Canton Inspiration


This past weekend, Greg and I took a little mini vacation to celebrate our anniversary (three big years!). Our destination? Canton, Ohio. Why, you might ask. Well, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is there, and that’s always held some interest for me. But I knew Canton was the place for us to visit when I heard it is the home to the National First Ladies Museum. When I hear National First Ladies Museum, two things come to mind: dishes and dresses. And what’s not to love about that?

The tour of that museum started in a bank building a few doors down from the main museum. In the bank they had only a portion of their collection of official china sets from different presidents. The oldest dishes I remember seeing were Lincoln’s; my favorite were Harry Truman’s (because they had a pretty teal edge).

The bank building also housed the special exhibits, and right now they are showing The Art of First Lady Ellen Axson Wilson: American Impressionist. The paintings were all small landscapes, all nicely done, but I have to admit, I would have preferred a dress exhibit.

Next we walked over to the Ida Saxton McKinley House, which was Ida McKinley’s family home, although the McKinley’s did live there for a short time as well. The first floor of the home had been gutted years ago, but it was now restored to close to what it would have looked like in the Victorian era.

McKinley wallpaper 2

This photo shows the many different wallpapers on the wall and ceiling of the front entry of the home. I love how the Victorians mixed patterns.

McKinley wallpaper

There were photographs of some of the home taken in the late 1800s, and the photos were used to restore the rooms as accurately as possible. This wallpaper is an exact replica of the wallpaper in the dining room of the home. Great texture.

McKinley wallpaper 3

The second and third floors of the home had more of the original woodwork and furnishings. This wallpaper combo was in the office of William McKinley; the overall vibe of the room was masculine, but there’s no getting away from pink wallpaper on the ceiling. The ballroom of the home was dedicated to all the First Ladies and included photos and bios of each.

First Ladies Flash Cards

At the gift shop, I picked up a pack of First Ladies Flash Cards. It turns out, I do not know my First Ladies. It probably doesn’t help that I don’t know my presidents that well either. A few of my favorite images from the deck: (top row) Lucy Hayes, Edith Roosevelt, Helen Taft, (bottom row) Lou Hoover, Grace Coolidge, Jacqueline Kennedy.

McKinley Memorial

Since we were in McKinley mode, we decided to go to the McKinley Memorial and Presidential Library and Museum. The Memorial was on a hill overlooking a park and cemetery.

McKinley Memorial floor

McKinley Memorial floor 2

Inside the Memorial were the sarcophagi of Ida and William McKinley and their two small daughters. I love the marble flooring.

The Presidential Museum was really more of the Stark County Historical Museum. But there were several items that caught my attention including an early vacuum cleaner and the face of an old clock.

Vintage vacuum

Clock face

The next day we had a great time at the Pro Football Hall of Fame (sorry, I was too busy looking at Packer stuff to take photos). And later in the day, we stopped by the Belden Village Mall where I found this lovely tile design in the women’s bathroom. What a perfect quilt design!

Belden Village tile

We also did a bit of hiking, stopped by one comic book store and one fabric store, and even got caught up with Game of Thrones thanks to free HBO at the hotel. Definitely a fun and relaxing weekend.

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  1. Who’d have thought a trip to the football hall of fame would offer so much creative inspiration nearby! I love your first lady flash cards, my favorite two are Taft and Coolidge; poor Jacqueline looks rather drab in her painting. Love the design on the vacuum or ‘suction sweeper’! You never know where you might find the inspiration for a quilt!

    • My lunch partner, Jamie, wasn’t too impressed with the painting of Jackie, either. But I like the muted palette, although now I can only see the ghostly fingers that he pointed out. And who would have thought a vacuum could be that pretty!

  2. Carrie

     /  April 17, 2014

    An anniversary trip to the Pro Football Hall of Fame – you can take the girl out of Wisconsin but you can’t take Wisconsin out of the girl. Glad you had a fun trip. Beautiful pics! And Happy Anniversary!


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