Tag: Historic Homes

Grover Cleveland Birthplace                    207 Bloomfield Avenue Caldwell, NJ 07006

Grover Cleveland Birthplace 207 Bloomfield Avenue Caldwell, NJ 07006

Grover Cleveland Birthplace

207 Bloomfield Avenue

Caldwell, NJ   07006

(973) 226-0001

https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/presidents/grover_cleveland_birthplace.html

Open:  Sunday 1:00pm-4:00pm/Monday & Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 10:00am-12:00pm-1:00pm-4:00pm. Closed on all major holidays.

Fee: Free New Jersey State Park System/Free Parking on premise

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46338-d2661291-Reviews-The_Grover_Cleveland_Birthplace-Caldwell_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

 

I recently visited the birthplace of of our 22nd and 24th President of the United States of America and it is an interesting look into one man’s past. The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Museum was originally the pastor’s residence for the First Presbyterian Church in Caldwell, NJ.

Grover Cleveland

President Grover Cleveland

What I found interesting about this historical home is that the President’s sister, Susan, saved everything of the family’s past. Things like furniture, home furnishings, cooking utensils, paintings and photos of the family plus personal items of the President such as his clothes, pipes, shaving kits and traveling cases so there is a lot of interesting items to see and well thought up display cases.

The house is broken up into the kitchen area, the living chambers, the former living room area which has most of the displays and then the front hallway where more family displays are located.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace IV

President  Cleveland and Mrs. Cleveland’s personal clothes

Try to take a tour with the tour guide, Paula, who knows the house backwards and forwards and gives you an interesting take on the family. She will be able to point out all the family objects and personal items that have been donated by family members. Things from formal clothes to a piece of the President’s wedding cake.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace III

A piece of the President’s wedding cake

The whole tour takes about an hour and you will find yourself memorized  by the displays and the family history of the children and grandchildren. It is interesting to see how the family grew when they were living in Caldwell, NJ.

History of the Cleveland Birthplace Museum:

Grover Cleveland’s birthplace was built in 1832 as the Manse or pastor’s residence for the First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell. Cleveland’s father, the Reverend Richard Fally Cleveland was the minister here from 1834-1841.

Originally this frame home had a two-story main section with a one-story kitchen to the east and a one-story lean-to at the rear. It was enlarged several times between 1848-1870 to meet the growing needs of the Presbyterian clergy. The house is a good example of local vernacular architecture.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace

The Birthplace house

The historical significance of the Manse was first noted in 1881 when Cleveland was running for Governor of New York. As his political star  ascended, so did the interest in preserving his birthplace as a museum. A group of Cleveland’s friends and admirers began negotiations to purchase the Manse in 1907. Their efforts culminated in the opening of the house to the public on March 18, 1913.

Most of the first floor rooms portray the Manse as it was in 1837, the year Grover Cleveland was born. The decidedly middle-class character of the rooms reflect the day to day life of the Reverend Richard Cleveland and his family. Among the artifacts on display from Cleveland’s early years are his cradle and original family portraits.

Grover Cleveland Birthplace II

Grover Cleveland’s crib where he was born

Contrasting sharply with the humble beginnings portrayed in these rooms, the exhibit gallery features a striking display of artifacts that reflect the financial and political success Cleveland achieved during the last quarter of the 19th Century. Here, the mud-slinging campaign of 1884, the public’s intense interest in his wife and children and America’s political climate throughout his split terms of office are explored.

The Grover Cleveland Birthplace State Historic Site is the only house museum in the country dedicated to the interpretation of President Cleveland’s life. It is the nation’s leading repository of Cleveland artifacts and political memorabilia. The Grover Cleveland Birthplace is listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The President’s time in New Jersey:

Stephen Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837 to the Reverend Richard Cleveland and his wife, Ann. Named for the first ordained pastor of the First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell, he would in time become known by his middle name, Grover.

Cleveland was raised in a strict, modest home. As the son of a minister and the fifth of nine children, he had a religious and principled upbringing with few luxuries. When Grover was four, Reverend Cleveland moved his family to Fayetteville, NY.

