In the Dutchess County Spotlight
Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site: "Cottage Conversations"
The Eleanor Roosevelt Historic Site offers "Cottage Conversations," a tour that also allows visitors to experience a new way to get to know Eleanor Roosevelt's life and work.
Cottage Conversation includes a one-hour tour of her Val-Kill home. This unique program allows participants to converse with knowledgeable National Park Rangers in Mrs. Roosevelt's Stone Cottage about Eleanor's life and work.
Sarah Olson, NPS Superintendent said, "There is so much more to know about Eleanor Roosevelt and given her fondness for inviting people to tea, a conversation over tea and cookies seemed a wonderful way share information."
The last Cottage Conversation is Saturday October 6, at 11:30am, on "Elliott and Eleanor Roosevelt: A Father and Daughter's Relationship During the Gilded Age."
"Cottage Conversation" is free program, but requires you to make reservations at http://Cottageconversations.eventbrite.com. Tea and cookies are served; limited to 15 people.
The only historic site for any first lady, the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site (Val-Kill) is located two miles east of the Roosevelt Home, Springwood. It encompasses Val-Kill Cottage, which was Mrs. Roosevelt's country home; cutting gardens, forests, and a pond created from the Fall-Kill creek. Nestled in a 180-acre wooded plot, it initially served as the Roosevelt family retreat for picnics and swimming. Don't miss the chance to view an introductory film called "Eleanor Roosevelt Close To Home" in the restored playhouse portraying Mrs. Roosevelt's life and work.
"The greatest thing I have learned is how good it is to come home again," Eleanor Roosevelt once told a friend. She was talking about her love for her quaint home near the Hudson River, known as Val-Kill, which is Dutch for valley stream. The site was established in 1977 to commemorate her life and work. After FDR's death, she pursued political and social interests, wrote her "My Day" newspaper column (7,000 were published), and worked on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"This was a place of her own where she could relax and entertain friends, and pursue her social and political causes" says Franceska Macsali-Urbin, the site's supervisory park ranger. Its' warm, knotty-pine interior is filled with framed photographs of Eleanor's many friends and family. Characterized by stone fireplaces, a sleeping porch, walls of books and hundreds of personal decorating touches, this simple home belies the complexity of a woman who used it to host presidents, kings, prime ministers and other world leaders.
Val-Kill also served as the location for Mrs. Roosevelt's furniture enterprise, Val-Kill Industries established to employ area youth. It offered work during the winter, as many were farmers. After Val-Kill Industries was closed in 1936, Mrs. Roosevelt converted the factory for her own use. Following FDR's death, she used it as her primary residence until her death in 1962. Call 845-229-9422 or visit www.NPS.gov/elro