Theodore Roosevelt, much beloved 26th President of the U.S., was a native New Yorker and his memory is held in the hearts of all New Yorkers. His summer home and later main residence was Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay built in 1886 on the North shore of Long Island and a much treasured link to him and his family.
It has been a museum since the 1950′s and since it has always been owned only by the Roosevelt family it has been preserved almost entirely as it was when Theodore Roosevelt built it and lived in it. A $10 million renovation of the house has just been completed returning it to it’s original condition as well as adding subtle lighting to make it easier for visitors to appreciate.
So now New Yorkers can go and enjoy it again after it being closed during the renovation and they can imagine its original occupant and his family enjoying home life within its walls and outside in the surrounding 83 acres. See here for details of tours and opening hours Sagamore Hill Museum
As the house is as it was during Theordore roosevelt’s lifetime, there are liberal reminders of his fascination with wild places like Africa and it’s native animals with mounted animal heads everywhere, not a mention alot of his guns. His learning is also on full display with 8,000 of his books in various rooms but especially in the library. Even his rough riders hat is there to be seen.
Of note is the status of the house as the summer White House from 1902-1909 when Roosevelt welcomed foreign dignitaries for discussion and the signing of treaties. But his home is also a living museum of late 19th and early 20th Centuries with all the original kitchen, bathroom and other fixtures still in place.
The three videos give you a tour of the house as it was before renovation and unfortunately the quality of the video is not as good as it could be but the commentary is well worth listening to. It includes much information about the texture of Roosevelt’s life when he was living in Sagamore Hill. Now it looks exacrtly as it does in these videos but eveything has been returned to pristine condition. It has had the accumulated wear and tear of over 100 years cleaned away and some of it’s infrastructure like the original electrical wiring, has brought up to scratch. Now it is available for all New Yorkers to enjoy for many of hundreds of years into the future.