First Ladies National Historic Site | Midwest Living

First Ladies National Historic Site

205 S. Market Ave.
Canton  Ohio  44702
United States
(330) 452-0876
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Midwest Living Review

Sarah Routh
Costumed guides who really know their stuff bring the First Ladies to life in a fun and unexpected way.

In Canton, Ohio, the First Ladies have earned themselves a historic site and an education-research center. Guided tours available year-round take visitors through both buildings, located a block apart. If you can stay awake through the first half-hour in the education center, you're in for a real treat—a gossipy romp through history as told by America's leading ladies.

Tours kick off with a ho-hum survey of whatever exhibition the museum happens to be hosting at the time (on our visit, Heroes of the Presidential Medal of Freedom). The tour gets good when you move on to the Saxton House, where costumed docents take you through the home and discuss the McKinley-era residence and 19th-century social conventions. You’ll even get a primer on the language of the fan and learn how to flirt using certain signals. The most fun happens during the ballroom portion. Here, in a room covered with portraits of the First Ladies, guides happily (and accurately) dish about their counterparts. Visitors hear story after juicy story about the presidents' wives, their nicknames and their White House experiences.

Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for children under 18. Reservations are recommended, and required for groups of six or more. The site is closed Mondays and on major holidays.

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