Historic Sites and Buildings
Except for the years he spent in the U.S. Senate, when he resided mainly in Washington, D.C., Warren G. Harding lived in this house throughout the three decades preceding his election to the Presidency in 1920. These years spanned his rise from a young, small-town newspaper editor through his senatorial service.
In 1890 Harding and Florence Kling DeWolfe designed the home and arranged for its construction, in anticipation of their marriage, which took place in the large front hallway of the completed structure in July 1891. Conducting the major portion of his 1920 Presidential campaign from the wide front porch, Senator Harding welcomed and spoke to thousands of people from it. To accommodate the crowds, the lawn was covered with gravel. After his election triumph, he left Ohio for Florida on a lengthy vacation and leased his residence prior to returning to Washington for his inauguration.
President Harding died suddenly in August 1923, during his term in office. After a state funeral in Washington, his body was returned to Marion for interment. Mrs. Harding soon moved back to the city, but took up residence elsewhere and did not dislodge the tenants who were occupying her house. She survived her husband by only a little more than a year.
A 2-1/2-story frame structure in the Queen Anne style, the residence has a gabled roof, green clapboard siding, and cream colored trim. The large Colonial Revival porch, of which one end is rounded, dominates the front of the house; it was probably added to the structure some years after the original construction. The base of the balustraded porch is fieldstone, as are also the pedestals, which support paired Ionic columns. The roof is galleried on a pattern that duplicates the first-level arrangement on a smaller scale.
On the first floor are a large front hallway, parlor, library, and dining room. The second floor contains the master bedroom, whose bay window overlooks the roof of the porch and the front lawn; two other bedrooms; a maid's room, and a bathroom. Almost all of the interior woodwork is oak.
Mrs. Harding willed the house and its furnishings to the Harding Memorial Association, which later opened some of the rooms to the public. In 1964-65 all of them were restored to their historic appearance. They display numerous pieces of Harding furniture and possessions. At the rear of the lot is a small detached building. This single-story clapboard structure, painted white, served as a press headquarters in the 1920 campaign. Today it houses Harding memorabilia and contains the offices of the memorial association.
The association also owns and administers the Harding Memorial, at the corner of Vernon Heights Boulevard and Delaware Avenue in Marion. An ornate circular monument built of white Georgian marble and completed in 1927, it contains the tombs of President and Mrs. Harding.
Last Updated: 22-Jan-2004