Today we continued south to Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, which preserves the post-presidential home of America’s eighth president:
I know, you’re thinking, “what an unfortunate fusion of Italianate, Gothic, Palladian and Georgian architecture”, aren’t you? Yes, you are.
Van Buren was the son of a tavern keeper, but became wealthy later in life. He imported French wallpaper for his great hall to impress his guests:
The original wallpaper from 1839:
The president’s bathtub, used as a horse trough until the NPS acquired the building and restored it:
The house includes a very early flush toilet, virtually unheard of in the mid-1800s:
Looking up into five story tower that was part of the Italianate addition to the home, added by Van Buren’s son when he moved back home at his father’s request:
Van Buren died at 79 in this room in 1862:
We learned a lot about the considerable accomplishments of our eighth president today. The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks and received their badges:
Continuing south, we visited Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site. After watching the excellent site movie, we walked the grounds, which include a monument to FDR and Churchill. The silhouettes in the background are carved from a section of the Berlin Wall:
FDR’s childhood home:
The kids completed their Junior Ranger workbooks (called here Junior Secret Service) and received their badges:
We continued south, trying to take 9W but forced to exit due to tunnels with insufficient clearance. Completing our drive via the thruway, we arrived at our house and backed up our driveway. We will be here for the holidays of Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Shemini Atzeres, and Simchas Torah.
Yom Kippur is tomorrow, so the next blog post will be on Thursday, 9/24. See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.