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Frugal Cal

August 17, 2016

Calvin and Grace Coolidge lived in half a duplex on Massasoit Street in Northampton, Massachusetts.  It did not matter that he had been Governor of Massachusetts.  It did not matter that he was Vice-President-elect and could anticipate an annual salary of $12,000.  At $32 per month the Massasoit Street home was something they could afford no matter what.  Coolidge always structured his expenses so he wouldn’t have to move if he were to lose the next election.

Coolidge was disappointed that his Washington residence at the Willard Hotel would cost $8 per day, more than eight times the expense back home.  There was not much room for their two teenage sons.  The Coolidges loved animals, but no pets were allowed at the Willard.

Coolidge never got to finish his term as Vice-President.  In August 1923 he would succeed to the office of President and spend the next five years living in the White House.  In his autobiography Coolidge wrote: “We draw our Presidents from the people.  It is a wholesome thing for them to return to the people.  I came from them.  I wish to be one of them again.”

Upon retiring from the Presidency, the Coolidges moved back to Massasoit Street.  Unfortunately, gawkers made it impossible for them to enjoy their old residence.  They eventually moved just outside of town where the front door was not visible from the road.

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