Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sagamore Hill -- the Home of President Teddy Roosevelt

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 "I wonder if you will ever know how I love Sagamore Hill."
 
This quote was spoken by President Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States, the day before he died on January 6, 1919.  Built on a hilltop in 1885, in the town of Cove Neck, in Oyster Bay, Long Island, Sagamore Hill was Teddy Roosevelt's favorite home, and the summer White House during his presidential years from 1902 to 1909.


This is the first glimpse of the house on the hill as one approaches from the road. 
 
 
The house is undergoing extensive renovations and is closed to visitors at this time, but the park grounds of this National Historic site remain open, as well as the museum.
 
 
The Queen Anne style home sits on 155 acres and contained a working farm with numerous pastures, outbuildings, orchards, gardens, a tidal marsh and a beach on the Long Island Sound. This diorama on the site shows the way the grounds looked in 1918.  (You can click on this photo, and all photos in this post, and then click on them again when they re-open and they will enlarge for better viewing. Use your browser's back arrow to return to the post after viewing.)
 
 
Theodore Roosevelt bought this land on the fashionable north shore of Long Island in 1880, with Alice Hathaway Lee, the woman he would marry later in the year. She helped plan the house, with its many rooms and sweeping views of Long Island Sound, but did not live to enjoy it.  Alice died soon after childbirth, on February 14, 1884. Roosevelt’s sister, Anna, convinced the distraught Teddy that he would still need a home for his baby daughter and he went ahead with the construction of the home. In 1887, he married Edith Carow, a childhood friend, and together they raised Alice and their five children at Sagamore Hill. After Roosevelt's death in 1919,  Edith remained at Sagamore Hill. She died there in September 1948, at the age of eighty-seven. The Roosevelt Memorial Association, now the Theodore Roosevelt Assocation purchased Sagamore Hill from the Roosevelt estate in 1950 and opened as a museum to the public in 1953. The National Park Service took over administrative control of the house in 1963.
 


 
The Theodore Roosevelt Museum at Old Orchard was originally built as Theodore Jr's home in 1938. The Georgian-style house sits on Sagamore Hill estate's apple orchard. Ted Jr. lived at Old Orchard for only three years. In 1941, Theodore Jr. reentered active military service and became a deputy commander of the 1st and 4th Infantry Divisions during World War II. A few weeks after directing the D-Day landing on Utah Beach on the Normandy coast of France in 1944, he died of a heart attack. His wife Eleanor Alexander Roosevelt continued to live at Old Orchard until her death in 1960. Later the Theodore Roosevelt Association purchased the house and presented it to the public as part of the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.
 

The museum displays the story of Theodore Roosevelt's life in a collection of photos, artifacts, quotes, and memorabilia.
 
The exhibits are fascinating to see and read.


I visited the museum a few days before Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern coast. Quite a few Naval Officers were also visiting the museum at that time, and I overheard them say that they were soon heading out to sea to protect their ships and carriers from the storm.


Theodore Roosevelt, a noted conservation president, had an impact on the national park system extending well beyond his term in office. As chief executive from 1901 to 1909, he signed legislation establishing five national parks: Crater Lake, Oregon; Wind Cave, South Dakota; Sullys Hill, North Dakota (later redesignated a game preserve); Mesa Verde, Colorado; and Platt, Oklahoma (now part of Chickasaw National Recreation Area). Another Roosevelt enactment had a broader effect under the Antiquities Act of June 8, 1906. By the end of 1906 he had proclaimed four national monuments: Devils Tower, Wyoming, El Morro, New Mexico, Montezuma Castle, Arizona, and the Petrified Forest, Arizona. He also protected a large portion of the Grand Canyon as a national monument in 1908. By the end of his term he had reserved six predominantly cultural areas and twelve predominantly natural areas in this manner. Half the total were initially administered by the Agriculture Department and were later transferred to Interior Department jurisdiction

I have visited many National Parks and Monuments over the years, and I always give thanks to President Roosevelt for having the foresight to begin the governmental movement to protect these lands for the enjoyment of future generations.


