Georgia's Little White House a perfect getaway for Presidents Day | News
Nestled on the northern slope of Georgia's Pine Mountain is the world-famous retreat of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Little White House has hosted millions of visitors.
It was the naturally-heated mineral waters that gushed from the base of Pine Mountain -rising over 1,000 feet above sea level- that first drew FDR to Warm Springs.
Roosevelt, who was stricken with infantile paralysis (polio) at age 39, came seeking treatment in the mineral waters.
According to Roosevelt's Little White House manager, Robin Glass, "Swimming in the warm springs gave Roosevelt the inner strength to re-enter politics, running for the Governorship of New York and later the Presidency."
"It was here Roosevelt invested two-thirds of his personal fortune to establish the Georgia Warm Springs Foundation. Funding came from the March of Dimes and provided the money for research and post-polio treatment across the nation." Glass said.
Today, Roosevelt's Little White House is Georgia's most visited State Historic Site. A recent resolution by the Georgia legislature honored the site for providing innovative programming and welcoming over 75,000 visitors a year.
A visit to the Little White House is perfect for all ages. Families, history buffs, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and particularly students.
The historic site offers an 11,000 square foot memorial museum which houses a theatre, hundreds of artifacts, and the President's 1938 Ford convertible.
Outside the museum visitors see the "Walk of State Stones." Dedicated in 1959, the walkway includes a special stone and flag from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The original guard shacks that housed the Secret Service and Marines responsible for protecting the President remain. There's also the servants quarters and guest cottage which are open to the public.
The home itself is a modest cottage. Eight rooms, maintained exactly as it appeared on the Presidents final visit in April of 1945. A legacy building houses the "Unfinished Portrait." A watercolor which was being painted as the President collapsed at Little White House on April 12, 1945. He died a short while later.
Admission also includes the historic pools museum. Visitors can see where FDR and polio patients received their warm water therapy.
According to Dr. Joe Morrow, a board member of the non-profit Friends of Roosevelt's Little White House, "Every day is Presidents Day at the Little White House. We celebrate the life and legacy of our nation’s longest-serving President. Not only is a visit educational, it's also fun. It was from FDR's experiences in rural Georgia that we got the New Deal and conquered polio."
"Warm Springs changed FDR. And FDR changed the world." Morrow said.
Roosevelt's Little White House State Historic Site is open 9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. EST daily. For more information call (706) 655-5870.