Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Coolidge Boys, Plymouth Notch, Vermont

We do not know what might have happened to him under other circumstances, but if I had not been President he would not have raised a blister on his toe, which resulted in blood poisoning, playing lawn tennis in the South Grounds.
In his suffering he was asking me to make him well. I could not. When he went the power of the Presidency went with him.
The ways of Providence are often beyond understanding. It seemed to me that the world had need of the work that it was probable he could do.
I do not know why such a price was exacted for occupying the White House. 
-- The Autobiography of Calvin Coolidge

In the pre-dawn hours of August 3, 1923, is mythic, Calvin Coolidge learned that President Harding had died while on tour in California. He was the new president. His father, Judge John Coolidge, although well-to-do enough that he could equip his home with electricity, had refused such a modern comfort, which meant that word came not by telephone but by a messenger who rode in from a nearby town just after 2 a.m. In the dark of night, lit only by the glow of a flame from an oil lamp, Coolidge was sworn in by the local public notary, his father. The man who would be president amid what would become known as the Roaring Twenties had taken his oath of office in an electric-less farmhouse, sheltered from the world by the surrounding Green Mountains. The oath, at mere thirty-five words, was fittingly brief for a man who the nation would come to know as “Silent Cal.”

The view of Plymouth Notch, as seen from the second floor of the Plymouth Cheese Corp.
 This locality was know as The Notch, being situated at the head of a valley in an irregular bowl of hills. The scene was one of much natural beauty, of which I think the inhabitants had little realization, though they all loved it because it was their home and were always ready to contend that it surpassed all the surrounding communities and compared favorably with any other place on earth. -- C.C.


The view from the Coolidge Birthplace

The front porch of the Coolidge Homestead

And finally, I finally got a panorama right...

They all rest together on the sheltered hillside among five generations of the Coolidge Family. - C.C.

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