Leaving the museum, my friend who was with me and I decided to walk around the grounds and enjoy the beautiful autumnal scenery. This was one of the last surviving apple trees from the Roosevelt orchard and .....



... this beautiful oak tree was located near the house.  I hope both trees were able to survive the hurricane!


We walked to the Oak, Tulip and Hickory tree preserve on the Sagamore Hill property where we saw a park ranger bird watching. This area is also part of the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge.


As we approached the Long Island Sound the clouds were beginning to build on the horizon and I thought the views filled with vivid colors and swirling clouds looked similar to a Vincent van Gogh painting.


What do you think?


Weather wise, everything was very still and pleasant at that time. It was the true "calm before the storm."
 



Because the Sagamore Hill house was closed for renovation, and I could not photograph it, I found part one of a three part series on YouTube that take you on a guided tour of the home.  Part two can be found on this link, and part three on this link.  As you can see in these videos Sagamore Hill is still furnished as it was during Roosevelt's busy lifetime. When opened again it will be a fascinating place to visit to learn more about the life and times of this multi faceted men who was one of our country's greatest Presidents!

I'm adding this post to the following blog events:

Our World Tuesday
Outdoor Wednesday
Wednesday Signs
Skywatch Fridays
Weekend Reflections


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38 comments:

Kris said...

Beautiful!!!
xo Kris

ladyfi said...

How lovely and autumnal!

camp and cottage living said...

Pat
No wonder Teddy chose this site for his home, it is a beautiful acreage.
I enjoyed the video too. It really was quite a masculine home, but still gorgeous.

Barbara F. said...

I visited here as a child. Of course, it was a distant memory but thanks for the wonderful tour. Love those trees in full autumn splendor. xo

Janet said...

TR was quite a character as is his house!

Gary said...

Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Old Kitty said...

Theodore Roosevelt's dad sounds amazing too!! Just finished the part one of the clip. But I'm ignoring the dead creatures as mats and penchant to hunt big animals! LOL! And Mrs R sounds like she was a formidable woman too running not just home but the big big farm! It's an amazing home - a working place and a family home - and it's lovely to learn that TR ran the nation in such a place!

I have to admit to knowing TR more for inventing the term Teddy Bear! Is that right? I think so anyway! But there's definitely more to him than the toy. LOL!

I definitely think these vistas are worthy of Van Gogh!!! Beautiful. Take care
x

Betsy Adams said...

Thanks for showing us this beautiful place. I will probably never see it in person ---so your tour is the next best thing.

Glad that place had no damage from the big storm.

Hugs,
Betsy

Paula's Postings said...

Another fascinating post Pat I love the autumnal oak the colours are so vivid.

Snap said...

Wonderful, informational post. The grounds are gorgeous during the fall. Thanks so much for the tour!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a wonderful post! One my hubby and I both enjoy reading. I hope things go well with the packing and that you get a buyer soon! Sweet hugs!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a lovely place! I can see why he loved it so much. 155 acres - Wow! How sad that his wife died before she could enjoy it's beauty.

Michelle said...

Really a beautiful place. TR was such an interesting man.

Jo May said...

Thanks for sharing this Pat,I loved him.Your photo's are amazing,you never disappoint,and yes Van Gogh would surely have painted this awesomeness!!

When is the move?...got all packed?
need some help?

Al said...

Nice photos, I'll have to visit there next time I'm on Long Island (I lived there back in the '80s).

If you like microbrews, you'll love Colorado as we're arguably the nations capital of microbreweries. I haven't been to the one you mentioned but since one of my kids goes to college in Fort Collins I'll have a good excuse :)

ellen b. said...

It would be great to be able to visit here someday. Those last photos are so amazing Pat. The colors are amazing...

Cindy said...

That's a beautiful house and such a wonderful story of a great American family.
Very interesting, thank you.
Hugs, Cindy

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Beautiful...this historic place. And your fall photos are amazing! I certainly hope the trees survived the hurricane.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I can certainly see why he loved this beautiful home! The views are fantastic, too. I will look at the other 2 videos another time. Very interesting post! Thanks for sharing your visit there with us.

