graduation, he attended Amherst College in Massachusetts from 1891 to 1895.  I am unsure of where he resided during his education.

After graduating from college, Coolidge moved to Northampton, Massachusetts, to begin a career in law.  He roomed at a house on 40 Round Hill Road - I have been unable to determine if the building that stands there now was the home in which he lived.  While rooming in that house, he met a teacher at the school for the deaf that was across the street; in 1905, they married.

The newly married Coolidges moved temporarily into the Hotel Norwood (which no longer stands) and then into a rented home at 5 Crescent Street.

In 1906, the Coolidges moved into the left half of a two-family house that they rented on 21 Massasoit Street in Northampton, Massachusetts.  This remained as Coolidge's official residence throughout his rise in politics until the end of his presidency.  I have not yet visited this site.

Coolidge served in the Massachusetts state government for many years: in the House (1907-08), the Senate (1912-15), as Lt Governor (1916-1919), and as Governor (1919-1921).  While in the state capital of Boston, he stayed at the Adams House Hotel.  He first rented a room for $1 per day, but when he was elected governor, he upgraded to a two-room suite with a bath on the third floor for $3.50 per day.  The hotel closed in 1927 and was demolished in 1931.

Coolidge was elected vice-president in 1920.  Coolidges moved into the Willard Hotel during his tenure as vice-president.  I visited this site in 2015:

Vice-President Coolidge was visiting with his parents, who still lived in his childhood home in Vermont, when he learned of the death of President Harding.  At 2:47am, by the light of the kerosene lamp, Coolidge's father, a notary, administered the oath of office in the sitting room of the family home.  The photo below is from my visit in 2013:

The US attorney general, fearing that Coolidge's father did not possess the proper authority, arranged for US Supreme Court Justice AA Hoehling to administer a second oath in secrecy at the Coolidge's Willard Hotel residence (it was not known publicly for many years, kept secret until after the death of Coolidge's father).  The Coolidges remained in their residence at the Willard Hotel in the days following his ascension to the presidency while the widowed former first lady prepared to move from the White House.  The photo below is from a visit in 2015:

The White House underwent renovations in 1927 and during that summer, the Coolidges lived in the Patterson Mansion at 15 DuPont Circle in Washington, DC.  The mansion is currently for sale for $26 million, so if you'd like to purchase it for me as a gift so that I can open that presidential-themed bed-and-breakfast that I've always dreamed of having, that would be nice :-)  The photo below is from 2015:

During his years in the presidency, Coolidge often retreated to his family home in Vermont.  He used the room above the general store that his father once operated as his Summer White House.  The photo below is from my visit in 2013:

After leaving the White House, the Coolidges retired to a home they called "The Beeches" at 16 Hampton Terrace in Northampton, Massachusetts.  The home is privately owned and cannot be viewed from the road.

Calvin Coolidge died at his home in Northampton on January 5, 1933.  He is buried in the cemetery near his home at Plymouth Notch, Vermont.  I took the photo below during my visit in 2013:

In 1920, Vice-President-Elect Coolidge began giving documents and memorabilia to Forbes Library, the public library in Northampton.  This continued through and after his presidency.  While not part of the official presidential library system, the Forbes Library contains what it has named the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library & Museum.

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