Former Presidents’ Birthplaces and Homes Open to Visitors
NEW YORK, January 23, 2009 – As America welcomes a new President, visitors to New York State (www.iloveny.com) can walk in the footsteps of some of the former Empire State residents and natives who have held the country’s highest office. New York State is the birthplace of four U.S. presidents and has served as home to a number of others throughout history. With President’s Day just around the corner, I LOVE NEW YORK offers opportunities to explore the family homes, summer getaways and final resting places of former Commanders in Chief. Below is a sampling of ways visitors can trace presidential history in New York State:BORN IN NEW YORKFranklin Delano Roosevelt, Hyde Park, NY
Visitors to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s home, Springwood, can view a film showcasing the history of the 32nd president’s home and life. The tour of Springwood focuses on the home itself, a look at the many artifacts and historical pieces shown in the Roosevelt Museum and Library and the presidential cemetery where FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt are buried. For more information call 845.229.9115 or visit www.nps.gov/hofr.
Martin Van Buren, Kinderhook, NY
Martin Van Buren was born and raised on his father’s New York farm. Lindenwald, The Martin Van Buren National Historical mansion in Kinderhook Village was purchased by Van Buren after he completed his term as president. He lived here for the next 20 years until his death. In the Village of Kinderhook visitors will find markers at the spots where Martin Van Buren was born and where his father worked a tavern. Van Buren’s burial place is also in Kinderhook at the Kinderhook Reformed Cemetery. For more information call 518.758.9689 or visit www.nps.gov/mava.
Millard Fillmore, Moravia, NY
Born in a log cabin in the Finger Lakes, Millard Fillmore’s only other residence became the White House. A replica of Fillmore’s birthplace can be found at Fillmore Glen State Park. The park is open to the public and includes activities such as hunting, hiking, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. For more information call 315.497.3494 or visit www.nyparks.com/parks/info.
Theodore Roosevelt, Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, NY
Sagamore Hill National Historic Site at Oyster Bay, NY was the adult home of Theodore Roosevelt. The home served as the summer White House where the Roosevelts worked, played and conducted affairs of state hosting a variety of political dignitaries. Tourists can take advantage of the property’s nature trail and beach paths; the same paths that were used by Teddy Roosevelt, his wife and his six children along with countless friends and relatives. For more information call 516.922.4788 or visit www.nps.gov/sahi.
RESIDENCES AND SIGNIFICANT SITES
Ulysses S. Grant Cottage, Mount McGregor, NY
An Adirondack cottage located in Mount McGregor is where Ulysses S. Grant spent the last month of his life writing his memoirs and completing the last page just a few days before his death. Today, the cottage remains essentially the same as during the Grant family’s stay with original furnishings, personal items and even the bed where he died. For more information call 518.587.8277 or visit www.nysparks.state.ny.us.
Abraham Lincoln, Westfield, NY
At 11 years old, Grace Bedell wrote a letter to presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln suggesting that he grow whiskers to increase his chances of winning the election. Within four days, Mr. Lincoln had personally responded to her letter, and during his inaugural train ride in February 1861, President Lincoln stopped in Westfield and asked to see Grace. The young girl was so eager to meet the newly elected president that she forgot to present a bouquet of roses which trailed behind her as she ran excitedly home. The scene is memorialized in a bronze tableau located in the center of town. For more information call 716.326.2200 or visit www.westfieldny.com.
The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, NY, NY
Before they were elected, Presidents Lincoln, Grant, Cleveland, Taft, Theodore Roosevelt and Barack Obama all spoke in the celebrated auditorium. Abraham Lincoln gave his "Right Makes Might" speech from the Great Hall podium, assuring him the presidency. Woodrow Wilson and Bill Clinton are the only incumbent presidents to speak there. President Clinton, on May 12, 1993, delivered a major economic address on reducing the federal deficit. Today, the Great Hall continues as a home for public forums, cultural events and community activities. Cooper Union is also the place where Thomas Edison was a student; where the Red Cross and NAACP were organized and where Susan B. Anthony had her offices. For more information call 212-353-4100 or visit www.cooper.edu/.
Washington's Headquarters State Historic Site, Newburgh, NY
Washington Headquarters is the nation's first publicly owned historic site. Guests to the headquarters can tour the rooms where American history was made. In the critical months that General George Washington spent at Newburgh, he made some of his most important contributions to shaping the American republic. It was here that Washington rejected the idea that he should be king after the war, created and awarded the Badge of Military Merit (now known as the Purple Heart) and circulated a letter to State Governors that influenced the writing of the U.S. Constitution. For more information call 518.474.0456 or visit www.nysparks.state.ny.us/sites/info.asp?siteId=32.
White Pine Camp, Paul Smiths, NY
White Pine Camp served as the summer White House for Calvin Coolidge. Known as one of the Adirondack Park's most outstanding "Great Camps," rustic yet elegant retreats built by wealthy families at the turn of the century, the camp is now a museum and available for overnight lodging. For more information call 518.327.3030 or visit www.whitepinecamp.com.
About New York State
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information visit www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at thebeat.iloveny.com.