In Warm Springs, GA there is a natural spring that was popular for its healing and restorative powers even when Native Americans were the only humans on the continent. It remained popular into the 20th century, when victims of polio came to the spring in search of healing. One of the patients included Franklin Roosevelt, who first came to Warm Springs in 1924 and eventually built a small home nearby as a retreat. The Historical Site preserves Roosevelt’s house and the nearby Warm Springs facility that he visited.
Visitors going Roosevelt’s Little White House first visit a museum that contains artifacts from the site and from Roosevelt’s political career. Make sure to see the short film that details the history of the site and the time that Roosevelt spent here. While Roosevelt first came for the springs, he enjoyed his time so much that he used the house as a retreat. The film also shows the positive interactions that Roosevelt had with the locals, offering an intimate look at a seemingly larger-than-life figure.
After the museum, visitors can stroll the grounds of the site and see the guard towers and booths stationed around the property to keep Roosevelt safe, the servants’ quarters, and Roosevelt’s house. The house remains furnished as it was, including notes scrawled on the wallpaper in the kitchen, for example. The house is small by today’s standards, but is quaint and handsome. The house is even more significant because visitors can see the exact spot at which Roosevelt died-during a portrait sitting in the house, Roosevelt suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and died two hours later in bed. As visitors exit the site, they are able to see the still unfinished portrait of Roosevelt.
Visitors are also able to visit the Warm Springs facility where Roosevelt and many other relaxed in the warm pools. There is a short history of the site in the building and, outside, the large pool facility where guests could relax, play, and splash in the warm natural spring water. Visitors can also see the original changing rooms near the pool.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historical Site offers an interesting and little-told look at a fascinating period of American history and one of the United States’ most influential presidents. Visitors can quite literally stand where Roosevelt stood and experience the retreat he used to get away from the drama and hustle of the presidency. Roosevelt’s Little White House is well worth a trip and will reward visitors with an enjoyable but informative excursion.