Wilson home offers free holiday history lesson

A steady stream of history buffs filed through the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson in Augusta on Monday.

 

Nicholas Powell, 8, had researched the subject before visiting the residence on his day off from school.

Wilson "was on a baseball team, and he was our 28th president," Nicholas said.

Free admission attracted 107 visitors to the home.

"With it being Presidents Day, it's a wonderful opportunity to take advantage of what's in our community," said Nicholas' mother, Ashley Powell.

Wilson lived in the home while his father was pastor of nearby First Presbyterian Church, docent Stephanie Herzberg explained to visitors.

The family left in 1870, when Wilson was 13.

Among the period antiques inside is a 1911 photograph taken when Wilson, then governor of New Jersey, returned to visit the house, Herzberg said.

Four home-schooled children visiting with their mother examined the name "Tom" etched into a downstairs window.

Wilson, known as a boy by the nickname "Tommy," scratched his name in the glass with a piece of his mother's jewelry, Herzberg said.

The home was purchased in 1991 by Historic Augusta, which opened it to the public in 2001.

Each year, about 3,000 people visit the house, including many who seek out presidential residences, Herzberg said.

"If they see an advertisement for a presidential home, they get off the interstate," she said.

The neighboring residence of former Supreme Court Justice Joseph Lamar, with whom Wilson played on the "Lightfoot Baseball Club," houses the offices of Historic Augusta.

If you go

WHAT: The Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson

WHEN: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday

ADMISSION: $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students

INFORMATION: (706) 722-9828, www.wilsonboyhoodhome.org