Everyone knows which president's face is on the dollar bill, but George Washington has some competition now that the U.S. Mint has issued a one-dollar coin with the visage of Ulysses S. Grant.
In May, the Mint released its 18th coin in the Presidential Dollar Series. Each year, four new coins are released (with Grant among this year's newcomers). The Mint is also releasing a ten-dollar coin featuring Grant's wife, Julia Dent.
Located in St. Louis, the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site is the house named White Haven, originally Julia's family home that sat on an 850-acre estate. The future president met Julia when he was invited to this house by his West Point roommate, Fred Dent, her brother.
The couple lived at White Haven off and on during the 1850s, before moving to Galena, Illinois. The Main House is supplemented on the property by several other structures, including a restored icehouse and a chicken house. The site was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986 and today consists of nearly 10 acres of land.
Many associate Grant with his tomb in New York City, where he lies next to Julia, or with Illinois, where he lived in Galena. (By the way, the correct answer to the trick question "Who is buried in Grant's Tomb?" is "No one," as Grant and his wife are entombed there, not buried.)
Equally important to students of history is the president's farm near St. Louis in Missouri, where the National Park Service is studying the potential addition of the farm to the existing U.S. Grant National Historic Site and as a separate park unit for its historic resources associated with Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company and the Busch family.
Watch the introductory film at the Visitor Center Theater, walk the historic paths, visit the Main House and outbuildings, or explore the interpretive museum in the old stable. (Grant was an expert horseman, and had this stable built during his presidency for the thoroughbred horses he raised and bred here.)
Flora & Fauna
There are several hundred trees on the property, and it is a haven for animals such as raccoons, woodchucks, rabbits, squirrels, red foxes. and a wide variety of birds.
Hours and Fees
You can tour the Main House on free visits every 30 minutes from 9:30am until 4pm. Entrance and tours are free, but time-specific calling cards are required (available at the Visitor Center). The site is open daily from 9am to 5pm, but closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's days.In 2011, every national park will offer free admission on June 21, the first day of summer. Also all the parks will be free on Sept. 24 (National Public Lands Day) and on Veterans Day weekend (Nov. 11-13).
Children can sign up here to be a junior ranger and participate in ranger activities when scheduled.
There were 39,967 visitors here in 2010.
Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site (tel. 314/842-3298; www.nps.gov/ulsg)