Besides his home in Hyde Park, Roosevelt had a place where he liked to go for relaxation – The Little White House in Warm Springs Georgia.
In 1921, FDR became ill with polio. One of the remedies for the pain he experienced was dipping in the pools in Warm Springs – an area where many people (especially those with yellow fever) came for the healing waters. He particularly enjoyed a resort whose natural spring was a consistent 88 degrees. However, the resort itself was a mess.
FDR solved that by buying the resort and the surrounding 1700 acre farm.
A few years later, Roosevelt became president and built a small (six room) house on the property and called it The Little White House. Not only could he go there to relax, but also to take a warm dip into the spring. Later he added servants’ quarters and a guesthouse.
Roosevelt made the trip to The Little White House 16 times while president – each time staying two or three weeks.
The house is inviting – jutting out into the woods with a deck that makes you feel as if you’re in a treehouse.
Here’s what I wrote the day we were there.
We headed south to Georgia, went about halfway down the state and then veered off to Warm Springs to see where Franklin Roosevelt went for the healing waters of the natural springs to ease the pain from his polio. The sun was actually out (lots of rain) as we walked through the small museum and saw the place where the pools were located.
Afterwards we were asking the lady behind the desk about directions to the house As she was talking, she pulled out a picture of a little girl. She explained to us that there was a rather well-known picture of Franklin Roosevelt sitting with several children who had polio. The picture was taken at a Thanksgiving dinner and one little girl is receiving a drum stick from the President. The lady we were talking to was the grown-up little girl, the only person still alive from the FDR picture. We chatted about my interest in Presidents and First Ladies and she said she was doing a Roosevelt Scrapbook for the Roosevelt Library and if I wanted to send her my picture, she would put it in the book. So I will, but who knows?
So we headed for the house. So much for the sun. By the time we reached the house, it was raining again.
Lots of classes of kids wandering around. We walked through a small museum. (State flags lined the walk up to the museum.)
Then we went to the house itself. The house was cozy, small, but pretty. We both liked it a lot. Lots of model ships(one of Franklin’s loves) were displayed on the mantles . The desk off the back of the house looked over the woods – a sentry stood in the woods when FDR was there.