"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you
didn't do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away
from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover."

-Mark Twain

Friday, July 30, 2010

Hyde Park, NY

Hyde Park is a stone's throw from Rhinebeck NY, I mean right around the corner.  You know, Rhinebeck, where Chelsea Clinton is getting married on Saturday.   Well we made it on time, but the invite must have gotten lost in the mail.  I called home and Mom assures me, it's not there.  So we will have to find some other way to entertain our selves.

The Vanderbilt & Roosevelt Mansions are located in Hyde Park. We toured both of these stately homes on Wed. with Rich & Laura from the Laura Lee. 

The FDR Presidential Library and Museum were also located on the property.   He was the first president to give his papers to the American people, and they form  the core of the library's research archives.  Today it houses over 17 million pages of manuscript materials, 51,000 books, and 150,000 photographs, negatives, and audio-visual items.

Some interesting facts that I did not know and some that I just forgot, about FDR.
  • The Library was the first Presidential Library and the only one to be completed and used while the president held office.
  • On March 4, 1933 when FDR took office for the first time, the unemployment rate was 25%.
  • His first 100 days in office, he drafted 100 pieces of legislation.
  • For 8 years he led the country through the Great Depression. In 1940 the nation reelected him  to an  unprecedented third term.
  • Amid a separate epic crisis - World War II, the nation would reelect him for a fourth term. In all  Roosevelt would serve over 12 years, longer than any other president.
  • He died 3 months into his fourth term, missing the ending of World War II by one month.
  • FDR drafted the legislation to institute Social Security.
  • His wife Eleanor, was his fifth cousin, once removed.

            The Frederick Vanderbilt Mansion
                The Vanderbilts of Hyde Park

The Frederick Vanderbilt Mansion sits high above the Hudson River, just as FDR'S home does.  The views of the river & valley below are spectacular.  Again like FDR's home, inside photography was not permitted.  The Vanderbilt mansion is also a National Historic Site.  Frederick Vanderbilt is one of eight children,  grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, and son of William Henry Vanderbilt. Both the richest men in America at the time.

 In 1878 Frederick married Louise Anthony Torrance, 12 years his senior and recently divorced from one of his cousins. They married against the wishes of his parents,  as punishment, Frederick only inherited $10 million. Over time Louise became one of William Henry's favorites.  Unlike any of his brothers he managed to increase the  $10 million into $70 million by the time he died. His accomplishments were impressive, he sat on the boards of 22 railroads, he was the director of the New York Central for 61 years

Frederick & Louise never had any children, Louise died 12 years before Frederick .  Louise's niece inherited the estate upon Fredericks death in 1938.    She told President Franklin Roosevelt, a neighbor and close friend of the Vanderbilt's to donate the house and grounds, (211 acres) to the Government as a National monument to her Uncle Fred. Frederick Vanderbilt was also very generous to his  staff,  leaving a portion of his wealth to them and various charities.

By the way, George  Vanderbilt, the youngest of the eight children, built the biggest home of all the children, 250 rooms.  He built the "Biltmore Estate" in Asheville,  NC


Anonymous said...

Wedding Crashers! Can't wait to read about you in the newspapers tomorrow based on how you choose to crash the Clinton wedding!
The mansions are something to behold given the views/landscape.
I hope the boat is cooperating and at this point it will be nothing but smooth sailing! You'll need that boat for your getaway vehicle after you breach security for the wedding....smile!
All is well in Ohio...

Hugs and kisses...
PS...get a great dress for the wedding Mary!

Anonymous said...

Mary, Since you can't find your formal invitation, you won't have to worry about finding a hairdresser and nail tech @ the last minute. And imagine having to look for a stunning dress at the last minute with all the crowds. Life is less complicated this way.....