FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The museum now occupying the Fayetteville house that Bill and Hillary Clinton resided in has seen attendance rise as the presidential race heats up.
Visits to the house at 930 California Blvd. are up 65 percent over last year, museum director Brittany Starr said.
The Clintons were married in the one-story brick home on Oct. 11, 1975 and lived there from August 1975 to December 1976, when they moved to Little Rock so Bill Clinton could take office as Arkansas' attorney general.
The museum offers glimpses of the life the Clintons shared when Bill Clinton was teaching students at the University of Arkansas Law School. Bill Clinton served as Arkansas governor for 12 years before becoming president in 1993.
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's run for president is giving the home a fresh appeal, Starr said, and the increased traffic at the museum has opened the door for more events and programs.
Weddings, debate watches, movie nights and speakers are among the events Starr has booked.
"We have more and more visitors coming in that want to know all about Hillary, which is different because the house used to be more focused on Bill," Starr said.
Among the items on display are photos of Hillary Clinton and a replica of her wedding dress.
"We had the speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives come talk one night, and this past summer we did movie nights where we watched semipolitical movies," she said.
Starr said on event days the house attracts about 50 to 100 people on top of its normal stream of visitors.
The house is one of four stops for people visiting the Arkansas cities in which Bill Clinton lived — his birthplace at Hope, Hot Springs and Little Rock. Starr says about 10 visitors per week are making all four stops.
"I had one couple from up north come because the husband decided to take his wife on a surprise honeymoon, and she chose to do the 'Billgrimage,"' Starr said.
The house is also available for political events, Starr said.
"Bill became well-known when he ran for Congress, so it's kind of a cool place for meet and greets," she said.
Starr says future plans for the museum include hosting children's events and applying for nonprofit tax status so the museum can receive grants.