Spiegel Grove was purchased in 1845 by Rutherford B. Hayes's uncle Sardis Birehard. He named it for the reflecting pools of water which collect after a rainfall. "Spiegel" is the German word for mirror.
Birehard completed the residence in 1863 and it was first used by the Hayes family as a summer retreat. It became the family home three years before Hayes was elected President. Additions between 1873-1880 enlarged the home to its present size. Four generations lived in the residence before it was opened to the public in 1956,
Opened in 1916, the first Presidential library & museum houses artifacts, documents and books about the family and the Gilded Age.
A monument of granite from the President's ancestral home in Vermont rests over the graves of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes on their favorite knoll in Spiegel Grove.
The Hayes Presidential Center is a private non-profit corporation created to manage Spiegel Grove, the Library & Museum, Residence and other properties.
President Hayes asked distinguished guests to place their hands on trees that were then named after them. Some trees are now more that 200 years old.
White House gates, a gift from the United States in 1928, stand at the six entrances to Spiegel Grove, honoring Presidents and military heroes.
The natural footpath around
the Sandusky River rapids was part of an Indian Trail from the Great Lakes to the Ohio River. Used by early French explorers, missionaries and Daniel Boone, it became Gen. William Henry Harrison's supply route during the war of 1812.
In 1790, Cherokee Indians bound the captive maiden, Peggy Fleming, to this tree. A Wyandot chief, Tarhe the Crane, rescued her from being burned at the stake.