The President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth Notch preserves the birthplace and childhood home of Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States. Brought to the world’s attention on August 3, 1923, when Calvin Coolidge took the presidential oath of office in the parlor of his family home, the historic village appears much as it was during Coolidge’s lifetime. The homes of the Coolidge family, their relatives, and friends edge the small village green, joined by the 1840 church, 1890 school house and cheese factory, pre-1835 store with post office and dance hall, and historic agricultural structures and barns. The bucolic image is completed by the 1924 Summer White House office and the tourists’ cabins constructed in 1927 for the first of many visitors making the pilgrimage to explore the rural environs that shaped Coolidge’s life and those of his ancestors who first settled here in the 1780s. A Museum & Education Center, added in 1972 and enlarged in 2010, houses the exhibits and archives recounting Calvin Coolidge’s private and public lives. Visitors to the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site will also enjoy two museum stores, walking trails, restaurant serving breakfast & lunch, and sheltered picnic area. A journey to the Notch ends at the steep hillside cemetery where Calvin Coolidge rests amongst seven generations of his family.
Creation of the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site began in 1947, when the State of Vermont purchased the Wilder House and Barn. Wilder House, built about 1830 as a tavern, was the childhood home of President Coolidge’s mother, Victoria Josephine Moor. This first of several rehabilitation projects at Plymouth Notch provided visitors with an information center and lunch room. The Wilder Barn was restored to include an agricultural exhibit and public accessibility was improved at the Plymouth Notch Cemetery, which is owned by the town. Urged by the public and following the wishes of Grace Coolidge, John and Florence Coolidge donated the boyhood home and its contents to the State of Vermont in 1956. The 1½-story farmhouse with connected barn had been purchased in 1876 by Colonel John Coolidge, who added the front porch and 2-story front bay. Today, the Coolidge Homestead is furnished exactly as it was when Vice President Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office following the unexpected death of President Warren G. Harding. Over the next 40 years, the State of Vermont obtained ownership of the major parcels of land and significant buildings comprising the village to ensure preservation of Plymouth Notch as Calvin Coolidge remembered it. This was a vision begun just a month after the former president’s death in 1933.
In 1960, the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation was formed by John Coolidge and fellow Coolidge enthusiasts. Headquartered at Plymouth Notch, the Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacy and promoting the values of America’s 30th president. The Foundation owns and maintains the Union Christian Church, which was constructed in 1840 in the heart of the village. The church was gifted in 1970 to the Foundation by the congregation to ensure preservation of the building within the Village of Plymouth Notch Historic District.
Presentation by Historic Sites Regional Administrator William Jenney, October 6, 2020. Courtesy of the Ludlow Vermont Rotary Club and Okemo Valley TV.
Enjoy a virtual experience of our 2019 Holiday Open House at the Coolidge Presidential Site here!