By Allison Baker, IUPUI Museum Studies MA student and Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site Curatorial Fellow
The home, built in 1874, belonged to one of only 46 presidents in the history of the United States. What a privilege – to walk the halls that Benjamin Harrison once walked.
I have had the incredible opportunity to roam the rooms that once belonged to the 23rd President of the United States and care for objects that once dwelled in the White House. Every day I worked at the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site I was immersed in National history. It has been such an incredible experience.
I often looked in the mirrors, thinking about Caroline Harrison looking in those same mirrors. I have walked on the rugs that have lived in Harrison’s presence, knowing he has walked in those same spaces.
A stunning collection resides within the walls of this Victorian home. The privilege to share its history has been inconceivable given its undeniable importance to the city. Harrison paved the way for his city, bringing it to the National stage through his presidency. He admitted six states to the Union, set 22 million acres of land aside that eventually became national forests, and opened three national parks including Yosemite. Harrison was a man for the people, and although not a Hoosier native, he was a Hoosier at heart.
The opportunity to preserve such incredible history was a once in a lifetime experience. The people that I have met, the places they have taken me, the history they have taught me, and the opportunities that I have been presented with at this monumental site are paramount. Getting to know Benjamin Harrison and his history was the highlight of my time in the IUPUI Museum Studies Graduate Program.