Last week, I went on a field trip to Dutchess County. Our educator, Ashley, was asked to come to a resource fair for teachers at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Historic Site and Library, in Hyde Park, NY, and she invited me along!
My first stop when we arrived was to have my photo taken with a statue of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Franklin grew up in Hyde Park, and continued to spend time there, even after he became president. Today, his family’s home, Springwood, is a museum, as are the Roosevelt’s cottages, Val-Kill and Top Cottage. Franklin had his Presidental Library built on the grounds of Springwood, and there is a beautiful visitor’s and conference center.
Eleanor actually has a connection to one of CCHS’ historic buildings- she actually made two visits to the Ichabod Crane Schoolhouse! Her first visit was while Franklin was serving as Governor of New York State, and while the schoolhouse was still being used as a school. She stopped by, and read a story to the students there (I wish I knew which one!). Then, after the school closed, she came for the re-dedication of the building as a community center. The event was even part of a radio show.
I didn’t get to go on any of the tours of the homes this visit, but I did check out the exhibition in the library. It was called The Roosevelts, Public Figures, Private Lives. The exhibition told the stories of Franklin and Eleanor’s lives, through the huge photograph collection that the library has. I particularly liked the parts about the Roosevelt’s pets!
After I finished checking out the exhibition, the museum staff mentioned that not only was there a statue of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, but also one of Fala, their beloved dog. Of course I needed to meet an animal as famous as Fala, so I headed back to the visitor center:
By then, it was time for the resource fair (the main reason for our visit!) to start. It was hosted by a group called Teaching the Hudson Valley- they help teachers make connections with local resources, including museums! I got to meet with some great people who like to work with kids from historic sites, museums, nature centers, and even a boat! Below, you can see my photo with one of my new friends, a sturgeon who works at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum.
I’m glad I got the chance to visit the Franklin Roosevelt National Historic Site! Now, back to Columbia County History…