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Arthur Cottage facts for kids

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Arthur Cottage in the village of Cullybackey, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, is the ancestral home of Chester A. Arthur, the 21st President of the United States. It is situated 4 miles from Ballymena, only a short walk from the village of Cullybackey. The thatched cottage and interpretive centre detail the story of President Arthur and his road to the Presidency.


It sits in an elevated position on Gourley's Hill. It is constructed of local stone and its walls are some 20 inches thick; bog oak beams support the thatched roof of local flax. It is earthen-floored with a cobble-stoned hearth. The simple rectangular cottage consists of two rooms, each the full width of the building. One room is a kitchen/living room, while the other serves as a bedroom (with access to a second bed in the loft above it). Latter additions to the building were removed to restore the cottage to its original condition.

Arthur family

President Arthur's grandparents, Alan Arthur (born 1761) and Eliza Arthur (née Meharg) lived in Cullybackey at Arthur Cottage. Their son, William (the President's father) was born on 5 December 1797 in the cottage and emigrated, with other members of the family, to North America between 1816 and 1820. There he met and married Malvina Stone and earned his living as a Baptist minister. Chester A. Arthur was born on 5 October 1829 at Fairfield, Vermont. He became president on 20 September 1881. The President's sister, Mary, and his schoolboy son, Chester Alan Jr., visited the Arthur homestead in 1882 and made contact with various members of the Arthur family who were living in the district.


The cottage is open to the public from May to September. There are regular period-costume and craft days to show what life would have been like in the house when it was occupied 200 years ago, as well as music and story-telling events. Traditional soda bread and pancake baking demonstrations by women dressed in period costume also take place on organised days.


On 27 May 2011 a fire broke out at the site of the cottage, severely damaging the contents of the cottage.

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