Monday, 25 July 2016

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and swimming: Val Kill

Franklin R partook in swimming therapy to help ameliorate the effects of his polio. He used to spend time at the Merriman Inn in Warm Springs in Georgia, where he swam in the natural spring water. In 1926 he bought the property and founded a therapy centre, which still exists. FDR died at Warm Springs. 

Meanwhile, at her property at Hyde Park, New York, Eleanor built a pool. It was a favourite family gathering place. There is home 16mm film footage recording the Roosevelts and friends and guests swimming there. One of the guests was Winston Churchill. 
In the filmed fictionalised account of the royal visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Hyde Park on Hudson) KGVI (Samuel West) is depicted swimming there with FDR (Bill Murray).

A project is underway to restore the pool. When we visited it was covered by boards (see photos below)

Eleanor Roosevelt at the Val-Kill pool.

Val-Kill pool, Summer 1940. FDR, Missy Le Hand and Eleanor R. From
Eleanor on the lawn by the Val-Kill pool, Summer 1959. Photo by Keith M. Taylor. From

Eleanor's swimsuit. From

How the pool looked on Sep 15, 2013 when we visited.

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