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The National First Ladies' Library, Canton

3.7
#5 of 14 in Things to do in Canton
Historic Site Library
First Ladies National Historic Site is a United States National Historic Site located in Canton, Ohio. During her residency in Washington, D.C.. Mary Regula, wife of Ohio congressman Ralph Regula, spoke regularly about the nation’s First Ladies. Recognizing the paucity of research materials available she created a board to raise funds and for a historian to assemble a comprehensive bibliography on American First Ladies. From these inspirations came a National First Ladies’ Library, established in 1996 and First Ladies National Historic Site. The site was established in 2000 to commemorate all the United States First Ladies and comprises two buildings: the Ida Saxton McKinley Historic Home and the Education & Research Center. Tours start at the Education & Research Center, located one block north of the Saxton McKinley house on Market Avenue. The 1895 building, formerly the City National Bank Building, was given to the National First Ladies’ Library in 1997.The first floor features a theater, a large exhibit and meeting space and a small library room with a collection of books that replicates First Lady Abigail Fillmore's collection for the first White House Library. The center's second floor is home to the main National First Ladies' Library. Other floors contain conference rooms, storage and office space.The Ida Saxton McKinley Historic Home preserves the home of Ida McKinley, the wife of U.S. President William McKinley. The brick Victorian house, built in 1841 and modified in 1865, is furnished in the style of the Victorian era. Costumed docents provide tours, and exhibits focus on President and Mrs. McKinley, photos of First Ladies, and Victorian decorations.
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123 reviews
Google
4.1
  • Loved seeing copies of First Lady dresses, but the display was much smaller than we'd expected. Staff was very friendly. Combined with the McKinley-Saxton House, a fun afternoon.  more »
  • For under $7.00, the hour+ spent on this tour was worth it. There are 2 locations in one to see and the history of our 25th president William McKinkey who was a native of Canton. The first ladies muse...  more »
  • Very nice display of inaugural dresses. Mrs. McKinley's home was also interesting. Be sure you check the tour schedule before you go. You cannot visit the house on your own.  more »
Google
  • The replication inaugural gowns are ok but not very exciting especially since I've seen the originals at the Smithsonian. The museum itself, Ida McKinley's house, is also lacking anything unique or original artifacts, however the restoration is beautiful. Good if you are looking for something to do on a budget but not particularly interesting.
  • Interesting, but much smaller than I expected (only 1 room) & pretty much only has inauguration gowns. The tour of the Saxton house (included in entrance fee) was much more interesting. Note that there is free outdoor parking right next door to Saxton house. Parking in the garage next to the library will cost you around $8
  • This place offers a very unique tour. Everyone is very friendly and knowledgeable. I absolutely love the McKinley House.
  • Keeping history alive
  • The docents and tour guides are very well-informed. I learned a lot and the buildings themselves were beautiful! The Saxton House tour was very interesting, Ida Saxton McKinley is not a first lady that normally shows up in history, but she probably should! Definitely worth checking out if you are in the area!