People Week of 6/08/20

Staff writer

Hayes Home caretaker
retires after 38 years
Just before sunrise, Becky Slater walks into the Hayes Home and turns on the lights. The ornate Victorian mansion is quiet, as though President Rutherford and First Lady Lucy Hayes and family might still be asleep in the spacious bedrooms.
One of the things Slater loves about the more than 100-year old house is that it still has that feeling that the Hayeses are there, ready to join in the large parlor for a song on the piano or a game of tennis on the lawn.
It’s one of the reasons visitors love the home, too.
For 38 years, Slater has been key in making the house feel that way, starting in the early morning. As its caretaker, she has carefully kept the priceless artifacts clean and unblemished and cleaned the 31-room structure from top to bottom.
She retired May 28, finishing her last shift 38 years and three days after she began the job in 1982.
“It’s like my second home,” said Slater, a native of Fremont who lives within walking distance of Spiegel Grove. “I liked being around the president and Lucy’s things. I liked working with them and just thinking: ‘Oh, the president probably touched this.’”
Her favorite room is the Red Parlor, which is so named in honor of the Red Room of the White House, where Hayes took his oath of office as president.
“I like red, and I really like the way it is now, the way they’ve put it back to what it was when the president and Lucy lived there. It’s really pretty,” she said.
One of Slater’s favorite artifacts is the golden hot chocolate set in the upstairs bedroom of Fanny Hayes, the only daughter of the president and first lady. It resembles a tea set, but Fanny actually used it to serve hot chocolate to her friends.
“It is just so dainty, and I could her see drinking hot chocolate out of it,” Slater said.
In nearly four decades of working at the home, Slater has many special memories of Spiegel Grove and the people who worked, volunteered and visited there. Among her favorites are Hayes Presidential’s centennial in 2016, when thousands visited the site and watched The Ohio State University Marching Band perform on the Hayes Home lawn, and when C-SPAN came to the home in 2012 to film its series on first ladies.
As she moves into retirement, Slater plans to spend time with her three grandsons, ages 15, 13, and 12. She said she will most miss the people, including the Hayes Home guides with home whom she has interacted so often through the years.
“Becky has true passion for the historical setting in which she works. And people notice,” said Christie Weininger, Hayes Presidential executive director. “One of the most frequent compliments I hear from visitors, and her fellow staff members, too, is that they are so impressed with how clean the home is – not a speck of dust anywhere. We are all so thankful to Becky for the many years of loving care she has given to the Hayes home.”
For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit

Lucas Co. Republicans
reorganizational meeting
The Lucas County Republican Party held its reorganizational meeting May 28.
At the virtual meeting, Mark Wagoner Jr. was re-elected to serve another term as chairman of the Executive Committee for a term of four years. The Central Committee elected Chris Joseph as chairman, Dan Steingraber as vice-chairman, Trudy Vicary as secretary, Paul Hoag as assistant secretary and Don Miller as treasurer.
“I want to thank all the members of the Lucas County Republican Party Central Committee for their votes to continue to serve as executive chairman of the party,” Wagoner said. “We’ve made tremendous progress over the past two years and, with our great team of Central Committee officers, we look forward to taking the Lucas County Republican Party to new heights.”
“I want to thank the members of the Lucas County Republican Party Central Committee for electing me their chairman,” Joseph said. “It is a real privilege to have been selected. Our goal is to continue to push the Republican message and make progress for Lucas County citizens. As a lifelong resident of Lucas County, I am thankful that I have the opportunity to serve


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