National Park Getaway: Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
November 20, 2009
Filed under National Parks
OYSTER BAY, N.Y. – Less than a week from now, millions of us will be thronging airports and gingerly pulling onto crowded highways, bound for different places, but most of us headed home. At certain times of year, that destination exerts a magnetic force on us. We can empathize with our nation’s 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote to one of his children, “There isn’t any place in the world like home.” His letter goes on to identify “home” as Sagamore Hill, the property on Long Island where Roosevelt and his family resided in a Queen Anne shingle-style house and romped on their private beach. Today, this home opens its doors to you and numerous others from outside of the Roosevelt clan. Everyone can enjoy the variety that characterizes both the nineteenth-century house and the grounds. Indoors, you enter rooms furnished with the Roosevelts’ belongings, which range from chairs and books to elephant tusks and “big cat” pelts.
An assemblage of artifacts, artworks and hunting trophies, the interior of the house at Sagamore Hill is surrounded by a landscape just as varied. Woodlands, fields, an orchard and an estuary join the Roosevelt beach in the harmonious patchwork that makes up the family’s acres. Visitors can take in the scenery, explore Sagamore Hill’s historic farm buildings and hike on a nature trail that affords views of Cold Spring Harbor and glimpses of birds, turtles and other animals. The national historic site also offers – to aficionados of history, lovers of biography, and everyone else – the Theodore Roosevelt Museum, where objects, photographs, letters and videos provide insights into the historical celebrity.
Children can participate in Junior Ranger programs at the site and may be interested in visiting the Roosevelts’ pet cemetery. The buildings that are accessible to the public at Sagamore Hill NHS are open Wednesday through Sunday and closed Monday and Tuesday until Memorial Day. Tours of the Theodore Roosevelt Home cost $5 for those over 15; those 15 and under are free. The grounds at Sagamore Hill are open all week, all year from dawn to dusk, and there is no charge for visiting them. Come and explore both the grounds and the house, the outdoors and the indoors, at this national historic site. As you make plans to go home for the holidays, give yourself a treat and drop by TR’s beloved home. It’ll cheer you like your own. From National Park Service