(The Grover Cleveland Birthplace Museum pamphlet)

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The Cadmus House: Fair Lawn Museum     14-01 Politt Drive  Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

The Cadmus House: Fair Lawn Museum 14-01 Politt Drive Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

The Cadmus House Borough Museum

14-01 Politt Drive

Fair Lawn, NJ  07410

(201) 796-7692

http://www.cadmushouse.org

http://www.fairlawn.org/content/203/267/521.aspx

https://www.co.bergen.nj.us/discovering-history/cultural-historic-sites

Fee: Free to the public

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46430-d17707566-Reviews-Cadmus_House-Fair_Lawn_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I visited the Cadmus House today and it is a very interesting look back on the history of Dutch Bergen County and the town of Fair Lawn, NJ.

Cadmus House III.jpg

The Marker

The Cadmus House was built in 1808 by landowner Jacob Haring and his wife, Margarat. It was originally a two room farmhouse when it was built on their extensive farm land. The Harings’ sold the house to Abraham and Harmones Van Derbeek in 1815 and they turned around and sold the house to Thomas Cadmus and his  wife, Margaret in 1816 and the name stuck from there.

Cadmus House

The house had a gable and second floor built in the late 19th century

Over the years, the house had had many owners and many uses. Before the house was moved in 1985 to its current location, it served as a real estate office at that time. When they were building new construction on the spot, the house was saved by a group of concerned Fair Lawn residents to preserved the town’s past and it was turned into the Cadmus House-Fair Lawn Museum.

The house is broken down into different themed rooms. The downstairs rooms are devoted to the Fair Lawn’s past with pictures of old homes that used to line the streets of the neighborhood. There are pictures of old farms and farm houses, relics from town such as arrowheads, farming equipment and old farm house decor such as ice boxes and apple presses for cider.

Cadmus House II

Pictures of Fair Lawn’s past

In the room that once served as a dining room, there are period Dutch items that would be needed to run a household or a business.

Cadmus House Cider Press.jpg

The apple press which was a big part of the farming community in Bergen County

The upstairs rooms have different displays. One room is devoted to Victorian living with furniture and bedroom decors along with dolls and cribs. The other room is dedicated to the history of the Fair Lawn Fire and Police Departments as well as memorabilia from Fair Lawn High School such as trophies, yearbooks and old films of football games.

There is plenty of parking in the front of the house and the parking lot is shared with the railroad station next door. The house is only open the third Sunday of each month and it is closed for the months of July and August.

If you want to take a glimpse of Bergen County’s past Colonial, Victorian, Motor Age or current, the Cadmus House will give you a perspective on living in Bergen County in the past into current times.

Historic Huguenot Street                             81 Huguenot Street    New Paltz, NY 12561

Historic Huguenot Street 81 Huguenot Street New Paltz, NY 12561

Historic Huguenot Street

81 Huguenot Street

New Paltz, NY  12561

(845) 255-1889

http://www.huguenotstreet.org

info@huguenotstreet.org

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g48245-d288641-Reviews-Historic_Huguenot_Street-New_Paltz_New_York.html?m=19905

Historic Huguenot Street.png

Plan your visit:

For current information on guided tours, group tour reservations, school groups, special events or accessibility, call (845) 255-1660 or visit http://www.huguenotstreet.org.

App:

Our free Walking Tour mobile app features histories of the houses on the street with archival photos as well as photos of the house interiors and the collection pieces within. Mobile users can download the app on both the App Store and Google Play.

History of the site:

At our 10 acre National Historic Landmark District, visitors experience more than 300 years of history through the lens of a French Huguenot community as it evolved over time. Guided tours begin with an introduction to the pre-colonial Munsee Esopus landscape dating back 7000 years and the religion, culture and architecture of New Paltz’s earliest European settlers and enslaved Africans. The experience continues as guests visit fully furnished houses reflecting unique human narratives and changing tastes across the Colonial and Federal periods, through the Gilded Age and into the early 20th century.

(Promotional Materials)

I visited Historic Huguenot Street one afternoon after visiting here about five years earlier during the holidays. The houses are easy to tour and the street is blocked so that you can walk amongst the houses.  There are tours every half hour when the site is open. Here you can tour inside the houses instead of just the grounds. On a nice day, it is interesting to look over the architecture of the homes.

