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Visiting the Harding Home and other things to do in Marion, Ohio

Nearly three years ago, I’d arranged a field trip for our local homeschool support group in Ohio. Of all the field trips I’ve set up over the years, this was one of my favorites. We had a great group of people, a great group of kids and it was one of those rare days when things just all fell into place. If you’ve ever set up a field trip, you’re probably aware that despite your best-laid plans, things don’t always go as well as you’ve planned. This day was an exception.

From my journal:

Today we enjoyed a beautiful ‘almost’ fall day in Marion, Ohio learning about our 29th President of the United States, Warren Gamaliel Harding. We began our day with a tour of the Harding Home that he had built prior to his run of the presidency in 1920. This was the home where his famous ‘Front Porch Campaigns’ were held, sometimes drawing crowds of 30,000 to listen to his campaign for a Return to Normalcy to a post-WWI America.

Our tour guides were excellent and my family enjoyed the tour of the home, each citing different aspects as our favorite part of the tour. Chelsea enjoyed the decorative bedroom of the President and First Lady Harding while I enjoyed viewing the collectable China pieces and demitasse tea cups in the dining room.

After our tour, we explored the small on-site museum before heading to McKinley Park to eat our packed lunches, allowing the kids to run off some energy before continuing our day.

After eating, we enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the nearby Veterans Memorial Park, located across the street from the Harding Memorial. The memorial park is said to be the only one outside of Washington D.C. that has all the memorials in one place. There is even a memorial to the current War on Terror. We were fortunate to have a veteran of the Persian Gulf War in our midst and he took a few minutes to share some heartfelt words about one of his personal friends that perished in that war.

We continued across the street to the park-like setting to see the Harding Memorial. The kids found it exciting to know that school children had collected thousands of dollars in pennies to complete the project. Planned almost immediately after his death, this memorial is one of the largest and most beautiful presidential memorials outside of Washington D.C. It was built in 1925 of Georgian marble.

Our final stop for the day was to the Marion Cemetery to see the Mysterious Revolving Ball. For more than a century, the 5,200 pound polished black granite ball has slowly rotated on a pedestal in the cemetery. This mysterious phenomenon has even been featured in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”.

We had a wonderful day with friends, beautiful weather and the field trip was educational, fun and relaxing.

Have you been to Marion, Ohio? What things would you suggest to do?

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Friday 26th of February 2010

Wow, what a memory you have. I really enjoyed going on this field trip with you :-) I still remember our 5th grade field trip when I was a kid. It was to a bread factory! Love the pics.Mary

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