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Go 419: Fremont museum celebrates former President Hayes' 200th birthday

From Friday through Sunday, the museum will hold multiple events to celebrate the former president's 200th birthday.

FREMONT, Ohio — One of Ohio's most famous citizens turns 200 next week.

The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museum in Fremont has a full weekend of activities to celebrate the 19th president of the United States.

Fremont's Rutherford B Hayes wore a lot of hats in his life: Civil War General, Congressman, Ohio Governor and lawyer. While he was born in Delaware, Ohio, on Oct. 4, 1822, he retired to his Fremont estate, Spiegel Grove, after his one-term presidency, where he died on Jan. 17, 1893, at 70 years old.

Starting on Friday, the museum, which is at the Spiegel Grove estate, will hold multiple events to celebrate the former president's 200th birthday.

There will be a birthday-themed escape room on Friday and Saturday, discounted Hayes home tours, a viewing from The American Presidents Film & Literary Festival and free admission to the museum all day on Saturday and Sunday.

Kristina Smith, the museum's marketing and communications manager, said the goal is to bring in people from northwest Ohio and beyond who have never visited the historic center before.

"Even though President Hayes is not very well known, it's just an amazing story that he and First Lady Lucy Hayes dealt with during their lifetime, and how those things apply today as well," Smith said.

Credit: Hayes Center
A wreath-laying ceremony will be held Sunday afternoon.

A birthday celebration would not be complete without a photo booth. The celebration will have the opportunity to pose with the man himself.

And on Sunday, a full birthday ceremony will commence at 1 p.m., featuring live music and talks from dignitaries on the veranda of the Hayes Home, followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at Hayes' tomb.

Smith said the celebration is to honor a man from humble midwest roots who led the state and the country in times of great political division.

"This is America's first presidential library," she said. "We have so much to do here. We have the grounds which are an official arboretum, we have the museum, we have the library, we have the Hayes home. Everything here is just amazingly preserved. It's a great way to learn about Ohio history and American history."

Presale tickets for the escape room, Hayes home tours and Tuesday morning sunrise walk, as well as more information, can be found here.

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