Sepia Saturday - Dog Days of Summer White House

Two years ago I wrote a post of the American President Taft choosing the North Shore area of Massachusetts as a summer White House. Recently I learned that about ten years later another lesser known President chose the same area to retreat from the heat of Washington DC.

Calvin Coolidge chose Swampscott, Massachusetts as a vacation spot during his first year in office. He was once Governor of the state so he was familiar with the location only a few miles from Boston, the capital.
(Click any pic to magnify)

Coolidge stayed at what was then "White Court" on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. The estate name was given as the main house was painted white. It was a rather lengthy stay which lasted from June to August. He could be seen walking his white collie, Prudence Prim. He was also seen going to church in Salem, and going to the summer executive offices set up in nearby Lynn, Massachusetts.

As with many Presidential vacation destinations there is always an intriguing anecdote that accompanies their stay. But, Coolidge was a rather mild mannered President and never really had much to say. In fact his nickname was "Silent Cal." By saying very little he couldn't get into much trouble.

Photo: CrazyasaCoolFox
There is one story that is semi controversial however. This vacation was taken in 1925 at the height of Prohibition - a governmental ban on the sale and manufacturing of alcoholic beverages.

It was rumored that Coolidge, a tea teetotaler himself ordered the Navy to clear the waters around Swampscott of "rum runners." Rum runners were vessels that were used to transport illegal alcohol from ships in international waters to lone stretches of shoreline under the cover of night.

Coolidge, true to his character would neither confirm or deny that rumor.

Today you can find "White Court" is still there and is now the main campus of Marian Court College.
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Take a ride on a "rum runner" over to Sepia Saturday for many other fine posts. Just click here!


Wendy said…
What a beautiful mansion.
Little Nell said…
Lovely house. We're being 'educated' about prohibition through Boardwalk Empire. Good (but violent) drama. The lengths people went to to bring in booze.
Very interesting! I really don't know much about President Coolidge. Thank you,
Kathy M.
Bob Scotney said…
An impressive mansion indeed. Rum runner is an interesting name to have.
Postcardy said…
Washington D.C. must have been too hot in the summer before air conditioning.
Unknown said…
Beautiful house indeed. Wish some of more recent president's had Silent in their names. LOL. Would save a lot of trouble.
Queen Bee said…
I love history and always enjoy reading about past presidents. Great story and the summer home is so lovely. It's nice to see the outside exterior of the home has been maintained to appear as it did when President Coolidge vacationed there. P.S. I like your red, white & blue web design - very patriotic with the Fourth of July coming up.
Sharon said…
I learn so much reading these posts! Thank you.

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