Make sure that you take time to look at the historical cemetery by the church at the end of the block. Some of the original settlers are buried here. It is also nice to tour around the Waykill River.

Take the extra time to visit the gift shop and see the information video on the site and look over the literature of the site.

The area has a pretty interesting history.

History of the Huguenot Street Historic District:

The site is owned and operated by Historic Huguenot Street (HHS), which was founded in 1894. In 1899, Historic Huguenot Street purchased the Jean Hasbrouck House as the first house museum on the street. In the 1950’s and 60’s, the organization and related family associations purchased most of the remaining stone houses in the district and subsequently opened them as museums. These acquisitions were funded in large part by descendants of the original Huguenot founders. Their family associations play a key role in supporting the institution today.

The Individual Houses:

Bevier-Elting House:

Dating to the early 18th century, the house was originally a one room building built with the narrow or gable end facing the street-then the prevailing style of the low countries of Northern Europe. Two expansions were built later as was a small cellar that was used to house African slaves. The house was built by the Beiver family, one of the founding families and subsequently sold to the Dutch Elting family.

Abraham Hasbrouck House:

The structure as the Abraham Hasbrouck House was built in three phases in the 1720’s and 30’s. The first of the house-the center room-was constructed in 1721 by Daniel Hasbrouck, the son of Abraham Hasbrouck the patentee. The date 1721 is based on recent dendrochronology, which is a process by which wooden structural members are dated. This house represents a New World innovation in Dutch-style architecture. The initial houses in the Dutch region of New York, such as New Amsterdam, Albany and Kingston were built in the tradition of Dutch cities with the gable-ends to the street, which conserves street frontage. The basic structure of the house consists of a series of H-bents which spread the weight of the house across the entire expanse. The original one room house exhibited several defining elements of Dutch architecture, the jambless fireplace being the principal and most recognized feature in the house. Recently re-opened to the public in July 2012 following a restoration and reinterpretation focusing on the life of Widow Wyntje.

Jean Hasbrouck House:

Also built in 1721 by Jean’s son Jacob (and perhaps incorporating elements of an early home built by New Paltz founder Jean Hasbrouck), this home is an excellent example of Hudson Valley Dutch architecture and the showpiece of Historic Huguenot Street. A National Historic Landmark in its own right, it boasts the only remaining original jambless fireplace of any of the Huguenot Street houses and is one of the few surviving examples in what was formerly the New Netherland.

In 2006, the north wall of the house was carefully dismantled, repaired and reconstructed. Reproduction Dutch-style casement windows were installed. Interior restoration followed, resulting in a house that is an excellent example of how a comfortable family in the region lived in the mid-18th century.

DuBois Fort:

Built circa 1705 for the DuBois family, it might have served as a fortified place for the small community if needed. Originally a smaller 1 1/2 story structure, this building was expanded to its current size in the late 1830’s. Some historians and antiquarians believe that the presence of “gun ports” made it a fort but there is no evidence of the presence of any such portholes before the 19th century. The DuBois Fort currently serves as the orientation center and gift shop as well as a location for special events. Guest can purchase their admission tickets and memberships at this building. Over the last 300 years, it has also been used as a residence and a restaurant.

Historic Huguenot Street I

DeBois House

Freer House:

The Freer House is one of the six 18th century stone houses owned by Historic Huguenot Street. It was altered in various points in its approximately 250 years of occupancy with its most recent major alterations occurring in 1943 when it was purchased by Rev. John Wright Follette, a direct descendant of it s original builder, Hugo Freer. Over the years, the interior was modernized into a 20th century idea of a colonial home. This structure is not currently open to the public.

