Chester was born in 1829, the eldest of nine children to William and his wife Malvina. When Chester was five, the family moved to Washington County where their son began his education. Later at college in New York, he acquired a reputation as being able to "argue without losing his temper".
After college, Arthur practised law and was renowned for his support of equal rights for black people. During the American Civil War Arthur rose to the rank of Brigadier General in the Union Army. After the War he resumed his legal career.
Republican Arthur was elected Vice-President to President Garfield in 1880 and became 21st President when Garfield was assassinated a year later. His wife Nell had died ten months before he became President and his sister Mary acted as First Lady.
"Gentleman Boss" Arthur was renowned for his sartorial elegance and interest in interior design; he didn't move into the White House until it was redecorated to his liking.
In 1886, a year after leaving office, Arthur died of a kidney disease he had kept secret throughout his political career. His term as former President was the second shortest in American history.
Arthur Cottage is a well-preserved snapshot of 18th Century life and the Arthur family's early years. The thatched dwelling is decorated with furniture, accessories and cooking implements from the era. Outside, a large Star Spangled Banner flies proudly from the front door, and household objects, furniture and an exhibition on the family history are displayed in the nearby Interpretive Centre.
Baking demonstrations can be booked in advance by contacting the TIC. To get there: Take the M2 to Ballymena then follow signs to Cullybackey. Drive through the town until you see the brown 'Arthur Cottage' sign. Turn right and drive up the narrow country lane until you reach the Cottage.
July-Sept. Sat 11:00 - 16:00. Contact the Tourist Information Centre for opening times and admission prices outside these months.