When Ulysses S. Grant acquired ownership of White Haven after the Civil War, he set about turning the property into a profitable horse-breeding farm. Grant helped design this horse stable while serving as President and ordered his caretaker William Elrod to begin constructing it. When the structure was completed in 1871, it was large enough to house as many as twenty-five horses in livestock stalls. The stable was originally located near a cul-de-sac on the western end of present-day Fernald Road. William Elrod cared for the numerous horses at this stable, all of which were either purchased by the president or gifted to him. Grant primarily owned Thoroughbred and Morgan horses, although he enjoyed raising other breeds as well. In 1873 President Grant made a trip with his family along the Kirkwood and Carondelet Railroad (Grant’s Trail today) to visit his horses and inspect the White Haven property.
Later owners of White Haven moved the horse stable in 1962. An apartment was added for an on-site caretaker, and after the National Park Service acquired ownership of the property the structure was converted into a temporary visitor center and office space in 1994. The horse stable was moved to its current location in 2007 to make room for a parking lot at its previous space. Today the structure houses the park’s museum.
Last updated: February 26, 2019