Deyo House:

The original portion of the house was built around 1720 by Patentee Pierre Deyo. It began as a one room house was subsequently expanded to two rooms and ultimately  to three when a stone addition was added off the rear by Pierre’s grandson Abraham. Circumstances for this house changed dramatically when at the height of the Colonial Revival movement, two descendants  of Pierre Deyo, Abraham and Gertrude Brodhead, inherited the house. Wanting to live on the street of their ancestors but also wanted a modern, gracious home that reflected their affluence, the Brodheads partially dismantled the original stone house and build a grand Queen Anne home around it in 1894. They also significantly changed their surrounding property in essence changing a small village farm into a handsomely appointed and landscaped mini-estate. The house passed out of Deyo family ownership in 1915. It was a private home until 1971, when it was purchased by the Deyo-Family Association and donated in order to be opened to be opened to the public as a house museum. The home was most recently restored in 2003 and features circa 1915 interiors.

The patentee Pierre Deyo died in 1700, so couldn’t have built the house in 1720 as stated. Per the plaque mounted outside the house it was built in 1692.

Crispell Memorial French Church:

Since the community’s founding, there have been four sanctuaries built on what is today called Huguenot Street. The French-speaking Protestants who settled in New Paltz built their first church in 1683-a simple log building. This was replaced in 1717 with a straightforward, square stone building that reflected the permanence of the settlement. This existing building in the burying ground is a highly conjectural reconstructed of the 1717 building near its original location.

As the New Paltz community increased in size throughout the 18th century, a larger church became necessary. A second stone church was built down the street in 1772. When it became too small, it was demolished and replaced by a third church built in 1839. This church survives today and is home to an active Reformed congregation.

The reconstructed church is named in honor of Antoine Crispell, one of the twelve founders or patentees of New Paltz and a direct ancestor of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was built as the result of a fundraising campaign led by the Crispell Family Association. The Crispell Family Foundation opted to create this reconstruction church in their ancestor’s honor. It was completed in 1972.

The 1717 church was designed to reflect Reform thinking; the pulpit was placed in a central location and the pews were placed so that everyone could see and hear more equally. This expressed the concept that each person had a direct relationship with God, rather than one mediated through a church hierarchy.

LeFevre House:

Built int 1799 by Ezekiel Elting, a prosperous merchant who was born in the Bevier-Elting House, this stone and brick building is quite different from the earlier stone houses on Huguenot Street. Its Georgian-style architecture reflects the transition of New Paltz from a French and Dutch settlement to an Anglo-American community and increasing refinement in architecture in this period as settlements matured. The house shows the changes in architectural style from the early 18th century. This house reflects the several changes in the society and home life of New Paltz in the early 19th century.

Deyo Hall:

Formerly a glass factory, Deyo Hall is the site of event and meeting facilities and public restrooms. Collections storage is housed in this building.

Roosa House Library and Archives:

Located in the Roosa House, the Library and Archives at Historic Huguenot Street is a research facility devoted primarily to the history and genealogy of the Huguenot and Dutch settlers of the Hudson Valley. It also functions as a general repository for local history, regardless of ethnicity or religious persuasion. The collections consist of family genealogies, church, cemetery and bible records, wills and deeds, census records, genealogical periodicals, county histories and publications relating to Huguenot ancestry. Genealogists, local historians and other interested parties can access the collections by appointment. The colorful paint replicates the original colors of the house in 1891.

Native American presence on Huguenot Street:

Historians and archaeologist have learned more about the continuing relations between the Esopus, the original inhabitants of the area and the Huguenots. Some results of research can be found at the HHS site at “Relations between the Huguenots of New Paltz, NY and the Esopus Indians (http://www.huguenotstreet.org/library_archives/exhibits_research/Indian_affairs.html). The “Before Hudson” exhibit, currently on view at the DuBois Fort Visitor Center, shows some of the highlights of archaeological excavation in our area with artifacts dating back 6,000-8,000 years ago.

Historic Huguenot Street III.jpg

Indian Wigwam

(This information from the homes is from Wiki)

 

Lefferts Historic House  452 Flatbush Avenue  Brooklyn, NY 11225

Lefferts Historic House 452 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225

Lefferts Historic House

452 Flatbush Avenue

Brooklyn, NY  11225

https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwiJxpfd-rziAhWUhdUKHRvGDtYYABAAGgJ3cw&ei=cX_sXMW4KK_ikgWu55GIBA&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAASE-Rois_nEnRefUn86SeBr4y9Cgg&sig=AOD64_0Hi3Jo3vJIL0spSD97UBVOtelb8A&q=&sqi=2&ved=2ahUKEwiFtZDd-rziAhUvsaQKHa5zBEEQ0Qx6BAgXEAE&adurl=

Open: Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm/Monday-Wednesday Closed/Thursday-Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm

Admission: Suggested $3.00 fee towards the renovation of the house

 

I have visited the Lefferts Historic House a few times when visiting the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, The Brooklyn Museum and the Prospect Park Zoo, all of which are in the same cultural district of the neighborhood. The house is located near the entrance of Prospect Park just behind the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and right next to the zoo and the carousel.

