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The Ulysses S. Grant Presidential $1 Coin Release

Grant Presidential Coin Release – May 19, 2011    

As part of the United States Mint’s Presidential Coin Series, our 18th President’s $1 Coin was released on Thursday, May 19th at the Ulysses S. Grant Historic Site.  Nearly 500 people joined in the festivities, including many children.  All children under the age of 18 received a free coin.  Anyone interested in purchasing the Coins, please visit the Commerce Bank – Affton Banking Center.

Chairwoman Forand’s Welcoming Remarks

On behalf of our residents and the Board of Trustees, I am honored to welcome you to the Town of Grantwood Village.

Twenty-five years ago, a group of residents set out to Save Grantʼs White Haven. Judging by the enthusiastic crowd today, I think they succeeded. Thanks to them, we now have the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, and a dedicated hardworking group of National Park Service employees and volunteers. The staff not only preserves the history of the Dent and Grant families, but also allows the public access and insight into the lives of one of our Greatest Generals and 18th President, and his First Lady.

It brings me great joy to see this crowd here today to celebrate Julia and Ulysses Grant. Both are American Icons whose story began right here. So often, the significance of what is right in our own back yard is lost or taken for granted. When Confederate Soldier Capt. Luther Conn purchased the White Haven estate from Cornelius Vanderbilt, he settled a debt owed to Vanderbilt by Grant. But ultimately, he started the 120 year process of preserving this land and itʼs history. He fell in love with the estate and out of his respect for General Grant, he thought the area needed a name more reflective of the Generalʼs ownership. He renamed the farm Grantwood.

A few decades later, the Town of Grantwood Village was incorporated. We proudly look to celebrate our 75th year in 2012. In our 74 years, we have witnessed the continued preservation efforts. In 1966, August Busch, Jr. (Gussie) gave his permission for the Village to annex Grantʼs Farm. We are ever grateful, as is the entire St. Louis Community, to the Busch Family for not only opening their home to us, but for preserving and giving us the educational and historical venue that is Grantʼs Farm. In the mid 1980ʼs, a group of Grantwood residents joined with our neighbors and formed Save Grantʼs White Haven. By the end of the decade, they had done just that. White Haven was now part of the National Park Service. A few years later, Grantwood welcomed the Ulysses S. Grant Historic Site to our Village. Today, we are home to Grantʼs Farm, the Historic Site, Grantʼs Trail, and nearly 900 residents.

As residents of Grantwood Village know, this is a special place. This land brought together Confederate and Union soldiers and their families. It was the childhood playground of a future First Lady. It is the ancestral home of one of this countryʼs most successful entrepreneurial families. And it is all right in our own back yard.

Thank you for this opportunity to welcome you here today. It is a privilege to be a part of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Coin unveiling. Sharing my appreciation of history, my admiration of the Dent, Grant and Busch families, and my love of Grantwood Village means very much to me.

Thank you, Superintendent Good, for all your work in preserving and sharing the history of White Haven and for everything you contribute to our community. I also want to thank the United States Mint for selecting the Historic Site for todayʼs occasion; you could not have picked a better or more deserving Site. And finally, thank you all for making today another memorable day in our Grantwood Village history; we are very proud to be a part of this historical community. Please enjoy your visit.

 

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