Weird History
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What Presidents' Childhood Homes Actually Looked Like

March 15, 2021 11.2k views26 items

We tend to think of presidents as these larger-than-life, often wealthy figures - and true as that may be since it is the most powerful job in the world - the men who have held the position have to start somewhere. The majority of the U.S. presidents grew up in much different circumstances than they were in when they left office or were in the White House. Presidents' childhood homes are now historic landmarks, in many cases, and a lot of them are extremely modest. 

The childhood homes of presidents like Woodrow Wilson, George W. Bush, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, John F. Kennedy, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln are all wildly different from each other. Some are incredibly small while others are a bit more expansive. That said, the places these presidents grew up in can offer an alternate perspective of their lives.

  • George Washington - Stafford County, VA

    Photo: Aamarcian / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    When George Washington was six years old, his family moved to a farm in Stafford County, Virginia, where they lived in a pretty impressive house. The farm, referred to by the family as the Home Farm but now known as Ferry Farm, is now open for tours and considered a significant historic landmark. 

  • Thomas Jefferson - Richmond, VA

    The most fascinating thing about Thomas Jefferson's childhood home, Tuckahoe, is that had some serious circumstances been different, he may not have lived there after all. His mother's cousins, the Randolphs, built the home and raised their children there. But when both parents died (when Thomas Jefferson was only two years old), the Jefferson family decided to move into the plantation home to raise the Randolph children along with their own. 

  • James Madison - Orange County, VA

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    James Madison grew up on a plantation in Orange County, Virginia, and while he likely lived in a smaller home on the property called Mount Pleasant, his true childhood home was a brick Georgian the Madisons named Montpelier.

  • John Quincy Adams - Quincy, MA

    Photo: Daderot / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    John Quincy Adams' childhood home is located in a town now called Quincy, but was known as Braintree in the 18th century. His father, of course, was John Adams—the country's second president and one of the founding fathers. John Quincy was born in the home and lived there for much of his early life with his family, until he ultimately was called to activism and service himself and later became the sixth president.