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Roosevelt's Cottage at Campobello | by wallygrom
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Roosevelt's Cottage at Campobello

From Wikipedia -

Campobello has always relied heavily on fishing as the mainstay of the island economy; however, the Passamaquoddy Bay region's potential for tourism was discovered during the 1880s at about the same time as The Algonquin resort was built at nearby St. Andrews and the resort community of Bar Harbor was beginning to develop. Campobello Island became home to a similar, although much smaller and more exclusive, development following the acquisition of some island properties by several private American investors. A luxurious resort hotel was built and the island became a popular summer colony for wealthy Canadians and Americans, many of whom built grand estates there.


Included in this group was Sara Delano and her husband James Roosevelt Sr. from New York. Sara Delano had a number of Delano cousins living in Maine, and Campobello offered a beautiful summer retreat where their family members could easily visit. From 1883 onward, the Roosevelt family made Campobello Island their summer home. Their son, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States, would spend his summers on Campobello from the age of one until, as an adult, he acquired a larger property - a 34-room "cottage" - which he would use as a summer retreat until 1939. It was here that Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., was born in August 1914. It was at Campobello, in August 1921, that the future president fell ill with polio. It is believed that he contracted it at Bear Mountain, New York, at a Boy Scout camp. The virus can take up to 30 days to hit, and he was only on Campobello for about 10 hours when he fell ill with polio, an illness which resulted in his total and permanent paralysis from the waist down. Roosevelt did strive for seven years to try to gain reuse of his legs but never did walk unassisted. He spent most of his time after polio in Warm Springs, Georgia.


During the 20th century, the island's prosperity from its wealthy visitors declined with the change in lifestyles brought on by a new mobility from automobiles, airplanes, and air conditioning in large inland cities. Nonetheless, for President Roosevelt, the tranquillity was exactly what he and his family cherished, and the property remained in their hands until 1952 when it was sold by Elliott Roosevelt (Franklin and Eleanor's fourth child.) Elliott decided to sell the house after his mother, Eleanor, had sold it to him. Elliott sold it to Victor Hammer and his brother Armand Hammer of Boston and they owned it up until 1952. However, they said Eleanor was always welcome to come whenever she pleased. In 1952 the brothers tried to sell it but got no takers; they then decided to donate the cottage to both America and Canada. The Roosevelt Campobello International Park is the only one of its kind because it is run by both Canadian and American governments, but it is built on Canadian soil. The park is now equally staffed with both American and Canadian employees.

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Taken on July 18, 2002