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Riverside, California: President Taft's Chair, Nixon's Vows

In the Mission Inn lobby is a giant chair -- you can sit in it -- made for 350-pound President Taft when he visited in 1909. Also, on the wall beneath a portrait of President Nixon, is a bronze plaque: "Richard Milhous Nixon... was married here to Patricia Ryan on June 21, 1940." And they probably sat in the chair, too.

Mission Inn Hotel

3649 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, CA
Mission Inn Hotel. In the historic center of Riverside.
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Visitor Tips and News About President Taft's Chair, Nixon's Vows

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President Taft's Chair, Nixon's Vows

If you ascend the staircase (or elevator) to the mezzanine level above the lobby, there are more antiques and such on view. Go quietly, as you're at the doors of some of the guest rooms, but there are any number of cool little niches with views of the courtyard and fun architectural details.

Also, note that the place is always bombastically decorated for Christmas -- a pretty spectacular show of retro lights and animatronics.

[Loch Nest Farm, 01/11/2024]
Mission Inn Tour

Docent-led 75 minute tours are full of awesome history of the colony/town development of Riverside and the purpose for building the Mission style Inn!

[A.H. Alta Loma, Ca, 04/02/2019]

Taft's Chair.

President Taft's Big Chair

We visited the Mission Inn Riverside and had the pleasure of sitting in the "Big Chair." The Inn is must place to visit when in Southern California -- be sure and take the tour so you hear and see all the wonderful things on the Mission Inn hotel.

It is hard to believe that the city was going to demolish the Inn and build a parking lot. Only one vote saved it from the wrecking ball. What a terrible mistake that would have been.

[Jackie Solomon, 05/28/2009]

Taft Chair.

President Tafts Chair

Inside the lobby of the historic Mission Inn Hotel sits a custom chair constructed especially for the 27th President of the United States, William Howard Taft. Hotel owner Frank Miller had the chair commissioned to accommodate the rather large Chief Executive, who weighed 350 pounds, specially for his stay at the hotel on October 12, 1909. The chair was constructed by Miller because of an unfortunate incident in Washington when the President became stuck in a bathtub and had to be removed by five men.

While the President initially refused to use the chair, he was persuaded it would be a good idea as the regular hotel chairs would be quite challenged to hold a man of his size. He did stipulate however that he was not to be photographed in it under any circumstances. So sadly no photograph of the larger than life president exists sitting in the chair. The chair makes for a good photo opportunity and it has held many a famous person over the years.

This is but one of many interesting attractions to be found in a very famous and unique hotel that begs further exploration.

[Phil Pasquini, 05/19/2009]
Roadside Presidents
Roadside Presidents App for iPhone. Find this attraction and more: museums, birthplaces, graves of the Chief Execs, first ladies, pets, assassins and wannabes. Prez bios and oddball trivia. Available on the App Store.

Nearby Offbeat Places

Mother of the California Citrus IndustryMother of the California Citrus Industry, Riverside, CA - < 1 mi.
Sanchez's Beer Bottle Chapel, Folk ArtSanchez's Beer Bottle Chapel, Folk Art, Riverside, CA - < 1 mi.
Southern California Medical MuseumSouthern California Medical Museum, Riverside, CA - 2 mi.
In the region:
Dinosaur Car Wash, Los Angeles, CA - 53 mi.

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