Teddy Roosevelt's tenure as the 26th President of the U.S. required him to spend much of his time in Washington D.C. and other locales much farther afield, but New York State was always his home base.
A native and lifelong New Yorker, Teddy was born in New York City in 1858. In 1885, he and his family moved to the residence known as Sagamore Hill — in Cove Neck near Oyster Bay, on Long Island's North Shore — as a respite from New York City's hustle and bustle, and would live there until his death in 1919. After his presidential term began, Sagamore Hill became known as the "Summer White House," an office where the avowed naturalist could step away from his bully pulpit and work while enveloped by 83 acres of forest, meadows, salt marsh, beach and fauna.
The National Parks Service, which manages Sagamore Hill, welcomes visitors to the park grounds every day of the week, from sunrise to sunset, throughout the year. Guided tours of the house are offered at 10:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. for $10 (the fee is waived for National Park Pass holders), and are the only way to access the interior. Reservations are strongly recommended and tickets tend to sell out.
Visitors relax in rocking chairs and the shade on Sagamore Hill's porch.
Even without venturing the inside of the home, a trip to Sagamore Hill can be a deeply satisfying and calming experience. Visitors stroll by fields of Queen Anne's lace as they follow in Teddy's footsteps to a nature trail and the shore of Cold Spring Harbor. More than 100 species of birds have been spotted here, no doubt one of many benefits of Sagamore Hill's proximity to the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center (established in 1923 in memory of its namesake by two of his cousins) and the 3,209 acre Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Upon exiting the nature trail, visitors are greeted by the salt marsh and Cold Spring Harbor.
On the shore of Cold Spring Harbor with an idyllic view of a sailboat on the water.
It's easy to feel the peace that this very special location brought to Teddy, and is several types of vacations — educational, historical, architectural, ornithological, recreational — all rolled into one.
New York Maker, graphic artist Victor Coreas of Bold Version Design, created several prints inspired by his time as a resident of Long Island. This offering celebrates the sites you may see when exploring Sagamore Hill and its environs; perfect souvenirs of a wonderful trip.
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