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Visiting with the Roosevelts and Vanderbilts in Hyde Park, New York

As we neared the end of our time in upstate New York (for this time around anyway), we detoured south, through the Catskills and along the Hudson River to visit the FDR library and museum in Hyde Park.

It seemed an apt bookend to our eastern path before we headed north to visit the library of Herbert Hoover’s successor after visiting Hoover’s own library and museum as we began our journey east in Iowa.

The museum is extremely well done, as was that of FDR’s predecessor in West Branch. It takes you from the onset of the Great Depression, through the New Deal. It documents and highlights FDR’s fireside chat radio broadcasts. Takes you through his first re-election to the global stage setting for World War II and then through the War itself as FDR, Churchill and Stalin partnered to defeat the Nazis and the Axis powers. Finally, it leaves you with thoughts on FDR’s legacy.

For two lovers of history, this was a great morning spent and another recommendation. I hadn’t realized that only the Presidents since Hoover had official Presidential libraries (map below of those currently in existence) and we plan to hit them as we plod along in our USA cross country treks.

With a fresh stamp in my National Park passbook freshly inked we turned our eastward pathway to the north.

Quick note: if you plan to visit the FDR Library there is also a Vanderbilt mansion run by the National Park Service just a couple of miles up the road. We tried to visit it too, but only the grounds were open. But, if both are open when you’re passing through you can get a two-fer on your Park Passbook stamps.

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