Delaware continues to make strides toward honoring the United States’ 19th president, who was born and raised in the city.
The first of two walking tours presented by the Delaware County Historical Society about Rutherford B. Hayes will kick off Wednesday.
Local historian and historical society president President Brent Carson will lead the tours that include locations related to Hayes’ life in Delaware. Carson will have at least two actors portraying Hayes at different points in his life.
One will feature Hayes before the Civil War and “before he had a beard,” Carson said, and the other will portray Hayes in his final years.
“Both will discuss their connection to Delaware,” Carson said.
The tour will start at the BP gas station, 17 E. William St., the former location of Hayes’ home and the site of the current Hayes Memorial. From there, attendants will begin a trip back in time to how Hayes remembered his birthplace, Carson said.
About a dozen total have signed up for Wednesday’s tour and the one on Aug. 10, said Donna Meyer, executive director of the Delaware County Historical Society.
“We still have some spaces,” she said.
Proceeds will benefit the proposed Delaware Rutherford B. Hayes statue project. The planned memorial, estimated to cost $400,000, will be placed on the southwest corner of Sandusky and William streets, in the courtyard between Amato’s on South Sandusky Street and the currently unoccupied building on West William Street.
Conceptual designs of the memorial have included potential elements such as a sculpture of Hayes with a diary; limestone walls with signage, donor recognition and personal and professional timelines; and a basalt fountain on a granite water table, which may represent the eight presidents of Ohio and include quotes.
Carson said Delaware residents have wondered for years why the city has not done more to recognize a native president and that the memorial is overdue.
To purchase tickets or for more information, call 740-369-3831, Ext. 3, or visit delawareohiohistory.org.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.