My wife and I recently took a road trip to visit some friends in Poughkeepsie, NY and do some sight seeing. We had a blast! This is the first of several photo blogs to share my favorite pictures and memories of the trip. Stay tuned as I sift through more pictures to share with you in the days to come.
Selfie over the Hudson! This was the first destination of our trip, and a very cool one at that. We are on a pedestrian walkway over the Hudson river.
The Walkway over the Hudson is a pedestrian walkway made from an old train bridge that used to span the river. It runs across part of Poughkeepsie and the whole river. Locals walk, run, and bike here, and tourists like us stop to enjoy the view.
This is the FDR estate house in Hyde Park. We got there just in time for a tour.
FDR loved the navy and collected art and books on the subject. He was the Assistant Secretary of the Navy during WWI.
FDR also collected Revolutionary War political cartoons. When the King and Queen of England visited Hyde Park, Roosevelt’s aides wanted to cover up or move the collection, which hangs in the lobby. Franklin refused. When they royals arrived, the king stood looking at the cartoons for a while, then commented that he saw Roosevelt had a few in his collection that were missing from his own!
When you have a chance to take a mirror selfie in one of FDR’s mirrors, you take it, of course!
I’m super jealous of all the books in the living room. #goals
When FDR received guests at Hyde Park, he would wheel himself into the living room and have his aides help him into a chair and hide the wheelchair and ramp he used to get around. When the guests arrived, they would find him sitting normally and ready to greet them. The lengths to which FDR and his staff went to make sure he appeared strong and capable by hiding the extent of his physical disability is impressive. He didn’t want his struggles to hurt the nation’s morale.
When he was young, FDR collected birds. His father insisted that he not collect more than one male and one female of each species, and never during nesting season. One of the people on the tour with us wondered why that was. They thought “collecting” meant “keeping.” Not so much.
An impressive, imposing hawk is the crown of the bird collection.
Selfie with young FDR.
This is the kitchen at Hyde Park. Even by today’s standards it’s pretty impressive.
This hatch leads to the icebox and was used to load the large blocks of ice that were cut from the river or ice pond and stored in the ice house until they were needed.
This is the ice house.
The side of the house, looking out over the Hudson river valley.
The river used to be visible from this spot, but FDR was an amateur forester and planted so many trees that now the view is obscured.
Another selfie because, why not? We are in the same place that FDR and Eleanor sat in a photo of them enjoying the view of the river.
These are part of FDR’s orchard. Hyde Park was a functional farm up until it became a national historic site. There are still a few hay fields that farmers continue to mow, as per Roosevelt’s wishes.
Another angle of the front of the house.
The Roosevelts loved their horses.
The stalls in the stable. Some of the names at the far end include “Pal O’ Mine” and “New Deal”!
One of the greenhouses on the estate.
Flowers in the memorial garden.
This is the monument and grave site for FDR and Eleanor.
Roosevelt means “from the field of roses,” so it seems fitting that there be a rose garden here too!
This monument was created and donated by Winston Churchill’s granddaughter to commemorate the relationship between the two leaders during WWII. The silhouettes are cut from a section of the Berlin wall, and the rest of the section is part of a monument at the Winston Churchill museum in Missouri.
More selfies with bronze historical figures part 1: Winston Churchill
More selfies with bronze historical figures part 2: FDR “The War President”
The FDR Presidential Library was the first presidential library. It was designed by Roosevelt himself, and constructed while he was still alive.
Letters to the President in the entryway of the library and museum
My favorite poster from the special exhibit “The Art of War: American Poster Art 1941-1945”
This is a huge tome! The Dutch Bible FDR used for his inauguration.
This is the office that FDR maintained at his presidential library. He used it whenever he was in Hyde Park, and it is still in the condition that he left it after his last visit.
The last room of the exhibits in the museum, showcasing FDR’s desk from the White House and excerpts from his famous “Four Freedoms” speech. (Side note, I didn’t know my phone could do panoramas, and I didn’t even tell it to. I just took three pictures and it stuck them together on its own. Gotta love technology!)
More selfies with bronze historical figures part 3: FDR (Seated on a bench outside the library with Eleanor)
More selfies with bronze historical figures part 4: Eleanor Roosevelt (Seated on a bench outside the library with Franklin)
This is a cool mosaic map of the entire estate on the floor of the visitors’ center. We didn’t have time to visit Val-Kill cottage or Top Cottage this time around. Maybe next time!
Hope you enjoyed this peek into our vacation. Have you ever been to Hyde Park? If so, what stories do you have to share? Stay tuned for the next installment: Beekman Arms and Vanderbilt Mansion.