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FDR’s funeral train
Roosevelt was visiting Warm Springs when he died suddenly on April 12, 1945 while still president. On this visit, he had been sitting for a portrait. The “Unfinished Portrait,” by artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff, is displayed in the museum.
After his death, a special funeral train carried the president’s casket from Warm Springs to Washington, D.C., including a stop in Atlanta.
The president’s casket was carried in its own train car, with a military honor guard. Honor guards of military units and members of the public gathered along the route of the train, including at Atlanta’s Terminal Station.
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Roosevelt’s Historic Pools Museum
The Warm Springs historic site includes a museum that tells the story of the healing springs for which the city is named. The original spring-fed pools have been drained, but visitors can touch the warm water from a basin. The water comes from natural springs 3,800 feet below ground at nearby Pine Mountain.
The museum also tells about Roosevelt's Georgia Warm Springs Foundation and the nearby Warm Springs Institute, established by FDR to treat polio patients. After vaccines became available to eradicate polio in the United States, the facility took on a broader role to provide vocational rehabilitation training and services. It is now the Roosevelt Warm Springs Vocational Rehabilitation Campus.
Pine Mountain and F.D. Roosevelt State Park
Visitors to F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain can enjoy the scenery and mountain vistas much as they were was when Roosevelt spent time in Georgia. Dowdell's Knob on Pine Mountain offers a nice view of the valley below and was said to be FDR's favorite picnic spot. Roosevelt was said to enjoy visiting there during World War II because of the mountain's great beauty and serenity.
The park, located on land that Roosevelt owned, is built around the 1,395-foot-high peak of Pine Mountain, according to Explore Georgia, the state of Georgia tourism web site.
> RELATED: Learn more about F.D. Roosevelt State Park from Explore Georgia, the state tourism web site.
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The view from a tree, 40 feet up at Dowdell's Knob, FDR Park, Pine Mountain, Ga., Nov. 15, 2008
Credit: shari heinz
Credit: shari heinz
How often did Roosevelt visit Warm Springs?
According to the AJC's Actual Factual column, FDR was a frequent visitor to his Georgia retreat. "President Franklin D. Roosevelt loved visiting Warm Springs," according to the article, "making 41 trips to the west Georgia town and its soothing water (88 degrees) from 1924 -- eight years before being elected president -- until his death there in 1945, according to GeorgiaInfo (georgiainfo.galileo.usg.edu), an online almanac."
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This life-size sculpture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt sits in the parking area of Dowdell’s Knob, the highest point of the 1,395-foot-high Pine Mountain in Middle Georgia. FDR often came here to relax and picnic and enjoy the peaceful view of the lush valley below. (Charles Seabrook).