FDR, a victim of polio at 39, first came to Warm Springs, Georgia, to partake of the “healing waters” the community had to offer. While here on one of his 40 plus visits he relaxed, and felt strengthened, however, never recovered from his affliction. He befriended many of those in the area during these visits staying in touch with the farming community, learning of their needs, and addressing them.
The state park has an interesting museum with many FDR keepsakes. Take in the Walter Cronkite narrated film, and question the knowledgeable park employees on the man who was one of the greatest presidents of all time.
Pictures of items in their collection:
There is an exhibit honoring Eleanor in the museum. Nice touch to honor a woman who did so much.
Nestled in the Pine Mountains the small home is a quaint and comfortable abode.
The Main House Interior
The Kitchen and Dining Room
On the grounds there is a walkway of the 50 states, a gift shop, and a building with a special display of the last unfinished FDR painting.
Close to the grounds are historic baths, however, due to staffing constraints they were closed at this time.
Nearby is the FDR State Park, where cabins with full amenities can be rented. Pine Mountain is a scenic area and a great place for a family stay.
My daughter has recently introduced me to podcasts, and while on my way to Andersonville, one of the largest Confederate military prisons, Conan O’Brien was discussing it on his podcast. Weird, huh? Guess I was destined to go, but Conan never made it as his wife vetoed the tour. So I sent him the brochure with a note. As a former prison administrator in another life, I always feel compelled to visit whatever prison is available for tour, and this one was particularly moving and upsetting.
One of the main reasons for prisoner deaths was lack of water. The minimal water they did receive flowed from an area which had been used for bathing and toiletting, therefore, contaminated. During a violent storm lightning struck, and another water source miraculously came about for the prisoners.
There are several monuments from various states on the grounds. The area is serene with deer abounding, and picnic sites available for families. On the day of my visit I was the only visitor. When I inquired of the park ranger he stated that August is their slowest month, so if interested consider an August visit.
This pink stone commemorates the work of Clara Barton. She did much to assist with looking for missing soldiers. Working with Dorence Atwater, she obtained the secret second list he maintained of those who died with their grave locations. This enabled families to locate their loved ones and from this list
95 percent of the graves identified.*
Soldiers were buried side by side in trench graves.
At the Visitor Center the POW Museum is located.
The Museum has an exceptional movie describing Andersonville, and many exhibits regarding prisoners of war. At Andersonville less than 1 percent escaped, and those successful did so by running away during work detail. Many attempts were made at tunneling out of the prison, but these were the least successful.
There were other examples of POW housing situations in the Museum as well.
Not an easy museum to visit, cannot imagine living this experience.
But at times good things do happen.
Not far from the National Park is a cute small town with a campground should you wish to visit. It was closed during my visit, but worth a try as it is a stones throw from Andersonville.
Next: Warm Springs
*Much of the information written on the Plains, GA. and Andersonville blogs are paraphrased from park brochures.
In the interest of time stopped at this site last, however, if you have the time stop here first. I languished on the farm as am more interested in a hands on experience rather than reading. Here Jimmy and Rosalynn attended school with Rosalynn being the Valedictorian of her class.
Classroom and Auditorium – stay for the movie as it gives an interesting perspective and narration.
The Center gives a unique and honest perspective on the accomplishments of the Carter administration, and Rosalynn and Jimmy’s post presidential years. They certainly have much to be proud of. Take time to review the exhibit about these two fascinating people who rose from simple roots.
To me this President’s journey still seems inconceivable. Both he and Rosalynn have contributed more post presidentially than any other president, and they continue while in their 90’s. Known on the global stage, they also remain strongly rooted in their community. Talking with a volunteer at the museum both he and Rosalynn have had dinner with her three times.
Can you imagine having dinner with a former president and first lady?
The Boyhood Home in pictures.
The Family Home- the family moved into this rural, middle class dwelling in 1928. Heated by fireplaces and wood stoves there was no running water until 1938. It is restored to its 1930 appearance.
Jimmy loved to read and enjoyed receiving correspondence from his Uncle who was in the Navy. This piqued his interest in travel and the world.
Family Kitchen and Dining Room
The Bathroom – while there was running water it remained cold. Note the silver bucket “shower.”
His parents and sister’s room
The Family Living Room
Jimmy was always interested in clean energy, and during his Presidency promoted this with a particular emphasis on wind. The farm windmill, purchased in 1935 from a catalog for $100., provided the ability to pump water into the family home and farm. Though the water remained cold it eliminated the need to carry water to the home and livestock.
The Farm Managers – Jack and Rachel Clark Besides managing much of the farm the Clark’s also cared for the Carter children when their parents were away. Jimmy had a special bond with them both and often fished with Jack Clark.
The Clark Home
The Farm also had a store with irregular hours. Whenever someone came by, be it in the middle of dinner or early morn Jimmy would handle the transactions.
On my way to Plains and Warm Springs, Georgia. What a rural state Georgia is with cotton fields lining every road. Experienced fear when my gas gauge said empty, and for 30 miles there was no station on well traveled route 19, however, I made it.
