After the Good Sam rally, we wanted to spend some more time in a GA state park. I found one not too far from the rally site: FDR State Park. I noticed that there was a nearby historic site called FDR Little White house. Until seeing that on the map, I did not know anything about FDR's relationship with Georgia.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born into a wealthy family and became interested in politics at an early age. While still a young man, he was stricken with what was thought to be polio. One of the few things that seemed to help the pain was exercising in warm water. He heard about the springs in GA and made his first visit in 1924. He was so impressed with the area, he purchased the run down springs and 1700 acres in 1927. The resort and springs would later become the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation. The institute and springs were eventually turned over to the state. The springs pool is now closed but can be visited as part of the historic site. The institute structure is currently being used for another purpose.
In 1932, after being elected as President of the United States, he had a six room Georgia pine house built along with a small house for the servants and another for guests. It was dubbed "The Little White House" and immediately turned the town of Warm Springs into a major tourist attraction. The town today still survives on its history with FDR.
The historic site has a great deal of FDR history in Georgia. He came to the little white house sixteen times during his presidency, spending 2-3 weeks there at a time. He became involved in farming to show that with proper methods it could provide a profitable operation. With his privileged upbringing, he was shocked at the living conditions of rural farming including a lack of electricity. This was a major factor in the start of the massive rural electrification program.
FDR's death has made the little white house a lasting historic site. The combination of FDR's history making tenure as president and the long struggle of WWII made his death on April 12, 1945 a major shock for the entire nation. While sitting for a portrait by Elizabeth Shoumatoff , he suffered a stroke. He died in his bed later that day.
The portrait was never completed. The unfinished work hangs at the historic site along with a completed portrait that was completed by the artist over a year later.
This is another great historic site that we just stumbled across. For this those interested in presidential history and FDR in particular, this is a must see place.