Finding Inspiration at Eleanor's Cottage in Val-Kill, New York
She traveled the world and stayed in many grand mansions, but considered this humble stone cottage—a Dutch colonial—her true home. Built in 1926 on the banks of Val-Kill Creek (her favorite picnic spot), just two miles away from the Roosevelt's family residence in Hyde Park, this “shack” initially served as a retreat. Over the years it grew to be her office and “social laboratory”—a place where she would formulate her progressive ideas (e.g. the addition of a small furniture factory that could furnish additional income for struggling local farmers). Designated as a National Historic Site, it now houses the Eleanor Roosevelt Center, and offers guided tours, a short movie, and programs for students. You won’t be able to use the tennis court or small swimming pool, but you can take a picnic, enjoy the beautiful garden, or stroll among the lush green fields. The First Lady of the World once said she used to grow and find herself here. You can do the same.