Saw a sign for a flea market and took a detour. Glad I did as found many bargains with friendly vendors at Tifton Flea Market, open Saturday and Sundays.
Some great prices as well. Plants were $5., a great assortment of home decor – plates to towels, fruits and vegetables, children’s toys, and the navy dress, $8, and washes like a dream. What fun!
This was a nice detour as the journey to Plains was long. Glad to see this sign.
And even more grateful to see this sign.
Plains is a beautiful small town of 700 people. To imagine Jimmy Carter’s rise from his boyhood home (next blog), to naval officer, back to the peanut farmer after his father’s passing, then school and community board service, state senator, governor, to president, could only occur in America.
Stop at the beginning of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail as you enter Plains. There is a new sculpture here given to celebrate Rosalynn’s recent birthday. Her butterfly gardens are throughout the town making it even more beautiful.
More photos of the ButterflyTrail.
Since Plains is small many of the historic sites are within walking distance.
Next to the shops is the railroad station which served as presidential campaign headquarters.
Can you imagine?
This was only 50 years ago.. How times have changed.
Another historic spot – President Carter’s brother Billy’s gas station. This had an amazing amount of memorabilia. Remember Billy Beer?? What fun to revisit this time in history.
The tr home search is giving more attention to a crazed man. For 15 months the National Archives have been attempting to get these documents.
What the orange president did was illegal.
The Department of Justice had to follow through on the National Archives request, and the FBI as well. These top secret documents were being stored in an unlocked, basement storage in a Florida tourism site.
Recall the Chinese operatives who were caught at this site early in his presidency?
So much is being made of this, however, it is law that the departing president leave all his documents in storage at the National Archives. This agency has the ability to secure these top secret documents and need to be stored in this area as the law directs.
We cannot jeopardize the security of citizens, and actions by our government.
Val Demings, who was on the short list for Joe Biden’s Vice President, is now in contention for the Florida senate seat which I believe she will win. She’s already 4 points above her opponent, a 2 term flunkie who was recently boo’ed at a campaign stop. How does Florida elect these people – he voted against the Chip legislation, against capping the cost of insulin. However, it was a wonder he even voted on these issues as he rarely shows, and has missed votes on 90% of the laws for seniors. Show Rubio the door Val..
Doesn’t he know he represents Florida!
Enough of the flunkie.. Val was 27 years on the Orlando police force, and their chief for many of those years. Born in a 2 room wooden home in Jacksonville, to a mother a maid, and father a janitor, she is a survivor with grit. Who knows where she’ll go next, and wherever that is you’ve got my vote girlfriend!
Charlie Crist is running for Florida governor, a position he formerly held. He won the primary by almost 30 points over his rival. He is abandoning his congressional seat as he feels Florida is going in the wrong direction, and I agree. Devoted to public service this man has been in almost every position possible in the state system, and currently serves in the House of Representatives for the people of Tampa.
He is pro-choice, and for all the issues that will obtain my vote, but mainly he is running to restore the decency of Florida. We have lost that with our current governor. Currently, Charlie is neck and neck with his autocrat opponent but all are underestimating the power of the female vote.
🎉Make sure you vote ladies!
Caveat: In my next blogs will write of my trip to Plains, Warm Springs, and La Grange, Georgia. What a fun trip. So many Warnock and Abrams signs – fingers crossed. Heard much NPR on the road and in particular a horrific conversation with a group from Arizona where they are encouraging a homicide conviction for women who have an abortion. And the red states that are going for this have the death penalty on their books, which means.. Have an abortion and it is the electric chair.
I know some are saying this can’t be true, but who thought after 50 years of Roe that would be overturned?. Gynecologists and obstetricians are busily closing up shop in red states for fear of what will occur. This is beyond abortion, it is women’s health care.
The Summer in the City Events ran from May 14-August 14th. Was there for my favorite – dance at Lincoln Center. Here 3 dance companies came together then did a joint dance at the end. It was a spectacular evening which only can be explained in pictures.
If you have a bike bring it, otherwise you will have to rent, and recommend using the island venue verses the Citi bikes. The Citi bikes are $15 an hour and ours stopped at an inopportune time. Surreys are also available, but challenging to maneuver.
And of course walking is another possibility.😊
Oh what views..
There is much to do and see on the Island. Gouverneur’s military presence dates back to the Revolutionary War, and has been used up to the 1970’s when the Cold War Pact was signed with Russia. Shaded picnic tables are available, playgrounds for children, and two military fortifications to visit.
Let’s visit in pictures.
Commander’s Home where the Cold War Pact was signed by Regan and Khrushchev.
Other military family homes – take a walk through as fascinating structures. There are tours available but book early.
A mishmash of items to enjoy – from urban farming to new ways of electricity to interesting art.
Kids would love this – but remember to remove your shoes before entering.
For the last 2 years my daughter has been managing weekend open air food markets in Jersey City, Williamsburg/Brooklyn, and Prospect Park/Brooklyn. Since I have heard endless stories about the fares decided it was time for a look – see and taste. It is a foodie delight!
And I always check out the loos at these spots – Amazing and clean.
Next stop – Williamsburg
What a fun time and great way to spend a Saturday. Let’s close with another great view.