Presidential History

The Empire State was the birthplace of four U.S. presidents and is the final resting place for six, giving visitors the opportunity to experience presidential history like nowhere else.  

George Washington took the oath of office as America's first president here in 1789,  Martin Van Buren developed our participatory party democratic system, Theodore Roosevelt was 

Below are ideas to help you get started on your Sports Path Through History!

Long Island:

- President Theodore Roosevelt made Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay his home from 1885 until his death in 1919.  While he was in office, it was considered the "Summer White House," where he hosted luminaries from around the world.  It is now an 83-acre site featuring the Roosevelt family's 1885 Queen Anne shingle-style home, the Theodore Roosevelt Museum, a visitor's center, historic farm buildings, a nature trail and a wildlife refuge that includes meadows, woodlands, a salt marsh and a beach.

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site 
Find other exciting attractions in the Long Island region.

New York City:

- Not only was Federal Hall in Manhattan's Financial District the site where George Washington took the oath of office as first President of the United States, it also served as the home to the first Congress, Supreme Court and Executive branch offices.  Today, it is a museum and memorial to our first president and to the birthplace of American government. 

- The Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan preserves the childhood home of the only U.S. president born in New York City.  The townhouse features exhibit galleries, an introductory film, five historically furnished rooms with many Roosevelt family-owned items, a bookstore and special events. 

- The General Grant National Memorial in Harlem, commonly referred to as "Grant's Tomb," is the final resting place of President Ulysses Simpson Grant and his wife, Julia, and the largest mausoleum in North America.  The site includes a visitor's center with exhibits on the man who ended the bloodiest conflict in American history as Commanding General of the Union Army, and then worked as president to heal the nation after civil war and make rights for all citizens a reality.  

- Perched on a commanding rise with spectacular vistas, Morris Jumel Mansion in Washington Heights is the oldest house in Manhattan.  President George Washington dined here with members of his cabinet in 1790, including Alexander Hamilton, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.  The home also served an important role in the American Revolution, serving as headquarters for then General Washington during the Battle of Harlem Heights.  Today, the mansion features restored period rooms furnished in the colonial, Federalist and Empire styles. 

Federal Hall in Manhattan's Financial District 
General Grant National Memorial  
Morris Jumel Mansion  
Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site 
Find other exciting attractions in the New York City region.

Hudson Valley & Catskills: 

- President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is celebrated and remembered in Hyde Park.  The Franklin D. Roosevelt Home National Historic Site preserves "Springwood," the lifelong home of America's 32nd President.  The extensive grounds contain: miles of walking trails; "Top Cottage," FDR's self-designed retreat; and the Rose Garden, with the graves of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.  The neighboring Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum is the first presidential library, and the only one used by its namesake while in office.  Planned and designed by Roosevelt, the Dutch Colonial building houses his official papers, books and other memorabilia, as well as the papers of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.  A new, state-of-the-art immersive exhibition opens there in July 2013. 

- The Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook encompasses the 220-acre farm that from 1841 to 1862 was home to our 8th President, and architect of the participatory party democratic system in the U.S.  The site features a nature preserve and trails, as well as tours of Lindenwald, the 36-room mansion where Van Buren lived and managed two presidential campaigns.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Home National Historic Site 
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum 
Martin Van Buren National Historic Site  
Find other exciting attractions in the Hudson Valley region andCatskill region.


- The Hall of Governors in the New York State Capitol in Albany features historic portraits on the men who served New York as governor, including four who would go on to become president of the United States.  Tours of the Capitol include this hall, as well as exhibits and artifacts housed throughout this architectural masterpiece. 

- Incorporated in 1841 and dedicated in 1844, the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands contains the gravesite of President Chester Arthur, along with five governors, eight presidential cabinet members,  three members of the Continental Congress, two members of the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, thirteen members of the Colonial Assembly, five ambassadors and many senators, congressmen and judges.  Tours are offered.

- The Ulysses S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site in Wilton is the Adirondack cottage where the ailing president came to complete his memoirs shortly before passing away.  Today, the cottage remains essentially the same as during Grant's six-week stay in 1885.  Visitors can tour the home with its original furnishings, including the bed where Grant died.  There is also a visitor's center with displays and exhibits, and a short path to the Eastern Outlook which commands a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Albany Rural Cemetery  
New York State Capitol  
Ulysses S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site 
Find other exciting attractions in the Capital-Saratoga region.


- Theodore Roosevelt first learned that President McKinley died and that he had become the 26th President of the United States at the Adirondack / D&H depot, now the North Creek Depot Museum in North Creek.  The depot, built in 1872, was restored to its original condition between 1992 and 1999, and now displays a scale model diorama of the North Creek and Adirondack railroad, as well as exhibits and artifacts telling the story of Teddy's harrowing "Midnight Ride to the Presidency." 

North Creek Depot Museum 
Find other exciting attractions in the Adirondacks region.

Thousand Islands-Seaway:

- From August 1944 until February 1946, Fort Ontario in Oswego served as the only shelter for Nazi Holocaust survivors in the United States.  The Safe Haven Museum and Education Center there tells the stories of the nearly 1,000 World War II refugees from Europe, including concentration camp escapees, brought to the region as guests of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Safe Haven Museum and Education Center  
Find other exciting attractions in the Thousand Islands-Seaway region.

Finger Lakes & Central New York:

- On the heels of the acclaimed Steven Spielberg film, Lincoln, the Seward House Museum in Auburn offers a Lincoln Tour, with artifacts of both the Civil War President and his influential Secretary of State, William H. Seward.  Learn about the working relationship and personal friendship between Lincoln and Seward -- "Auburn's favorite son" -- as you tour the many rooms of this historic house, still containing their original furniture.

Seward House Museum 
Find other exciting attractions in the Finger Lakes region and Central New York region.

Greater Niagara and Chautauqua-Alleghany:

- The clapboard Millard Fillmore House Museum in East Aurora shows how the 13th President lived with his wife in the early 1800s as the small town's only lawyer.  The house features period pieces from the time that the president lived there, including his bed, antique toys, restored fireplace and pantry with tin ware and pottery.  There is also a carriage barn and Presidential Rose Garden with pre-1840 varieties. 

- With a combination of historically restored rooms, interactive exhibits and an audio-visual presentation, the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo gives visitors the opportunity to relive the unusual inauguration of Teddy Roosevelt in the house where he was sworn into office, as well as learn about his presidency and legacy. 

Millard Fillmore House Museum 
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site 
Find other exciting attractions in the Greater Niagara region and Chautauqua-Alleghany region.

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