A Visit to Sagamore Hill


I am lucky enough to live barely over a half hour away from Teddy Roosevelt’s home, Sagamore Hill. He was the 26th President of the United States, and a Colonel of the famous Rough Riders. As I am having shoulder surgery this Friday, I have been making the most of this week and cramming as much summer into it as possible! Visiting TR’s house was the highlight of the week, and as a huge history nerd, I had to visit since it was so close!

As you can see, the main image is the front of TR’s home. Sagamore Hill is located in Oyster Bay on the north shore of Long Island. His home was built in 1884 by the architect Charles A. Rich in the popular Queen Anne style. This was the headquarters of the Oyster Bay Roosevelts, as Springwood was for the Hyde Park Roosevelts (of which FDR was a part). TR called Sagamore Hill his home from 1885 until his death in 1919.

 

Left side

 

Right side

 
Unfortunately, my husband and I were not able to take the tour of the home, as tickets were sold out since noon, as they usually are from what I gathered. You know what this means – a trip back! 😉

 


There are a plethora of nature trails, and anyone who knows some tidbits about TR knows this is certainly appropriate, as he was a proponent of National Parks, nature and the environment.


We made our way to Old Orchard, TR’s son’s estate just a few hundred feet away. This houses the museum on the property.

 

 

Fun little fact: TR Jr. received the Medal of Honor for his part in the D-Day invasion

 

We entered the museum, which is free to enter, and they had such amazing historical artifacts- I was in history nerd heaven! One of the first things that greets you upon entering is the flag that greeted TR upon his return from the Spanish-American War.

 

 

Did any of you know that TR was the Police Commissioner of the NYPD in the late 1890s? I knew from when my husband was in the academy, so of course I had to take a picture! He introduced formal training and updated equipment to the NYPD.

 

 

One of the most amazing items I got to see was TR’s actual Rough Riders uniform! He was a legend from his exploits at San Juan Hill, and I have seen numerous photographs of him in this uniform. To see it live and in person was incredible and awe-inspiring!

 

 

This is “Speaker Cannon”, that was captured during the war in Cuba. As you can see, TR jokingly named it after Speaker of the House Joseph G. Cannon, who was renowned for his forceful speaking style. Quite a funny play on words!

 


I found this quite interesting as well: the top hat and mourning pin TR wore to President McKinley’s funeral. McKinley was assassinated in 1901, and since TR was Vice President at that time, that made him President. And the youngest one at the time at that, at age 42.

 


If you couldn’t be there live to hear a speech from TR, you could buy a record of it!

 


Many of TR’s sons (5!) served in the military in WWI and WWII. His youngest son Quentin was awarded the French Croix de Guerre posthumously after he was KIA when his aircraft was shot down by German dog fighters. His eldest son TR Jr. served in the Army as a Major in WWI, and as a Brigadier General in WWII.

It was truly a wonderful experience to visit Sagamore Hill – even my husband enjoyed it! I really do hope to go back soon to take the tour, even if that means going back in a sling a few weeks post-op! If you are ever in the area, please do yourself a great service and visit this amazing historic site!

Learn more:

National Parks Service – Sagamore Hill
Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt