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Photographer: Kelbert McFarland Photography


Millard's Mysteriousness

This next president is not one I know much about. He was the 13th president, Millard Fillmore, so maybe it's because it gets hard to remember after the first dozen! He was born in Western NY and there is a replica of his birthplace in Moravia- again it was a log cabin! Once again, the cabin was not typical of the family's homes and lives. The Fillmores are an ancient British noble family and came to the Massachusetts colonies in the 1600s. Their ancestral home was Herst Manor in Kent. They then lived at Little Charlton Manor. Below is the cabin in New York from History.com.

Millard Fillmore was born in 1800 and this little cabin looks like many I have grown up seeing in Texas, as that was around the time our part of the country began to be permanently settled. It was common for a frontier family to have to live in these circumstances for a time even if they had been accustomed to a better life before. Millard's parents had a land title for the area but had a legal issue with it and had to be tenants on another family's estate for example (similar to the Lincolns later). Though New York was more established at this time, the western part of the state was definitely less colonial and more of a frontier as well.

Millards great-great grandfather was Captain John Fillmore and he actually died at sea coming to America from Manchester. His son John was born in Ipswich and moved to Norwich, CT. His son Nathaniel was the president's grandfather and he moved to Vermont but felt the land was too stony to farm well and his son Nathaniel was the one to venture to New York in hopes of establishing his own farm. Though the president was born in the cabin in Moravia, his father was later able to establish a successful farm in Aurora. I cannot find information on his house aside from the fact that the president would come from the White House to visit. However I was reminded of another farm house in Aurora and wanted to include that picture- the MacKenzie-Childs Farmhouse from their website!

Prior to coming to America, the president's ancestors were likely a string of Edward Fillmores who moved the family seat from the ancient (and probably destroyed) Herst Manor to Charleton Court in East Sutton. This property eventually became Red Hill Boarding School, although by that time the president's branch of the family was in America. Below is a picture of the house as a school from "The Lie That Settles."

Next is how the house looks today!

This is probably our most mysterious president in the home series as we could not find many photos...not to mention not knowing much about what he did as president. He is someone we will have to study more in the future and maybe can report back!