Our First Family’s Home — 2008

The Ohio Governor's Residence and Heritage Garden

Edited by Mary Alice Mairose
Illustrated by Dianne McElwain
Photographs by Ian Adams
Foreword by Ted Strickland and Frances Strickland
Afterword by Hope Taft

“The book is filled with gorgeous photographs, mostly in color, of the Residence and grounds.... This is a book you may pick up to view the pretty pictures, but don't ignore the text.”

Mansfield News Journal

“No matter what your political persuasion, there’ll be no heated debate about the governor’s residence. Quite simply, it’s magnificent.”

Ohio Magazine

“[Our First Family’s Home] shows that the residence’s purpose is more than simply a dwelling place for a political leader; it is part of a history that is meant for all Ohioans to appreciate.”

Ohioana Quarterly

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This richly illustrated volume tells the story of the home that has served as Ohio’s executive residence since 1957, and of the nine governors and their families who have lived in the house. Our First Family’s Home offers the first complete history of the residence and garden that represent Ohio to visiting dignitaries and the citizens of the state alike. Once in a state of decline, the house has been lovingly restored and improved by its residents. Development of the Ohio Heritage Garden has increased the educational potential of the house and has sparked an interest in the preservation of native plant species. Looking toward the future, the Residence is also taking the lead in promoting environmental issues such as solar power and green energy.

Photographs by award-winning environmental photographer Ian Adams and botanical art by Dianne McElwain showcase the beauty of the home’s architecture and the myriad of native plants that grace the three acres on which the Residence stands. Dianne McElwain is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists in New York. Her botanical paintings have won numerous awards and are found in prestigious collections throughout the United States.

Essays highlight the Jacobethan Revival architecture and the history of the home. The remaining pieces cover the garden and include an intimate tour of the Heritage Garden, which was inspired by Ohio’s diverse landscape. Finally, Governor Ted Strickland and First Lady Frances Strick­land discuss the increasing focus on green energy at the Governor’s Residence and First Lady Emerita Hope Taft explains how native plants can help sustain the environment.


Mary Alice Mairose is the residence curator at the Ohio Governor's Residence.


Dianne McElwain is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists in New York. Her botanical paintings have won numerous awards and are found in prestigious collections throughout the United States.


Ian Adams has seventeen photography books and more than fifty Ohio calendars to his credit. He conducts nature and garden photography seminars, workshops, and slide programs throughout North America, and his large-format color prints of Ohio scenes are included in many hospital, corporate, and private collections throughout the Buckeye State. His publications include The Art and Craft of Garden Photography and Backroads of Ohio. www.ianadamsphotography.com

Cover of 'Our First Family’s Home'

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