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Grover Cleveland Birthplace - Caldwell, New Jersey

Grover Cleveland Birthplace
Grover Cleveland Birthplace
An Afternoon Visit To The Birthplace Of Former President Grover Cleveland - August 7, 2008

I grew up in the West Essex area and am visiting family in New Jersey throughout the month of August. Today, with some free time on my hands this afternoon, I paid a visit to the Grover Cleveland Birthplace Historic Site. The home is located on Bloomfield Avenue in Caldwell, New Jersey.

The home itself sits on a few acres of a well-manicured lawn with large trees providing plenty of shade. The structure, built in 1832, looks in very good shape.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace Tours are free inside. That is one of the original fireplaces inside the room on the right.

The building was originally owned by the First Presbyterian Church in Caldwell functioned as the parsonage for whomever was the pastor of the church. Grover Cleveland's father was the leader of the church when he was born in 1837, but the family moved to New York State two years after his birth. Cleveland's parents had nine children in all.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace Grover Cleveland Birthplace Inside one of the rooms is the bedroom Grover Cleveland was born in. Grover Cleveland was placed inside that very craddle (right photo) when he was a toddler.
Frances Cleveland The top photo is my best attempt to photograph a framed picture on the wall. That young bride is Frances Cleveland, Grover Cleveland's wife.

President Cleveland is the only president to marry while serving as President. Cleveland, well into his 40's, married Frances at the young age of 21. Pretty interesting!

19th Century Head Wreath
Historic Wedding Cake
The middle photo shows a head wreath worn by Frances Cleveland during her wedding day. The silver dollar is the actual coin Cleveland paid for the marriage license.

This is a bizarre piece of history! The adjacent photo is the remains of the original wedding cake from their wedding day celebration. Somehow, it has survived after all these years. The tour guide told me the cake is fruitcake, which is known to last longer than most other cakes. ;)

Grover Cleveland Birthplace That desk was Grover Cleveland's desk when he served as governor of New York. If you look closely (click the photo to see it larger), you will note the six buttons on the right side of the desk. Those buttons were used to buzz people with some kind of bell near his office to come to the governor.
President Grover Cleveland Grover Cleveland and Theodore Roosevelt President Grover Cleveland. A few notable facts about Cleveland, who served during the "no name Presidents" era of the 19th century:

1) Cleveland is the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms in 1885-1889 and 1893-1897. He was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States.
2) President Cleveland lost in the 1888 election to Benjamin Harrison, despite winning the popular vote.
3) Along with being the only person to marry as president, he is the only president to have a child born as the chief executive as well. (More on that below)
4) Cleveland was the first Democratic president since the Civil War.

The right photo is a shot of Grover Cleveland (left) with Theodore Roosevelt (center) and an unknown person.

Baby Ruth Cleveland
Baby Ruth
President Cleveland's first child, Ruth, was born in 1891 between Cleveland two terms. I do not remember many of the details the tour guide explained, but the Baby Ruth candy bar was named after "Baby Ruth" - the maker of the candy wanted a pretty name and went with it!

Ruth, the oldest of five children, died from dyptheria (sp?) at the age of 12.

Esther Cleveland The Clevelands had five children in all. The second child, Esther Cleveland, was the first child of a President to be born in the White House. (Click photo to read more details.)

The youngest child, a boy, was born in the early 1900's and lived until 1995.

Dunkin Donuts Amazingly, there is a Dunkin Donuts shop across the street from this historic site. I love Dunkin Donuts so much! :)
Grover Cleveland Birthplace One photo of myself in front of the home. It was a nice visit!

These photos were submitted by Steve Garufi. His personal web site is:

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