Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Those Places Thursday: Little White House, Warm Springs, Georgia

I finally visited the Little White House last week; I live within a couple of hours of Warm Springs, but hadn't ever made the trip. 

The house is surprisingly small, but very lovely.  It's maintained exactly as it was when FDR died there in 1945 (right down to the roll of toilet paper in the bathroom).  There are two small buildings in front of the house, one that is a guest quarters and one that is servant's quarters.  There are also guard posts that were used by Marine and Secret Service guards.

Entrance to the Little White House

Servant's quarters (left) and guest quarters (right0

The house itself has a small kitchen, then opens into a great room with a dining table on one side and sofas and chairs around a fireplace on the other.  Roosevelt's wheelchair sits in the corner of the room.  There are three small bedrooms and two bathrooms in the house, and a patio in the back that looks down over the forest that surrounds the house.  In the kitchen, there is a handwritten note on the wall from Daisy Bonner, the Little White House cook, stating that she had prepared the President's first and last meals at the house.  (The President was to have attended a BBQ and show the night he died.  Mrs. Bonner was going to prepare his favorite dish, Brunswick Stew.)

The President was sitting for a portrait at the time he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage.  He was carried to the bedroom, where he died. 

The famous unfinished portrait is in a separate area of the grounds, along with a finished version the artist did later.  A museum contains a number of artifacts about President Roosevelt and the Depression era. 

Roosevelt's car equipped with special hand controls

Letter to the President from Winston Churchill

The pools where Roosevelt swam to relieve his polio pain are about a mile from the house.  There is a rehabilitation hospital nearby that still contains some of the original cottages from the Roosevelt era. 

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