Assigned to Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis in
1853 (ten years after graduating West Point),
Ulysses Simpson Grant, returned to civilian life in
St. Louis and built a log cabin on a few acres,
naming it- `Hardscrabble.’ The name meant yielding
a bare or meager living with great labor or difficulty.
Grant only lived in the cabin for three months.
After gaining victory over the South in the
Civil War, he served two terms as President of the
United States ((1869-1877), His biggest
accomplishment was signing the bill creating
Yellowstone National Park). Failing for a third term, he retired in New York. Due to poor investments, Grant was broke when he left the White House. Inking a deal to publish his memoirs, and five days after finishing his manuscript he died (it earned the family 450,000 dollars). In his final months, Grant was on cocaine during the days and morphine at nights. He and his wife is buried in Central Park, New York City, his tomb, at 150 feet tall, is the largest mausoleum in North America.
Located east of the Palace of Fine Arts, the Grant's Cabin exhibition was not a replica but the real `Hardscrabble,' log cabin home that Grant live in from St. Louis. The structure was dismantled log by log and relocated at the 1904 Fair. Inside, visitors could see original furniture, and attend lectures on the life of the man (on occasion spoken by Grant's son- who was also a General). The attraction was sponsored by Blanke Coffee Company, which sold coffee inside the cabin.
Adolphus Busch (of Budweiser fame), purchased the cabin after the Fair’s closing and moved it to St. Louis county where it can be viewed today.