Franklin Delano Roosevelt first visited Warm Springs, Georgia in 1924, hoping that the buoyant spring waters would cure the infantile paralysis that had struck him three years earlier. Although the mineral-laden water provided no medical miracle, FDR claimed that the 88-degree springs relaxed his atrophied muscles such that he had much better mobility after soaking for an hour. FDR became so enchanted with the area that he built a small vacation home on the side of Pine Mountain while running for president in 1932. Before long, locals were referring to the cabin as the “Little White House” and the name stuck.
Throughout his Presidency, FDR made many trips to the cottage, often speaking with neighbors to learn about their difficulties, especially during the Great Depression. New Deal policies such as the Rural Electrification Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, and Tennessee Valley Authority grew out of these conversations. Today the Little White House is one of Georgia’s most popular historic sites. Guests can tour FDR’s vacation home, the guest house and servants quarters, and see his 1940 Willy’s Roadster and the Secret Service sentry posts, all left much as they were when he died in 1945.
In addition, an 11,000 square foot on-site museum tells the story of this great leader. Exhibits include his 1938 convertible equipped with hand controls, a 1930’s kitchen with his “Fireside Chats” playing on an old table top radio, his stagecoach, and a display case containing dozens of intricately carved and gold-inlaid walking canes that were gifted to him over the years. A film narrated by Walter Cronkite includes historic footage of the president swimming in the nearby spring-fed pools, located just one mile from the museum. The Little White House is located approximately two hours south of Atlanta. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. daily. Admission ranges from $4-$8.
Photo credit: Barbara Weibel
Article by Barbara Weibel at Hole In The Donut Travels