The house sits on a plot of the park to give it the look of the house when it sat in a rural setting in Brooklyn about twelve blocks away. When walking into the house, there are a few rooms that are furnished and have period pieces in them to show what the house must have looked like in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. Most of the house is used for touring and for groups doing projects and games. You can’t go upstairs anymore. The house will be going through a renovation soon so watch the website for more information on that.

Lefferts Historic House II.jpg

The historic objects of the house

The outside of the house has wooded grounds with a working garden, an outside oven and historic objects that bring the period back to tourists and residents alike of what life must have been like when it was a working farm. When in season, you can walk amongst the vegetable and flower gardens and talk to the docents about the history of the house.

The house is part of the Historic House Trust and part of the Prospect Park Alliance.

 

History of the Lefferts Historic House:

The Lefferts family was one of the original settlers in Brooklyn with Lefferts Pieterson buying 58 acres of land here in 1687 and built the original homestead on that property. In 1776, the house was destroyed by American troops before the Battle of Brooklyn so that the British could not use it. The house was rebuilt in 1783 by one of his descendants (Prospect Park Alliance).

The current house was the home of Continental Army Lieutenant Pieter Lefferts and was built in 1783. It was originally located on Flatbush Avenue near Maple Street. When Pieter died the house was passed onto his son, John and then when John passed, the house was inherited by his daughter, Gertrude Lefferts Vanderbilt. The house was lived in by four generations of the Lefferts family.

With impending development of the area around the house at the end of the 19th century, John Lefferts estate offered to donate it to the City on the condition that house be moved to City owned property for historic preservation and protection. It was opened as a museum in 1920 by the Fort Green Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Wiki).

The house is currently used as a Children’s Museum and Cultural site and open year round.

The Arnault/Bianchi House   111 First Street Wood Ridge, NJ 07075

The Arnault/Bianchi House 111 First Street Wood Ridge, NJ 07075

The Arnault/Bianchi House

111 First Street

Wood Ridge, NJ  07075

I recently visited the Arnault/Bianchi House for a historic lecture by an actress who portrayed Amelia Earhart. It was an interesting afternoon of listening to the actor keep in character and describe her life just before her flight around the world. After the show, the actor was available for conversation with the audience and there was a light lunch after the performance. I thought this was a nice touch to end the afternoon.

The town of Wood Ridge, NJ,  where the Arnault/Bianchi House is located has made a commitment for the house to be used for cultural events and hands on programs such as poetry readings and author visits.

The house was built in the 1880’s  by one of Wood Ridge’s founding father’s, French wine merchant, Fridolin Arnault. The Frenchman used  to sell his Bordeaux blends on Fifth Avenue in New York City. His relatives, Rudolphe and Annick Proust, traveled from Paris last year to visit the ‘country house’ of their uncle (The Wood Ridge Historical Society).

The second owner was designer Joseph Briggs, Louis Tiffany’s right hand man. Briggs  is responsible for the stained-glass  window designs  at the Church of St. Paul’s and Resurrection in Wood-Ridge. He eventually sold the house to the Bianchi’s . Not much is known about the Bianchi family (The Wood Ridge Historical Society).

Arnault House II.jpg

The inside of the house.

The backyard features gardens, meticulous landscaping, enough lawn space for a a grand social affair reminiscent of the Great Gatsby, benches, decorative stone and the exterior buildings the outhouse and carriage house. The second and third floors are not open to the public and are used for storage and the home still needs some repairs. In most of the lower floors are period furnishes and art work (The Wood Ridge Historical Society).

Please watch the papers and the town’s website for future events.

