Just a few miles up the road from Tampico where President Ronald Reagan was born, you can visit the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Museum in Dixon, Illinois. There’s no better way to get a feel for who a president was than seeing where he grew up. A visit to the Reagan Birthplace Museum is a great way to connect with the early years of this American President who had such an impact on so much American History.
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Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Dixon, IL
You start your tour at the house next door to the boyhood home in the Visitor Center and Gift Shop. After you purchase your ticket, you watch a brief video that gives you a background of Ronald Reagan’s early life and the area of Dixon where he grew up.
Take the time to look at the pictures, exhibits, and memorabilia on display in the Visitors Center. You can learn a lot! Like the important detail about how President Reagan loved licorice jelly belies!
It’s always interesting to learn about the early jobs of our US Presidents. Did you know that President Reagan was a lifeguard?
Once you finish the video, you are ready to head over to the Boyhood Home for a guided tour.
Though most of the furnishings aren’t originals, the house is furnished as close to what the family can remember from the patterns and placement of the furniture. There is one chair that was donated to the museum by a lady who knew the Reagan family when they lived in Dixon.
One of the stories that really sticks out to us is the story of the hidden pennies. It is said that when President Reagan was growing up in this house, he was forbidden to enter the front parlor. But he discovered a loose tile on the floor in front of the fireplace that he could reach from the doorway without actually stepping foot in the room. He could lean over and hide a few coins out of reach of his brother.
When President Reagan visited years later as an adult, he told the story of the hidden coins under the tiles, borrowed money from his brother who was accompanying him on the visit and placed some coins under a loose tile so the story would be told to visitors like us.
After you leave the Boyhood Home, you can drive down the main road and see the high school, library and other places that were a part of Ronald Reagan’s early life.
Find the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home
810 Hennepin Avenue
Dixon, IL 61021
Phone: 815 288 5176
Currently closed for season, phone for special appointment. New Season begins April 1st – October 31st.
Don’t miss the Ronald Reagan Birthplace Museum in Tampico, Illinois.