On the other side of this flyover state they have Harry Truman. Here on the mighty Mississippi River we have President Grant. This is the cabin he called “Hardscrabble”– a two-story cabin which is actually quite substantial.
It sits on the grounds of “Grant’s Farm” of Anheuser-Busch fame. We are told that in 1848, Ulysses S. Grant and his new bride, Julia Dent, received 80 acres of Dent family land southwest of St. Louis as a wedding gift. In 1855, Grant started sawing and notching the logs that would be used to build a four-room, two-story cabin on the property. The cabin was completed in just three days with the help of friends. Grant established his farm and named it “Hardscrabble.” Grant did most of the work on the cabin himself. He laid the floors, built the staircase and shingled the roof. The Grant family lived in Hardscrabble for only a short period of time, from September to the following January when Ulysses and Julia moved back to the Dent family home following the death of Julia’s mother.
Across the street from “Grant’s Farm” is a National Historic site, White Haven. This is the home of Julia Dent Grant’s parents to which they moved.
In 1885, the Hardscrabble cabin passed out of the hands of the Grant family. It was sold to various people and was finally purchased by August Busch Sr. in 1907. In the intervening years, the cabin had been moved to Old Orchard, Mo., and displayed at the 1904 World’s Fair. August Busch Sr. had the cabin moved and reassembled approximately one mile from its original location.
They also built a little home for themselves:
I am very grateful to the Busch family for saving Grant’s cabin. (In 1977 Anheuser-Busch restored the cabin to its present condition.) A similar two-story log cabin built by our great-great-great grandfather in Westport, MO (now Kansas City) in the 1830s, which was reputed to be the first building built there, survived for nearly a hundred years, but was torn down in 1907. What a shame! The Buschs may have turned Grant’s Farm into a tourist destination, but they managed to preserve a bit of history before it was fashionable to do so. Grant’s Farm has always been a very pleasant park which is full of exotic animals and a tram, not to mention free beer for visitors over 21! There is also a cool fence surrounding the park which is made of gun barrels from rifles used in the Civil War.
Coolest of all, of course, are these popular icons who reside in the Grant’s Farm stables:
When Anheuser-Busch was sold to a foreign beer company a few years ago, there was much speculation as to what would happen to Grant’s Farm. So far no news on that front. We’ll let you know if we hear anything.