“As the first home President Franklin Roosevelt built in Warm Springs, the nation has experienced a great loss with the burning of the McCarthy Cottage,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Because President Roosevelt resided there for four years, the McCarthy Cottage was the cottage of most historical value.”
Warm Springs cottages were resort homes for wealthy Georgians who took advantage of the warm springs at the base of Pine Mountain.
Roosevelt came to Warm Springs in 1924 hoping to find a cure for the polio that had struck him in 1921. Later, after Roosevelt founded his world famous polio treatment center at Warm Springs, the cottages became the homes of prominent polio survivors and their families who required on-going treatment.
McCarthy Cottage had been used for staff and VIP housing since 1974, when the state of Georgia assumed ownership and operation of Roosevelt's famous treatment center.
The two cottages, along with 27 others, are now part of the Warm Springs National Historic Landmark District. Both were to have been restored as part of the Georgia Rotary District 6900 Adopt a Cottage Campaign launched in May to eventually restore all 29 historic cottages.