With the movie "Hyde Park on the Hudson" getting rave reviews, anyone visiting Georgia can get their own dose of FDR in Warm Springs, Georgia, just more than an hour from Atlanta. Take a Day Trip and discover what is called the "Little White House," the place where President Franklin D. Roosevelt found refuge as well as healing treatments from the area's hot springs.
The little town of Warm Springs was founded in the early 1800s as people came seeking the healing waters first discovered by Native Americans. The town became a resort, complete with one of Georgia's early railroad destinations. Today, the quaint downtown area has numerous historical buildings and unique shops to explore.
President Roosevelt brought worldwide attention to Warm Springs in 1927 when he heeded the suggestions of a friend and came to take treatment for his polio affliction. He immediately started touting the wonders of the 88 degree waters and how they improved his mobility. FDR ultimately purchased the 17,000 acre Warm Springs Center, founding the nonprofit Warms Springs Foundation to help others in need of treatment.
Roosevelt came here often and it was here that he died on April 12, 1945. The Little White House is preserved as it was on the day he suffered his fatal cerebral hemorrhage. On display are original furniture, memorabilia, and the portrait on which Elizabeth Shoumatoff was working when the president was stricken. In addition to the cottage and museum, there are pools on the grounds of the home which were built specifically for FDR's private use.
A mile and a half away from the Little White House, you'll find the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation. Listed on the National Historic Register, the institute is still an operational rehabilitative center. The pools are not open to the public but free guided tours are available Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you choose to visit Warms Springs on January 30th, that would have been FDR's 90th birthday, the Little White House is hosting a birthday celebration and you can sign a birthday card that will be sent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, NY.
Where to Go
Warm Springs Welcome Center, 1 Broad St., (706) 655-3322 or (800) 337-1927, warmspringsga.ws Mon through Sat, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Little White House, 401 Little White House Rd, (706) 655-5870, www.gastateparks.org/LittleWhiteHouse. Daily 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.; closed January 1, Thanksgiving, December 25) $$
Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, 6391 Roosevelt Hwy., 706-655-5000, rooseveltrehab.org. Open for visitors Mon. through Sat. 10 am to 3 p.m. Guided tours are available Mon through Fri, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free