The Shed Room

Shed Bedroom in the Coolidge Homestead

Hanging on the wall to the right of the chest of drawers is a woolen frock that was pulled over the head like a shirt and worn when working on the farm. This garment belonged to Calvin Galusha Coolidge (1815-1878), the President’s grandfather. When he became Vice President, Calvin Coolidge was often photographed wearing this frock around the farm.

The President later wrote: "When I went to visit the old home in later years I liked to wear the (frock) he left, with some fine calf-skin boots about two sizes too large for me, which were made for him when he went to the Vermont Legislature about 1858. When news pictures began to be taken of me there, I found that among the public this was generally supposed to be a makeup costume, which it was not... ."

The peacock feathers on the wall above the chest of drawers are from a bird kept on Grandfather Coolidge’s farm, the gray farmhouse across the pasture behind the Homestead.

The President wrote about his Grandfather Coolidge:

"He was an expert horseman and loved to raise colts and puppies. He kept peacocks and other gay-colored fowl and had a yard and garden filled with scarlet flowers... In his mind, the only real, respectable way to get a living was from tilling the soil... In order to tie me to the land, in his last sickness he executed a deed to me for life of forty acres... thinking that as I could not sell it, and my creditors could not get it, it would be necessary for me to cultivate it."

Calvin Coolidge made the quilt on the bed when he was ten years old. It was a common custom for a boy to piece a quilt. The pattern, sometimes called "Tumbling Blocks," is a particularly challenging design.

The handmade clock frame on the shelf is decorated with pieces of Vermont marble. The young Calvin Coolidge made the miniature chest of drawers on the worktable. Two carpetbags hang on the wall. The chamber pot, kept under the bed at night, was placed in the commode during the day. On the commode is a piece of Vermont soapstone. This stone was heated on the stove and retained the heat for about four hours. It helped keep feet warm in unheated bedrooms, church, and sleighs.

Colonel John, as Deputy Sheriff, kept prisoners in this room overnight when he did not have time to bring them to the county jail in Woodstock. His steel handcuffs are hanging on the wall near the peacock feathers. This bedroom was later used by Vice President Coolidge’s chauffeur.