A boy named Hiram, destined to change the course of history, was born 200 years ago this month in a small one-room cottage by the Ohio River in the hamlet of Point Pleasant.
That boy, of course, is better known as Ulysses S Grant, and the bicentennial of his birth, April 27, 1822, will be celebrated this month at that birthplace, now an Ohio Historic Site. History Connection.
Other bicentennial events will be held at other locations in Clermont and Brown counties, including Grant’s childhood home and school in nearby Georgetown, which are also Ohio History Connection sites. .
After his birth, Grant’s family lived in Point Pleasant for a year before moving to Georgetown and the two-story brick house where he would spend his childhood.
Born Hiram Ulysses Grant, the boy became Ulysses S. Grant due to a paperwork error when he was admitted to West Point at the age of 17.
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Later, as an army general, Grant became the great Civil War hero of the Union Army, which led to his election as the 18th President of the United States.
Grant never lived in Ohio after his youth, but returned to see friends and family several times and had fond memories of growing up in the area.
And, of course, Grant became the 18th President of the United States.
A full list of Bicentennial events, which will continue through 2022, is available from the Discover Clermont Visitor Desk at www.discoverclermont.com/grant.
Grant Bicentennial Anniversary Events
• Bicentennial Week events begin 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 23 and 24 at Grant Birthplace, 1551 Ohio 232, Point Pleasant, Ohio. The site will host Civil War re-enactors and a wandering storyteller who will interact with visitors on both days. On April 23, the site will also host a historic participatory dance demonstration by the Forget-Me-Not Dance Company at 3 p.m. and a cake-cutting ceremony with speech at 4 p.m.
The birthplace will also host a reading of a Grant Bicentennial Proclamation at 2 p.m. on April 27, along with tours and light refreshments.
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• Downtown New Richmond, a few miles from Grant’s birthplace, will host its own Grant’s birthday celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 23.
New Richmond’s waterfront restaurants, shops and community organizations will offer specials and activities and a shuttle will run every 30 minutes to Grant’s birthplace and back.
• A Grant Birthday Bicentennial Dinner will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 27 at Norlyn Manor, 4440 State Route 132 in Batavia. Dinner will be prepared by a team of star chefs from Clermont County and will include period music, speeches and re-enactments by local actors. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.discoverclermont.com/grant.
• On April 28 at 6:00 pm, Georgetown United Methodist Church, 217 S. Main St., will host a presentation entitled “Women in Grant’s Life”.
• The time Grant’s family spent in nearby Bethel will be remembered at 6 p.m. April 29 at Living the Word Church, 402 W. Plane St. in Bethel. Historian Curt Fields will portray Grant, and period music will be provided by Steve and Lisa Ball.
• The Bicentenary Grand Anniversary Celebration will take place in Georgetown throughout the day on April 30, culminating in a light show and final fireworks display in Courthouse Square.
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Events begin at 10 a.m. at the Gaslight Theater, 110 E. State St., with Admiral Sean Buck, Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy, interviewing “U.S. General Grant” played by the longtime re-enactor of Grant, Curt Fields.
At noon, the birthday cake will be served at Georgetown United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 217 S. Main St. Lunch will also be available for purchase.
At 2 p.m., the Gaslight Theater will host “A Conversation with U.S. Grant” between Charles Calhoon, author of “The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant,” and Fields portraying Grant.
At 7 p.m., the 122nd Army National Guard Band will perform in Courthouse Square, or at the Gaslight Theater in case of rain.
The light show and fireworks start at 9 p.m.
Admission to all day events is free. The Grant Boyhood Home (www.usgrantboyhoodhome.com, 219 E. Grant Ave., Georgetown) and Grant Schoolhouse, 508 S. Water St., will also offer free admission during the day.
The site www.discoverclermont.com/grant also includes information on the Land of Grant Trail, with 17 visitor sites with links to Grant in Clermont and Brown counties. A mobile download of the trail guide includes information about each stop and allows visitors to sign up to receive a special Grant Bicentennial commemorative medallion.
Steve Stephens is a freelance travel writer and photographer. Email him at [email protected]