Historic site teaches of Woodrow Wilson’s history in Augusta

Today may be president’s day, but a national historic site here in Augusta teaches about a president, every day.
Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 8:03 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Jimmy Carter may have been the only president born in Georgia, but he’s not the only president to have lived in the Peach State.

Woodrow Wilson’s boyhood home is right here in Augusta.

We went to take a look inside and learn how it impacted his presidency.

“Right over here, is an etching done by Thomas Woodrow Wilson,” Stephanie Hertzberg says.

It’s what she calls “an early signature of a future president,” growing up right here in Augusta.

Stephanie Hertzberg, tour guide at the home, says, ”Woodrow Wilson, lived in this particular house from the time he was 3 till he was almost 14 years old.”

It was when his father was the preacher of Augusta’s First Presbyterian church.

“They lived here from 1860 until 1870, it was right here in Augusta where he spent his formative years,” Hertzberg says.

Years he would carry with him.

“The things that he witnessed why here on the Augusta were not important to him just as a child, but for the rest of his life,” Hertzberg says.

Like seeing the church used as a hospital during the war.

“He saw firsthand the horrors of the Civil War, he could have looked out of one of the front windows of his own home and witnessed everything that was happening right across the street,” Hertzberg says.

That would impact the way he led the country.

“We fast forward to Wilson’s presidency, talk had begun about the United States joining the first World war. Early on, Wilson was very hesitant to do so. Probably because the memories he had of war, right here in Augusta. And just like those years impacted him, the home is now impacting a new generation,” Hertzberg says.

Hertzberg asked two museum visitors, if they knew about the significant amount of history right here in Augusta.

Zeke and Zephaniah Ridgeway, said: ”No we had no idea. But we love history and we like learning about the presidents.”

And on a day like today, when Hertzberg says people may dig up about our past leaders.

”Here in Augusta you don’t have to dig very far,” Hertzberg says.