A boy named Hiram, destined to change the course of history, was born 200 years ago this month in a tiny, one-room cottage near 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 on April 27, 1822, will be celebrated this month at that birthplace, now an Ohio History Connection historical site.
Other bicentennial events will take place at other locations in Clermont and Brown counties, including Grant’s boyhood home and schoolhouse 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 boyhood.
Born Hiram Ulysses Grant, the boy became Ulysses S. Grant due to a paperwork error upon his admission 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 many fond memories of his boyhood in the area.
And, of course, Grant went on to become the 18th President of the United States.
A complete list of bicentennial events, which continue throughout 2022, is available through the Discover Clermont visitors bureau at www.discoverclermont.com/grant.
Grant bicentennial birthday events
• Bicentennial birthday week events begin from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 23-24 at the Grant Birthplace, 1551 Ohio 232, Point Pleasant, Ohio. The site will host Civil War reenactors and a wandering storyteller who will interact with visitors both days. On April 23, the site will also host an historic participatory dance demonstration by the Forget-Me-Not Dance Company at 3 p.m. and a cake-cutting ceremony with speeches at 4 p.m.
The Birthplace will also host a reading of a Grant Bicentennial Proclamation at 2 p.m. April 27, with tours and light refreshments.
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• Downtown New Richmond, just a few miles from the Grant Birthplace, will host its own Grant Birthday celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 23.
Riverside restaurants, shops and community organizations in New Richmond will offer specials and activities and a shuttle bus will run every 30 minutes to the Grant Birthplace and back.
• A Grant Birthday bicentennial dinner will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. April 27 at Norlyn Manor, 4440 State Route 132 in Batavia. The dinner will be prepared by a team of all-star Clermont County chefs and will include period music and speeches and reenactments by local actors. Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.discoverclermont.com/grant.
• On April 28 at 6 p.m., the Georgetown United Methodist Church, 217 S. Main St., will host a presentation “Women in Grant’s Life.”
• The time Grant’s family spent in nearby Bethel will be recalled 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 big bicentennial birthday bash will take place in Georgetown throughout the day of April 30, ending with a light show and fireworks finale on Courthouse Square.
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Events begin at 10 a.m. at Gaslight Theater, 110 E. State St., with Admiral Sean Buck, superintendent of the US Naval Academy, interviewing “General US Grant” as portrayed by long-time Grant reenactor Curt Fields.
At noon, birthday cake
will be served at the Georgetown United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 217 S. Main St. Lunch will also be available for purchase.
At 2 p.m., Gaslight Theater will host “A Conversation with US 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 on Courthouse Square, or at Gaslight Theater in case of rain.
The light show and fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
Admission to all the day’s events is free. The Grant Boyhood Home (www.usgrantboyhoodhome.com, 219 E. Grant Ave., Georgetown) and the Grant Schoolhouse, 508 S. Water St., will also offer free admission during the day.
The www.discoverclermont.com/grant site also includes information about the Land of Grant Trail, featuring 17 visitor sites with connections to Grant in Clermont and Brown counties. A mobile trail-guide download includes information about each stop and allows visitors to register to receive a special Grant bicentennial commemorative medallion.
Steve Stephens is a freelance travel writer and photographer. Email him at [email protected]