|Birth home of Herbert Hoover in West Branch, Iowa|
I've probably driven by the birthplace of our 31rst president of the United States dozens of times but only recently stopped for the first time. Herbert Hoover is the only president born in Iowa though he spent most of his childhood outside of the state. Like other more recent presidents, he inherited a presidency followed almost immediately by a economic collapse, in his case the Great Depression. While it wasn't his fault, he inherited the blame and thus has been maligned as president until recent decades. So with that in mind, we made a special trip up to visit the historical site.
My first thought when we stepped out of the car was that there was a puddle in the parking lot. It's been over two months since I have seen an actual puddle of water so it was kind of a neat sight. We also discovered that the grounds in this part of Iowa were soft and squishy compared to the concrete ones full of cracks 18" deep that we have back home.
It was a quite day at the historical site and there were only a handful of other groups floating around so it felt like we mostly had it to ourselves. We stopped in at the museum which was interesting but not really informative as far as Hoover goes. There were lots of trinkets from around the world due to his pre-presidential life of travels as a mining engineer and humanitarian problem solver. By far the most informative thing was a 20 something minute long movie that we watched first. Still I wouldn't go so far as to say it wasn't worth the stop because it most certainly was. I picked up a book in the gift shop to fill in the rest of Hoovers story later at my leisure.
|Mask made of Hoover's face when he was still very much alive|
A couple death facts about Hoover. At the time of his death, he had the longest retirement of any president only having been surpassed in more "recent" times by Jimmy Carter in 2012. Hoover was also the second longest living president at the time (second to John Adams) but has since been surpassed by four other more recent presidents. (Ford, Carter, Regan, and H. W Bush
After visiting his burial spot, the third presidential burial spot I have visited in a little over a year's time, we walked towards the historic part of town to visit his birth home seen above and other building preserved that were around during Bert's boyhood. We found a nice winery next to the historic site so we stopped in for a taste test and a platter of crackers, meat and cheeses to sample. There were lots of other nearby interesting shops but it was an extremely hot day with high humidity and we didn't feel we had the strength to swim through the unconditioned shops to investigate so we instead went back through the historic site to our vehicle and headed home.
|Bert and Lou Hoover's Burial Site|