 

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum  4079 Albany Post Road New York, NY 12538

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum 4079 Albany Post Road New York, NY 12538

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

4079 Albany Post Road

New York, NY  12538

(800) FDR-VISIT

Open: Sunday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm/Open to 6:00pm April-October

Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day

https://fdrlibrary.org/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60801-d105844-Reviews-Franklin_D_Roosevelt_Presidential_Library_and_Museum-Hyde_Park_New_York.html?m=19905

Admission: $20.00 for both the museum and house.

I have visited the FDR Library over the summer  for two separate days along with visiting the Vanderbilt Mansion after the tour. It takes about two days to really look through the museum as there is so much to see and read that it can be over-whelming. If you don’t know much about Franklin Roosevelt you will definitely learn it here.

You will learn more about the family at the house tour but here you will learn of the policies of the Presidency, the acts and laws that he put in place and their effect on the county. It outlines why the policy was put in place and the effects on the American people. It was interesting to see how the policies like Social Secretary, Welfare and the Banking regulations are still in affect today.

Each room is another discussion in policy with things leading to the war and it effects on bring us out of the Great Depression. Also the attributes leading to the treaties after the war was finished.

My recommendation it to take two days and at least an hour and a half each day to visit the museum and break it down into rooms as it can be a lot to take in on one visit. Couple the trip up with a visit to his house, Springwood and learn how the house played a big part in his politics.

About the Museum:

For information about the Museum, Archives, Education and Public Programs and the Henry A. Wallace Center call (800) FDR-VISIT or go to http://www.fdrlibrary.org.

Membership:  Membership forms a vital base of support for many of the Library’s key initiatives. To learn about the benefits of a membership and to become a FDR Presidential Library and Museum member today, please visit http://www.fdrlibrary.org or call (845) 486-1970.

The Roosevelt Institute:

The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute is dedicated to informing new generations of the ideas and achievements of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt through programs, events and publications. With offices in Hyde Park, New York and New York City, the Institute enjoys a special relationship with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. It also works  across the country to nurture leaders in public service inspired by the models of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, through a network of 100 progressive college campus-based think thank organizations that include more than 10,000 student members. In the years ahead, the Institute plans to play an even stronger role in nurturing and advancing progressive people and ideas. It will also continue its unique and important relationship with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum.

The Museum:

As he planned his presidential library, FDR took care to include space for a museum to display his many personal treasures. An avid collector, the President has spent a lifetime gathering extensive collections ranging from stamps and coins to rare books and ship models.

When the FDR Museum opened June 30, 1941, it featured elaborate displays of these collections and the many gifts the Roosevelt’s had received from governments and individuals.

Today, the Museum continues to display items from the President’s personal collections. But there are also extensive state of the art exhibits where visitors can experience the lives and times of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

After a privileged childhood on the banks of the Hudson River, FDR entered politics only to endure illness and a lifetime of paralysis after a heroic battle with polio. As President, he led America out of the greatest economic depression in its history and guided the Allied Powers to victory in World War II.

Eleanor Roosevelt improved the lives of millions as a reformer, teacher, journalist, political activist, First Lady, advocate for the underprivileged and as delegate to the United Nations, champion for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Today the woman known as the “First Lady of the World” continues to inspire new generations.

Experience the powerful story of these two extraordinary individuals in the Museum’s permanent exhibits. Rare documents and fascinating artifacts bring you face to face with history. Immersive audiovisual programs and interactive displays take visitors vividly into the past. A special “Behind the Scenes” area gives a look inside museum and archives storage rooms to see even more of the Library’s collection. And the Museum’s special exhibitions gallery offers changing exhibits on a regular basis. Repeat visitors will always find something new to see.

Archives and Research:

FDR was the first president to give his papers to the American people and they form the core of the Library’s research archives. Since that original gift, the Library has acquired additional important collections related to the Roosevelt era, including the three million page archive of Eleanor Roosevelt. Today the Roosevelt Library houses 17 million pages of manuscript materials in some  400 distinct collections; 51,000 books including FDR’s own personal collection of over 22,000 volumes and 150,000 photographs, negatives and audiovisual items. The Library conducts one of the busiest research operations in the entire Presidential Library system and is used by several thousand on-site and remote researchers each year.

