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EXPLORE AMERICA: Sagamore Hill National Historic Site

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site is the site where in 1885, on a Long Island peninsula looking north over Long Island Sound to the Connecticut coast, Theodore Roosevelt built the house that would be his home until his death in 1919. One of the 20th century’s larger-than-life political figures, the 26th president of the United States won a Nobel Peace Prize, made a reputation as a trust-buster, encouraged conservation, and started a third political party.

The site includes extensive grounds and the Roosevelt Museum at Old Orchard as well as the home furnished as it was during T.R.’s lifetime. Exhibited inside the 23-room, shingle-style house are many objects and furnishings which belonged to the Roosevelt family, among them a Herter Brothers cabinet. After you take in this vast array of items, go through the Roosevelt Museum at Old Orchard, once the home of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., the president’s distinguished son who served as governor of Puerto Rico and governor-general of the Philippines, and who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for leading the World War II D-Day assault on Utah Beach. Sagamore Hill’s 83 acres of grounds offer paths and a nature trail where you can traipse across meadows, forest, and a salt marsh to the beach where Roosevelt and his family used to go to observe wildlife and the splendid scenery. Plan to spend at least two hours at Sagamore Hill Historic Site to see the home, museum and grounds.

Admission to the “Summer White House” is by guided tour only. Tours are offered on the hour from 9 AM to 4 PM daily except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. (Note that during the off-season, the home is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.) Tickets for tours can be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis at the visitor center. Tours often sell out on weekends and in the summer, so come early.

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site is located at 20 Sagamore Hill Rd, Oyster Bay, New York. 516-922-4788. http://www.nps.gov/sahi/index.htm

Photo credit: courtesy National Park Service

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