Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton recently welcomed U.S. Consul General Daniel Lawton to the Ulysses S. Grant Homestead, near Ballygawley, on Friday, April 27.
This is the birthdate of Ulsysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States. Grant’s great-grandfather, John Simpson, lived there before emigrating at the age of 22.
As well as celebrating the birthday of Ulysses Grant, Consul General Lawton was given a tour of the recently refurbished Homestead, which has been restored to its original state in the 19th Century when the Simpsons lived there.
The audio visual exhibition on site covers Grant’s life in the US, home, school, his marriage and children, and focuses in on his military career, the Civil War Years and his presidency from 1869 – 1877.
The Chair on welcoming the U.S. Consul General to the Homestead, said: “Mid Ulster contains a rich seam of archaeological, historic and heritage sites including this one that stretch from Neolithic times through to World War II, including this historic homestead.
“We hope these sites can provide a strategic opportunity to develop tourism and grow visitor numbers to the area.
“It is our respectful and sincere hope that the Consulate General can act as an ambassador for the U.S. Grant Ancestral Homestead, which is so closely linked to the history and heritage of the United States.”
U.S. Consul General Lawton said: “Over recent weeks, I have been visiting a number of places that have strong family connections to American Presidents.
“I am especially pleased that on April 27, the birthdate of our 18th President Ulysses Grant, this outreach takes me to Dergenagh near Ballygawley where Grant’s great-grandfather once lived.
“The Grant homestead, excellently preserved and maintained by Mid Ulster District Council, stands as testimony to our ties of kindship, to the legacy and contributions of emigrants from across County Tyrone who helped shape the country I represent, and to our enduring transatlantic bonds.”
For more information on the U.S. Grant Homestead, contact Dungannon Visitor Information Centre at Hill of the O’Neill and Ranfurly House on 028 8772 8600.