Vee said...

So interesting and your photos are gorgeous. They certainly are oil worthy. I dare not take the tour tonight as it's late, but I will return to do so. Isn't it T. Roosevelt who lost his wife and mother on the same day? Must look into that.

Lily Hydrangea said...

yes, I do believe you have captured a true van Gogh moment in your photo! very nice.
I've been here a few times over the years & never walked the trails. You've given me a good reason to go back & do so, thanks Pat.

podso said...

Thanks for an interesting post. What a beautiful home. And I agree about your walk and those last photos! Beautiful. You could put it into photo shop and really make it look like a painting. :-)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Amazing!! I want this one to be out of my bucket list and on the done list!!

blessings ~ tanna

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

What a great post! You caputured some great images. I love the grounds of the building.

Jeanne said...


Good morning my dear friend, I am so glad I was able to find time to visit you today. This post was so interesting to me because I have always been a fan of Teddy. We have seen his work in North Dakota in the National Black Hills park as well as many other parks he has been to and organized. He was quite a man to admire with his dedication to preserving America's Natural areas. The photos are awesome and I only wish I could have been there to see it too.

I also read your Thanksgiving post and it really makes us more thankful to have missed the suffering Sandy has caused. I am so sad for the many people that have been uprooted and without power and homes as well. Andrew in So. FL greatly affected 'many' of our family and friends and it took two plus years to clean it all up. Such losses are hard to recover from in so many ways.

I adored the pic of your son and his dog hoping to get some of that great smelling turkey. Zelda lives on. Yay! Happy birthday to your daughter and prayers are being said for the sale of your home and your move. I am happy you had a wonderful happy Thanksgiving day. So did we. We are blessed.
Love,
Jeanne

Riet said...

What a beautiful home and park. You must have had a wonderful time strolling around.The views are wonderful and your photo's are gorgeous.
Have a nice week my friend.

Jeannelle said...

Thank you! I followed the links and enjoyed the tour.

Yvette said...

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, Pat. As always. I had forgotten about Sagamore Hill (a great name for a house) especially since I've never visited - but now I feel as though I have. I am a a big fan of Theodore Roosevelt even if he spent an inordinate amount of time killing animals in the wild. But later, I understand he turned against that sort of thing. Man enough to change his mind and his views. Good for him.

Kathleen said...

Pat, I taught school here on LI for 33 years, and every year we went to Sagamore Hill. One year they overbooked, so they said only one class could go in! Can you imagine?
I told them they would have to get one the bus, and pick which class was getting to go, while the others sat on the bus after a 45 min ride to get there!
They finally relented, but didn't treat us very nicely. Their mistake, yet took it out on the class.
I have also been to Bethpage Restoration Village at least 40 times! I could be a docent! :)

Glad you had a good trip , it is a beautiful spot.

GailO said...

Yet another beautiful place I have yet to visit! Gorgeous skies Pat!

I am late in saying Happy Thanksgiving to you but it looks like you had a wonderful time with family and I am so thankful that you all escaped any damages from the storm.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Looks like you got there at just the right time Pat, and yes that does remind me of a Van Gogh scene.

karenmed409 said...

Thank you for the tour, the photos made me feel as if I was there.

Lesley said...

What a gorgeous sanctuary. I am also envious of your parks system and think he deserves every accolade going for that foresight.
Now, off to check out those links...

Matkatar said...

Interesting and beautiful!

Jim said...

Great Autumn colours.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful place.

Liza said...

Wonderful photos. Happy sky watching.

Moon

pam said...

What a beautiful setting for a home. I keep wondering about your area. While the news has greatly slowed down in reporting what is going on I know it is a long process to recover. We've had towns not far from us almost wiped off the map from tornado's that take years to rebuild and many more years to cope with the emotional aftermath.

Praying God brings the perfect buyer for your home. In hopes of selling next Spring we are slowly working our way through our home purging "things". It is quite a process....strength to you both!