Clio Logo

The Saxton-McKinley Home is part of the National First Ladies' Historic Site and Museum. It is the last remaining home, other than the White House, that President William and First Lady Ida McKinley lived in. It is also the family home of Ida Saxton McKinley. The home was built in two separate sections; the first part was built in the 1840s and was then added on to in the 1860s. The home remained within the family for many years. It is also one of the few homes known throughout history to pass down from generation to generation of women in the family. It went from Ida's Grandmother to her mother then to her sister. Eventually though, the house fell out of family hands and like the bank building many other businesses were in and out throughout the years. Some of the business included a restaurant and a boarding house as well as others. At one point, a brick façade was even built over the front of the house to make it more business-like. In the late 1990s, the house had been condemned and was about to be torn down. The typical story that is told is that Marshall Belden Jr. (the same man who donated the bank building) noticed the wrecking ball about to hit the building and quickly realized it was his ancestral home. Belden was the grandson of Ida's sister and had spent some of his summers there as a child. He immediately stopped destruction, bought the house, and spent a lot of his own money to restore the outside of the home. He then went through the process of finding someone to purchase the home from him when he heard of Mary Regula's idea about opening a library and museum dedicated to our Nation's First Ladies. Once it was acquired by the First Ladies National Historic Site, the interior was remodeled as closely to the original home as was possible. The home is now open for guided tours only and the tours are led by a volunteer typically in period dress, or dressed as a First Lady. The museum is open regularly Tuesday through Saturday and tours start every half hour at the Education and Research Center. Sunday hours are available throughout the summer months. Reservations are required for large groups but not for individuals or small groups. For more information on tours or to make reservations visit http://www.firstladies.org/mapdirections.aspx. The First Ladies National Historic Site is a part of, but not fully owned by the National Park Service.