VILLAGE OF FAYETTEVILLE – George Cleveland made an early stopover in Fayetteville on September 18 to take a peek into the village once called home by his grandfather, who happens to be the only man to have been elected to two non-consecutive terms in the presidency of the United States.
Since the lives of George and Grover Cleveland were decades away from each other on this earth, the equally mustached descendant did not spend his early years playing on the South Lawn of the White House as some might even think. if he still felt the connection when he visited his grandfather’s house. childhood residence at 109 Academy Street on Saturday, often finding himself running with his fingertips along the walls of the hallways and rooms Grover walked through.
“I believe in vibrational history a lot,” said George. “When you find yourself in the place where something happened, if it concerns you personally or if it is an event of great historical significance, it’s always fun. “
In the first year of his life, Fayetteville Mayor Mark Olson lived in the same house as one of eight children. It is now owned by Nancy Needham, who moved in as she searched for a place to retire in the mid-1990s.
Stephen Grover Cleveland was born in New Jersey in 1837, but lived in Fayetteville from 1841 to 1850 before his family moved to Clinton. Part of his later teenage years saw him return to the village to work as a clerk at the McViccar dry goods store, which was located in what is now Limestone Plaza.
He eventually went on to become Erie County Sheriff, Mayor of Buffalo, and Governor of New York before becoming 22nd and 24th All-in-One President, but even in preparation for this rise in politics, his grand- son said that many writings have named Fayetteville as the source of some of man’s fondest memories.
At 70, the current Tamworth, New Hampshire resident has grown accustomed to anyone’s surprise that there is only one family generation between him and Grover Cleveland, his succinct recorded response giving the explanation of coitus and mathematics.
In 1886, a year and a half after his first term as president, Grover married Frances Folsom, 21, who was 25 years his junior. In 1897 the two had Richard, whose second wife Jessie Maxwell Black gave birth to George in 1952.
During his visit, the guest of honor of the village benefited from a full tour of the Free Library of Fayetteville. Staff had their grandfather’s wooden bobsleigh in addition to a Grover Cleveland Day program, held on the 100th anniversary of his presidential visit to the village in 1887.
Later that day, George sat down for an open interview at the back of the library with Larry Cook, a locally born presidential historian who he met at the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival.
Cook said the more he learned about Grover Cleveland, the more he realized that his personal side revealed a “treasure trove” of information.
“His life could be turned into a novel or a movie,” Cook said. “It contains all the politics and romance and a bit of scandal and medical drama.”
Throughout the 45-minute interview, Cook and the President’s living likeness discussed the covert operation on a malignant tumor in Grover’s mouth, his alleged irregularity involving an illegitimate child, and the fact that he was single by the time he entered the Oval Office.
It was agreed, however, that Grover was an avid fisherman and hunter who remained honest, grounded in his faith, and ultimately unwilling to take advantage of the post-presidential civil service.
The couple also alluded to Grover’s sister Rose, who served as interim first lady early in her first administration, as well as her daughter Ruth, who is believed to have inspired the candy bar name Baby Ruth. .
George said he has traveled all of New York City, especially its western part, but this past weekend marked his introductory trip to his grandfather’s first home in the state.
“I see why he loved his Fayetteville years so much,” said George. “No doubt about it. “
Known for his collection of 8,000 pieces of President-related memorabilia, Larry Cook is the author of the books Presidential coincidences, amazing facts and Collectibles and Symbols of Patriotism: First Ladies and Daughters of the American Revolution.
Along with his work as a radio station’s news director and voice actor, George Cleveland engaged in large-scale reenactments of his grandfather’s wedding and second inauguration, experiences which he considers a form of time travel in the late 1800s. In the process, he uses a physical impression of Grover that involves dropping his voice and stuffing a pillow under his shirt to mimic a slight weight gain, all dressed from head to toe in appropriate clothing at the time.