Franklin Roosevelt Driving Tour

Franklin Roosevelt Driving Tour

Franklin Roosevelt at Flat Shoals on the Flint River near the Little White House in Warm Springs. Roosevelt visited Georgia 41 times between 1924 and 1945, often touring the countryside including, in addition to Flat Shoals, Gay, Greenville, the Cove, Manchester and Dowdell’s Knob.

View the Interactive Map to plan a Roosevelt Driving Tour in West Central Georgia.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, a wealthy aristocrat and nationally known Democratic political leader, came to Georgia looking for a way to fight the polio that was crippling his body. Between 1924 and 1946, he visited Warm Springs and Georgia forty-one times. He sought relief at the warm springs in Meriwether County. After being elected as the thirty-second president of the United States in 1932, he used his new home at Warm Springs, "The Little White House," as a retreat from the rigors of leading a nation.

Between therapeutic sessions in the warm springs pools, Roosevelt would fish the waters of the Flint River, drive the countryside between Manchester, Greenville and Gay, visit the Cove for bootlegged whiskey and fiddle playing, and spend hours on Dowdell Knob just thinking as he looked out over the great river valley below him. (View the Interactive Map).

He would see an impoverished land where people lived as sharecroppers on un-mechanized farms where planting, harvesting and maintenance were done with the aid of mules and black field hands, who worked for a dollar and a half a day. The roads were unpaved, there was no electricity, radio reception was poor and staticky, electricity was available on a very erratic basis, and most farms had no electrical appliances.

Those years were years when the entire country would be plunged into the greatest depression it had ever known and then into the greatest world war ever known. During those years, Roosevelt bought farmland and woodland in Harris and Meriwether counties expressly to demonstrate to other farmers that a farm could be profitable - that they could grow something other than cotton. Roosevelt experimented with cattle and goat raising, timbering, peach and apple orchards, various vegetables and grapes.

During those years, Roosevelt would serve an unprecedented three terms as President of the United States, and many of the New Deal policies that he would formulate to lead the country out of depression and financial ruin would stem from what he saw and learned from the rural counties and people that touched his life in Warm Springs.

Roosevelt died at the Little White House in April of 1945. To a generation of west Georgians, he was both a president and a trusted friend who could be seen waving as he passed by in his convertible or rode by in a train on his way to Washington. 

Tagged with: Scenic Drives in Georgia People in Georgia


Related Video

Franklin Roosevelt at Warm Springs

Between 1924 and 1946, Franklin Roosevelt visited Warm Springs and Georgia forty-one times. He sought relief at the warm springs in Meriwether County. After being elected as the thirty-second president of the United States in 1932, he used his new home at Warm Springs, "The Little White House," as a retreat from the rigors of leading a nation. Between therapeutic sessions in the warm springs pools, Roosevelt would fish the waters of the Flint River, drive the countryside between Manchester, Greenville and Gay, visit the Cove for bootlegged whiskey and fiddle playing, and spend hours on Dowdell Knob just thinking as he looked out over the great river valley below him.

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