Disclaimer: We did receive two free tickets for the tour of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own.
A visit to the Benjamin Harrison Presidential House is sure to delight people of all ages, even if they are not history buffs.
From the collection of furniture, photos and other items that actually belonged to President Harrison and his family to the historic gardens there is simply so much to see.
Here are five great reasons why you should visit the Benjamin Harrison Presidential House, even if you aren’t into history.
To Step Back In Time And Learn Fascinating Facts
The outside of the Benjamin Harrison Presidential House does not really stand out.
The house itself fits quite well in the neighborhood and other than noticing the names and dates on some of the plants in the gardens, you might think this is just an old house like any other.
The welcome center is also rather modern with a gift shop.
However, behind the gift shop counter is the actual horse carriages and the goat cart that Mr. Whiskers, President Harrison’s goat pulled.
Mr. Whiskers went to the White House with him and there are children’s books that detail the adventures that took place.
However, once you step inside the house itself, it is like stepping back into time.
The first room you see contains items that actually belonged to President Harrison and his family, including the original rug that President Harrison and his family walked on.
In fact, 75% to 80% of everything in the Benjamin Harrison Presidential House is authentic.
This is a rarity and one reason why anyone who loves the Victorian era, antiques or history should visit.
Benjamin Harrison Presidential House Annual Exhibit
On the third floor of the house, where the ballroom once was, are annual exhibits.
The exhibits might be anything from historic fashion, to Presidential pets or even artifacts from the White House.
Glitz & Glamour in the White House is the 2019 annual exhibit.
This exhibit showcases some of the gifts given to past United States Presidents as well as some of the clothing worn.
There are items from every Presidency on display, including furniture, evening gowns and solid gold commemorative coins.
There are even a few questionable keepsakes.
The Benjamin Harrison Presidential House Candlelight Theatre
For those who want to do more than just take the tour of the house, there is the Candlelight Theatre.
The plays are performed by seasoned actors.
From mysteries to comedies to historically-inspired tales, there is sure to be a play that suits your personal tastes.
While many of the plays are performed in the Benjamin Harrison Presidential House, some of the summer productions are performed at a nearby satellite stage, so be sure to check the location of the play before you visit.
For those who live in the area and wish to participate as an actor or actress, be sure to check out the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site Candlelight Theater for details on how to participate.
The Benjamin Harrison Presidential House Civil War Dinner
Once a year, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential House hosts a Civil War Dinner.
During this dinner, participants get to dine with General Benjamin Harrison and his Major, who share their stories of service to the Union during the Civil War.
The Civil War dinner includes a house tour, hors d’oeuvres and wine as well as dinner.
The meal consists of food typically eaten during the Civil War with many of the ingredients being locally sourced in Indiana, as they would have been back then.
The meal includes recipes from the Harrison family as well as a dessert that would have been made by Laura ‘Dolly’ Johnson, who was Harrison’s White House Chef.
The Benjamin Harrison Presidential House Historical Gardens
The historical gardens at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential House was the icing on the cake for me.
Sadly day we visited the Presidential Lilac Garden was not in full bloom as I had hoped, however I was able to see some of the names of the lilacs as well as see a few blooms.
We were a little early for the historic peonies to be in bloom, but are considering going back for the Garden Party the end of May.
I did get to see one of the peonies in bloom and was blown away by the large size of the bloom and the gorgeous color.
The Concord Grape plant was starting to leaf out on the new grape arbor that was built for it.
What is remarkable about this particular grape plant is Concord Grapes were planted on the property by the Harrison family when they lived there.
While I have no idea how old the one I saw was, I could tell from the base of the plant, that it was quite old.
The Freedom Garden was in bloom.
The plants in the Caroline Harrison Herb Garden were starting to come up.
The Hoosier Harvest Vegetable Garden was not planted yet.
The Elizabeth Harrison Rose Garden had one Rugosa Rose in bloom, but the hybrid tea roses were just starting to leaf out.
During the summer I can only imagine the beauty of this garden and do encourage you to visit if you are in the area.