Before leaving the Utica area we again visited with Uncle Newman, and he was able to help us identify several people on some old home movies. He also, at the age of 93, entertained us with his marvelous musical talent by playing his organ.
We left Utica after lunch on Tuesday and travelled to the Hudson Valley area about 75 miles north of the Big Apple. Our campground although not a state park, is a private park out in the country. No close stores or restaurants etc, really out in the country.
The weather has been on the cool side. We have changed from shorts to jeans and had the heat on last night. It was 57 at daybreak and only warmed to the low 60’s along with some rain.
Wednesday we went on an open house tour. The first place was FDR’s boyhood and adult life home on the Hudson River in the Hyde Park area. While President, guests at the house included the King and Queen of England and Winston Churchill to name a few.
This is also where adjacent to the house he built his Presidential Library. This is the only Presidential Library that a sitting President has used, and he actually gave some of his fireside chats from this library. After his death, his will stipulated that the house, library, and grounds were to be donated to the National Park Service.
FDR and Eleanor are buried in the rose garden adjacent to the house.
Burial plot of FDR and Eleanor.
One room on the first floor is where he signed papers authorizing the Manhattan Project after receiving a convincing letter from Albert Einstein. Einstein briefed FDR on the current technology of atomic energy, and said that the US should prove the theories before the Germans had a chance to create an atomic bomb and use it against us.
The next open house just down the street was Hyde Park itself.
This was the spring and fall home for Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt. He turned his $10 million dollar inheritance into more than $70 million at his death. They did this by buying railroads, the most extensive of which was the New York Central and the centerpiece Grand Central Station in NYC.
A view of the Hudson River from Hyde Park.
Hyde Park was just down the street from FDR’s mansion and FDR, while President, convinced Fredrick’s niece, who had inherited the property, to donate it to the National park Service. It is the only Vanderbilt mansion of which there were many built by Fredericks’ brothers that was donated to the National Park Service. The one Vanderbilt mansion most of us are familiar with is the Biltmore in Asheville.
That was our day visiting open houses. We think Hyde Park at 50,000 square feet is a bit large for us.