Ulysses S. Grant Cottage Historic Site
Ulysses S. Grant Cottage National Historic Landmark tells the story of Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War Commanding General of the U.S. Army, 18th U.S. President, and beloved American public figure. The preserved final home of Grant and the surrounding grounds, featuring stunning views taken in by Grant as he completed his memoirs in 1885, and acts as a time capsule of the Grant family's stay and his final days.
The Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant ensured his family's financial security and has never been out of print; standing as a work of profound political, historical and literary significance, praised by critics including Mark Twain, Thomas Nast, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, Edmund Wilson, Bruce Catton and Gore Vidal naming Grant Cottage as the 24th New York State Literary Landmark. Visitors can book a tour of the downstairs of the Cottage to view original furnishings, decorations, and personal items belonging to Grant, including the bed where he died, and floral arrangements that remain from Grant's August 4th funeral with their guide; or enjoy the grounds and free audio tour at their convenience. Grant Cottage is owned by the State of New York and is open SEASONALLY to the public by the Friends of the Ulysses S. Grant Cottage. Located just 9 miles from downtown Saratoga Springs.
2022 Grant Cottage Programs & Events
U.S. Grant’s Bicentennial Birthday Celebration
Saturday, June 18th, 10 AM – 5 PM
It’s been 200 years since former 18th President and Civil War commanding Union General Ulysses S. Grant was born. To help us celebrate, the Friends of Grant Cottage invite you to a fun-filled family birthday event on the grounds of Grant Cottage! Our celebration will include an open house of the cottage, complimentary food (including birthday cake), music, magician, games, face painting, and more. Meet General Grant (portrayed by living historian and Grant Cottage tour guide Steve Trimm) and sing Happy Birthday to the General. The popular 77th NY Regiment Balladeers will perform Civil War-era music during a one-hour concert beginning at 1:00 PM. Tom Smith and Diana O’Brien will be singing engaging songs from their Knee High Songs for Children program in period dress during the all-day event as well. Other reenactors will be on-site to share their expertise on topics such as tin-type photography, Civil War medical practices, and what it was like to be a Civil War infantry soldier. Attendees will be given small American flags as souvenirs of a memorable day at Grant Cottage. We look forward to sharing this exciting day with you!
“A Concert: 19th Century Songs of Whimsy by Tom & Friends”
Sunday, August 7 at 4:30 PM
Those living in the United States during the 1800s shared their common humanity by seeking occasional respite from life’s daily toil and discomforts and from a Civil War that lasted for four tragic years. In response, contemporary composers offered emotional relief through music and diversion from feelings of sadness. Their music enriched private family and community occasions in a playful and (to our sensibilities) quaint manner. Many of these songs endure today - still lifting spirits and making people smile.
Listen to Tess McCarthy (mezzo-soprano), David Rudnick (tenor), Joe Gitto (harmonica), and Tom Smith (guitar & Grant Cottage tour guide) present music from another period in our nation’s history for this memorable concert on Grant Cottage’s porch.
This concert features a special performance of a tune composed to praise Ulysses S. Grant, likely not performed in public since the late 19th Century.
“All About Birds”
Saturday, August 20 at 4:30 PM
“All About Birds” is a multimedia introduction to birding. Topics covered will include songs and bird calls – why birds make sounds and how they create them, how we identify bird species, habitats of the North Country, fascinating behaviors – such as why the American Woodcock bobs and how a Common Loon swallows a foot-long fish, what birds eat, migration – why birds move, where they nest, birding ethics – how we balance our interest in seeing birds with their welfare, and conservation issues. The presentation utilizes audio recordings, videos of interesting bird behaviors, photographs, and PowerPoint slides. Weather permitting, the program will be held on Grant Cottage’s porch.
Our presenter is Joan Collins, President of Adirondack Avian Expeditions & Workshops, LLC. Joan leads birding trips year-round, is a New York State licensed guide, past President of the New York State Ornithological Association, current editor of New York Birders, past Board of Directors member of the Audubon Council of New York, and President of the Northern New York Audubon Society.
“The Myth of Grant’s Silence”
Saturday, August 27 at 4:30 PM
Things are not always as they are portrayed when studying historic figures. Was Ulysses S. Grant truly the silent man as often described? Join author and historian Dr. Chris Mackowski on Grant Cottage’s porch as he explores the real story behind the misunderstood and fully capable communicator who was U.S. Grant. A book signing will follow the program.
Dr. Mackowski is a Professor of Communication and Jandoli School Assistant Dean at St. Bonaventure University. He is the Managing Editor of the Emerging Civil War book series and blog and has been featured on several television programs. His books have been widely
published, and he is the author of nine books, including Grant’s Last Battle. Dr. Mackowski’s program will be the first in the annual Grant Cottage Literary Landmark Authors series.
“A Visit with General and Mrs. Grant”
Saturday, September 10 at 4:30 PM
Ulysses and Julia began their life together after their wedding in 1848. They already had faced trials of uncertainty and separation that came with the Mexican War and Grant’s career as a soldier (until he resigned from the army in 1854). The years of struggle for financial security and his eventual triumph as commander-in-chief of the Union Army in 1865 followed.
Beginning in 1869, they spent 8 years in the White House during the tumultuous Reconstruction period, afterward traveling the world greeted by crowds, dignitaries, kings, queens, and emperors. Upon their return, they settled into a comfortable life centered on their children and grandchildren in their Manhattan townhouse. Whatever their circumstances, they were warmed by the joy of their happy family life and faith in each other.
Join living historians Steve Trimm and Melissa Trombley-Prosch as they interpret the life of Grant Cottage’s favorite grandparent couple through anecdotes and stories in the setting of one of their last visits to Saratoga in 1882. Their beloved eldest granddaughter, little Julia
(portrayed by Delilah Robinson), will accompany the couple.
“Global Peacemaking: Ulysses S. Grant as Global Peacemaker, and 61 Years of an American treasure, the Peace Corps”
Sunday, September 18 at 2 PM
Ulysses S. Grant had a presidential campaign slogan in 1868, “Let Us Have Peace.” His slogan was certainly rooted in his Civil War experiences, but after eight years as President he traveled the world as an ambassador, and at times, a mediator for the cause of peace among people and nations. In his way, Grant was an effective advocate of global peacemaking to citizens of tthe United States.
In 1961, a different kind of army was organized in an innovative and bold move by President John F. Kennedy’s administration to promote global peace, namely the Peace Corps. Peace Corps volunteers, as diverse as the countries they are of service to, are hard at work in
countries across the globe. In the spirit of U.S. Grant’s commitment to peace-making, Grant Cottage wishes to honor and express our gratitude for the often unheralded service of Peace Corps volunteers.
Join us on the Grant Cottage porch as tour guide Diana O’Brien and Peace Corps veterans Renee St. Jacques and David Gittelman present a program celebrating the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, Grant as a peacemaker, and mission of the Peace Corps as it enters its seventh decade of service!