Education and Public Programs:

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum conducts educational programs designed for K-12, college and university students, teachers and adult learners based on the Library’s documentary, audiovisual and museum collections. Programs include on and off site classroom workshops, museum programs and teacher development seminars.

Public programs include the annual reenactment of a World War II “USO Show and Bivouac” over Memorial Day Weekend, the Roosevelt Reading Festival in June and a Children’s Book Festival in December. The Library’s website http://www.fdrlibrary.org has over one million visitors each year including researchers using the digital archive, teachers and students exploring educational resources and those visiting FDR’s interactive daily calendar through our affiliated Pare Lorentz Center http://www.parelorentzcenter.org.

Diclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum pamphlet and I give their writers full credit on the information. Please check out their website on Admissions as they do change.

 

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Springfield)-National Historic Site  4097 Albany Post Road   Hyde Park, NY 12538

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Springfield)-National Historic Site 4097 Albany Post Road Hyde Park, NY 12538

Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt (Springfield)-National Historic Site

4097 Albany Post Road

Hyde Park, NY  12538

(845) 229-9115

http://www.nps.gov/hofr

https://www.nps.gov/hofr/index.htm

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60801-d106611-Reviews-Franklin_Delano_Roosevelt_Home-Hyde_Park_New_York.html?m=19905

I have visited the childhood home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt many times over the years. It is an interesting part of not just Hudson River Valley history but of American history.

Parts of the house were built in the late 1700’s and added on later by the families who lived in the house. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s father bought the house and continued to add on to it. Most of the estate is still intact as well as the homes that the President built separate from the main house to give he and his wife some privacy from his mother, Sara Delano Roosevelt, who owned the home until her death.

Visiting Springwood is like a step back in time. Unlike the grand mansions of the Mill’s and Vanderbilt’s up and down Route 9, Springwood looks more like a home just on a larger scale. The self-guided tour takes you through the first story of the house which includes the dining room, living room, sitting rooms and offices of the President and of his mother, who ran the staff and the household.

The house is done in dark woods, representing a time before the Victorian age when the Federalist look was in and the later additions represent the trends in Victorian style. The furnishings were functional and very homey not like the elaborate ‘over the top’ furnishes in some of the other mansions. The Roosevelt’s were old money Hudson River Valley compared to the Vanderbilt’s who money was earned after the Civil War and did not have to prove themselves to Upper Crust Society.

I was impressed with the amount of sporting goods, stuffed animal species and just the general hominess of the house. It looked like someone still lived there. The downstairs area for the servants and the kitchen are functional and not huge. This is a house that was built for a family and for entertainment but not on the scale of the Astor’s or Vanderbilt’s. It ran for a growing family that lived in the house.

Even the upstairs bedrooms looked like any other American home at the time but a touch bigger. I could see by Eleanor’s room that she did not spend much time there. You can see where the adjustments were made when the President developed polio. I am glad that the man showed determination and did not let that stop him in his life. It proved to me that a disability limits you only if you let it.

The grounds were interesting. The formal rose gardens are beautiful when in season and the estate does have views of the river. On the grounds of the estate as well is the Presidential Library, Museum and the grave sites of the President and his wife, Eleanor.

springwood estate

The Springwood Estate

The only problem we faced on our recent visit to the house was that a sweltering heat wave hit the Valley and the humidity hit 98 degrees. The house was boiling hot because they could not open the windows for fresh air and the whole house smelled musty and old. That is the bad part of all that wood trimming and paneling, it does smell when it is hot.

Still it was an interesting tour that takes about 45 minutes and is an important part of the foundation of a very important family.

History of FDR at Springwood:

Franklin’s father, James Roosevelt purchased the 110 acre estate in 1867 for $40,000. The property included a house overlooking the Hudson River and a working farm. FDR was born in the house on January 30, 1882, the only child of Sara and James Roosevelt. Growing up with a view of the majestic Hudson River, he developed a love of the river and the valley through which it flowed. By age eight, he was sailing the Hudson. As a young adult, racing his ice yacht “Hawk” was a favorite winter pastime.

