Don's PhotoJaunt 2003
This photo from the National Park Service brochure on Hyde Park, New York, shows President Franklin D. Roosevelt's home as it was when his parents bought it and for years after.
Although the president's home is usually referred to as Hyde Park, it's actual name is "Springwood." These next few photos shows it as it was after extensive modification during Franklin's lifetime, and as it is now.
Springwood is a stately house indeed, but not ostentatious. Compared to the Vanderbuilt mansion up the road and others estates nearby, it's a simple country home, practically.
This front door welcomed many important people during the first half of the 20th Century; Franklin spent much time here during his presidency, visiting here about 200 times. Although his career necessitated him living elsewhere much of the time, he always thought of Hyde Park as his home.
In his adulthood, Franklin often fell asleep at night recalling himself sliding down this hill on his sled when he was a kid. It was one of the ways he dealt with his confinement to a wheelchair.
This is the front drive.
The two green chairs in the sitting room and library were Franklin's and his mother Sara's; Eleanor had to sit wherever she could. Sara was the dominant force in Franklin's life, and she always treated Eleanor as an extra.
Franklin's childhood bedroom.
The entrance hall.
Bedroom Franklin used as an adult.
Springwood has several bedrooms; I can't keep it straight who slept where when.
This is the telephone at Hyde Park. It is pretty much hidden from the activities in the house. Imagine, the President of the United States having only one telephone in his home, and it hidden away. No wonder Franklin liked to spend time there. I would imagine the Secret Service had better communication devices, though, in their quarters elsewhere on the property.
One of the bathrooms.
After Franklin's bout with polio, he was unable to walk normally the rest of his life. He preferred a regular chair with wheels attached, rather than a commercially produced wheelchair.
A bust of Franklin D. Roosevelt graces the entrance to the FDR Library and Museum at Hyde Park, New York.
In addition to the Library's exhaustive collection of papers for presidential historians and students, the Library and Museum holds many artifacts of Franklin and Eleanor's lives. This is the replica of the Oval Office as it was at Franklin's death.
The desk holds a collection of items which were on Franklin's desk at various times during his twelve years as president.
Franklin's cradle is there. . .
as is his hobby horse and many other items from his childhood.
At one point as a young man, Franklin took an interest in photography.
Always a lover of the sea, Franklin kept ship models around him at his homes.
The Great Depression was the event Franklin had to deal with in the 1930's.
Here is a campaign poster from the 1932 election.
Roosevelt often got bad press. Left: "Mother, Wilfred wrote a bad word." Top row: "Too Much Roosevelt," by Gerald L.K. Smith; cartoon: rich folk at party, "Come along, we're going to the Trans-Lux to hiss Roosevelt"; "Mother Goosevelt"; bottom row: An Alice in Wonderland drawing with Mad Hatter Roosevelt, captioned "A Mad Tea Party" written backwards; A Life Magazine (15¢!) portraying Eleanor posing as Franklin. I guess those were supposed to be funny back then.
Franklin loved dogs, none more than Fala. I recall during World War II, Fala accidentally got left behind somewhere; an army airplane was dispatched to fetch him. The Republicans made much of this, accusing the president of wasting army resources to rescue his dog. Roosevelt said, "Republicans may attack my policies, that's fine. They may attack me personally, I don't like it but it's their right. They may even attack my family; I don't think they should, but it's all part of the way politics works. But when they attack my little dog Fala, THAT'S GOING TOO FAR!" (Words to that effect.)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Anna Eleanor Roosevelt Roosevelt are buried here at Hyde Park in a beautiful garden setting.
The Roosevelts' gravestone.