The Grant Cottage State Historic Site, a 19th century residence where U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant completed his memoirs shortly before his death, has been named a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.
Acquired by State Parks in 1957 as a State Historic Site, the 43-acre Saratoga County property includes a two-story residence where Grant, diagnosed with terminal throat cancer, went to complete his memoirs for six weeks immediately prior to his death in July 1885.
While seriously ill at the cottage, Grant completed writing his two-volume memoirs outlining his service as the general in charge of the U.S. Army during the Civil War, and his subsequent two terms as U.S. President.
Published with support from Grant’s friend and prominent author Mark Twain, the work assured the financial security of his widow, Julia, and their children, and is recognized as an important 19th century work of literature, as well as a New York State Literary Landmark, by United for Libraries and the Empire State Center for the Book. The memoirs have never been out of print since their original publication.
Located immediately below the summit of Mount McGregor in Saratoga County, the cottage is kept as it was during the Grant family’s stay. Open to the public seasonally by the Friends of the Ulysses S. Grant Cottage, visitors can tour its first-floor original furnishings, decorations, and personal items belonging to Grant.
Tours are scheduled to resume for the season in May 2021. Artifacts on display include the mantel clock stopped by Grant’s son Fred at the moment of his father’s death, and original floral arrangements from Grant’s funeral in August 1885.
Grant Cottage first opened as a historic site in 1890 when it was supported by funds raised by veterans of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The grounds surrounding the Cottage served as a tuberculosis sanitarium beginning in 1914, which in 1945 was converted into a veteran rest camp, until 1960 when it was repurposed and annexed as the Rome State School for disabled children until 1976. The Friends of Ulysses S. Grant Cottage was formed in the fall of 1989 to provide programming and tours, and partner with New York State Parks on site stewardship.
For more information, call (518) 474-0456 or visit the National Park Service website.
Photo of Grant Cottage provided.