A Stop in Staunton, Virginia

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is on North Coalter Street in Staunton, Virginia.

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential LIbrary is on North Coalter Street in Staunton, Virginia.

I spent Father’s Day weekend at my parents’ house in Maryland. On my way back to North Carolina on Monday afternoon, I took a Staunton, Virginia, exit off of I-81 to stretch my legs and fuel up. A brown and white road sign for the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library caught my eye, so out of curiosity I traveled the 3.2 miles down into town. The route was well marked and I found the historic attraction easily.

The Woodrow Wilson Library is actually a series of buildings that includes Wilson’s birthplace, an Admissions & Gift Shop, and the Woodrow Wilson Museum. I was told that the library per se, with all its documents and archives, is not open daily to the public but is available by appointment for research purposes.

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The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is a series of beautiful buildings: Museum (far left); Admissions & Gift Shop (middle); & the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace (foreground), where President Wilson was born on December 28, 1856.

I was feeling a bit stingy and a bit tight on time so I didn’t pay the $14 Admission fee, which covered a self-paced tour of the museum and a guided tour of Wilson’s birthplace. I did, however, peer through the glass panels of the museum where I spied President Wilson’s shiny black 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine. An advocate for the automobile, Wilson took rides nearly every day during his presidency.  The Pierce-Arrow was a beauty!

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The glass-paneled garage at the Woodrow Wilson Museum contains Wilson’s 1919 Pierce-Arrow.

Behind the buildings was the best free attraction I could have hoped for: historic gardens! The grounds were sloping, so the gardens had a tiered effect.  Here are some of the pictures I took before hitting the open road once again. Enjoy!

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The back side of the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace faces the historic gardens and is even prettier than the front, I think.

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From the patio of the Birthplace, a view of one of the summer houses in the historic gardens at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. The buildings in the background are part of Mary Baldwin College.

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The lower tier of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library historic gardens is a maze of hedges.

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Here, I’m standing in one of the two summer houses. In the background is the maze of shrubs formally referred to as a “boxwood bowknot parterre.”

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A peaceful spot in the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library historic gardens. (Staunton, Virginia)

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