The Birthplace Model
This was built by a group of docents led by the late Jo Lyons, the first docent recruit at the Nixon Library. Her husband Bob Lyons was second.
Jo's love of history was inspiring. She carefully researched the history of the contents at President Nixon's birthplace home in Yorba Linda, and garnered the enthusiasm to have it built.
When she wasn't donning her docent hat she was a member of the Yorba Linda Historical Society and Director/Curator of the Susanna Bixby Ranch Museum from 1997 until her passing in 2003.
Memorial plaques at the Bixby Ranch and at the Nixon Birthplace honor her work.
About the model, this is what Jo wrote:
- Construction of the replica began in August of 1991.
- The scale is 1 inch = 1 foot.
- Construction time totaled 180 hours.
- The replica is electrified, even the embers in the fireplace glow a warm red.
- When it was half finished, the docents, Library staff, employees, and friends signed up to sponsor the miniature furnishings and room construction costs.
The furnishings closely resemble the originals and many were made by hand by the docents because they could not be purchased.
- The building of the base was by Phil Jones.
- The photography of pictures, sheet music and books was by Callie Jones.
All of us have events in our lives we remember vividly.
I remember the night I began placing the items everyone sponsored.
It was at that moment that the replica shell became the Birthplace.
My sincere thanks to everyone.
My thanks also to my family who suffered through some less than award winning meals during the three months of construction.
To our visitors, I hope you will enjoy looking at the replica and its details, some of which are whimsical.
When you are finished, stroll leisurely through Mrs. Nixon's beautiful garden and enjoy the real Birthplace.
Docent Jo Lyons
- The replica was dedicated to the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace on May 12, 1992.
- The replica was presented to President Nixon on July 15, 1992.