Just east of the Tuscarora Trail in Franklin County lies an 18.5-acre state park known as Buchanan’s Birthplace State Park. This heavily forested park has picnic areas and a stream, Buck Run, known for its native trout population. But this pocket of land also hides a unique monument to one of the worst presidents in United States History.
Here, you’ll find a 31-foot-tall pyramid built on the site where James Buchanan, the country’s 15th president, was born. The monument was built from locally quarried stones and made to look rustic.
Buchanan was born at the site in a log cabin. Back then, his father owned the property, which was called Stony Batter. It was a small hub for frontier activities and commerce, and included a smattering of dwellings, barns, and stores.
Buchanan lived at Stony Batter until he was six. He later grew up to become one of the worst presidents in U.S. history (as ranked by historians) because of his failure to handle the secession of the South and his inability to confront the issue of slavery in the years leading up to the Civil War.
Interestingly, the park was the first land donation in Pennsylvania to be turned into a park.
Know Before You Go
The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.