219 North Delaware Street Virtually!

 

219 North Delaware Street...Then...and Now

Truman Home circa 1900 large Victorian House Truman Home circa 1900 large Victorian House

Left image
Truman Home circa 1900
Credit: Truman Library

Right image
Truman Home today
Credit: NPS

It was once the home of a prominent Independence, Missouri, mill partner. At one time four generations of a family lived there. From 1945 to 1953, it had perhaps the second most famous address in the United States. Some called it the "Summer White House" during those years.

In 1953 a former President of the United States and his First Lady returned here to spend the rest of their lives.

But it was always more than a house. It was a home...for the Gates family, for the Wallace family, for the Truman family.

Now it's your home.

 
 
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Duration:
3 minutes, 8 seconds

This short video highlights most of the rooms of the second floor of the Truman Home, using photographs of it taken shortly after Mrs. Bess Truman died. The accompanying music, although not played by Harry Truman in this recording, is one that he loved, and taught to his daughter Margaret.

 
"During the life of my daughter, the area above the first floor of my residence shall not be available to the public." --Bess Truman
 
Harry and Bess Truman's second floor bedroom.
Harry and Bess Truman's second floor bedroom.

HABS Photo, Jack E. Boucher

When Bess Truman passed away in 1982, her will left her home in Independence to the United States of America, with one important stipulation. Mrs. Truman wrote, "During the life of my daughter, the area above the first floor of my residence shall not be available to the public."

Mrs. Truman enjoyed her privacy, rarely inviting visitors into the private areas of her home. To ensure her daughter's privacy, Bess wrote into her Will, permission for Margaret to use the second floor for one week per year. While Margaret never stayed in the home after her parents' deaths, the National Park Service upheld the conditions of the Will.

Margaret Truman Daniel passed away on January 29, 2008. While Bess Truman's concern for her daughter's privacy is no longer an issue, preservation of the President's home is a paramount concern and the upstairs of the Truman home will remain closed to the public.

Images of the second floor rooms can now be viewed in the image gallery below.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Last updated: September 14, 2021

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Independence, MO 64050

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