Franklin accompanied his father on daily horseback rides. During these times, he became immersed in the land, its history and particularly the trees. In later years, he expanded his parents’ land holding to nearly 1,500 acres and planted over half a million trees. His interest in tree farming translated into a New Deal program, the Civilian Conservative Corps (CCC). The CCC provided jobs to unemployed men age 17-28. Over 10 years, enrollees planted over three billion trees and built over 800 parks nationwide.

Surrounded by the rich agricultural heritage of the Hudson Valley all his life, FDR felt a strong affinity with farmers. One of the first New Deal programs instituted during the Great Depression, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, was designed to help farmers retain their land. His subsistence homestead projects relocated poverty-stricken families into government subsidized rural communities that provided decent housing, cooperative work and farming and schools.

When Franklin Roosevelt married Eleanor Roosevelt in 1905, they resided in both at Hyde Park and their New York townhouse. Franklin and Eleanor had six children, one who died in infancy. FDR supervised the expansion and redesign of the house to accommodate his growing family and his political ambitions, ensuring it reflected the Dutch Colonial architecture of the Hudson Valley.

FDR contracted polio in 1921 and was paralyzed from the waist down. He held out hope for a cure but was never able to walk again unaided. The multi-level home was adapted to his needs with ramps along the short steps. The trunk lift, installed years before the onset of FDR’s polio became his transportation to the second floor.

In 1932, FDR was elected to the first of an unprecedented four terms as President of the United States. His presidency redefined the role of government in America, establishing programs designed to improve the lives of all Americans. These programs included Social Security, the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation, the Securities & Exchange Commission, the establishment of minimum wage and unemployment insurance.

During his 12 years as President, FDR led the nation through an economic crisis of enormous proportions and the Second World War. He continually returned to this home  he loved, seeking strength and relaxation. He entertained foreign dignitaries here including British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In the small study, FDR and Churchill initiated a document known as the “Hyde Park Aide Memoire”, that outlined possible future uses of the atomic bomb.

On the afternoon of April 12, 1945, FDR died from a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, GA. He was laid to rest on April 15th in the rose garden here. One year after his death on April 12, 1946, the home was opened to the public. At the dedication, Eleanor Roosevelt said, “I think Franklin realized that people would understand the rest and peace and strength which he gained here and perhaps go away with some sense of healing and courage themselves.”

(Home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Historic Site pamphlet)

History of the Springwood:

The estate was part of the 1697 agreement of the English Crown that gave 220 square miles to a group of nine businessmen from New York City. To ensure that everyone had access to the river, the land was divided into “Water Lots”, one of which was deeded to William  Creed, one of the nine partners.

The central part of Springwood is believed to have been formed from a large farmhouse which was constructed around the year 1800 in the Federal style. In 1845, the estate was purchased by Josiah Wheeler, a merchant from New York City. Wheeler undertook a remodeling of the house, giving it a then fashionable Italianate style with a three story town at the south end as well as front and rear piazzas spanning the entire length of the house.

In 1866, the estate which has been reduced to one square mile, James Roosevelt bought the house and expanded the main house adding the servants wing, two more rooms and the carriage house. James Roosevelt passed away in 1900.

In 1915, FDR and his mother, Sara made the final additions and renovations to the house for the growing family and for entertaining political and family friends. Sara Roosevelt used the New York firm of Hoppin & Koen and doubled the size of the house by adding two large fieldstone wings (designed by FDR), a tower and a third story with a flat roof. The clapboard exterior of the house was replaced by stucco and most of the porch was replaced with a fieldstone terrace  with a balustrade and a small columned portico around the entrance. The inside layout of the house was redesigned also to accommodate FDR’s growing collections of books, paintings, stamps and coins.

The grounds were also changed with the planting of almost 400,000 trees all over the estate in a thirty year period. Today large portions  of the estate have been turned over to the Forestry Department of Syracuse University.

(Wiki)

Disclaimer: The history of the Springwood and of FDR are living there was taken from Wiki writings and the pamphlet of The Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Site and I give their writers full credit for the information. Please see the attachments from the National Park site for more information.