Wednesday, July 16, 2014


July 14

Hey there Campers;

It is an overcast day but you get the feeling it is going to be quite warm latter. We arrived at Campobello International Park. Everything is free to the public.

·         Campobello is the only international park in the world.
·     As a memorial to President Roosevelt, President Johnson and Prime Minister Lester Pearson created the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.
·         It is on Canadian soil but has become part of America's history.
·         It preserved for the future through the commitment of both countries.
·         6 Americans 6 Canadian's over see the park management.
·      US External Affairs and Canadian Internal Affairs control the property. (Ok so some of our tax money goes for the up keep.  Thank you for free entry.)

We start tour off with a 15 minute movie about how the Roosevelt's parents and their rich friends came to this island for a 2 1/2 month vacation each year. I cannot imagine having this amount of time of while still "working". I guess none of the companies we use to work for, got that memo.

We were taken on a tour by Jocelyn our tour guide. She had lots of information about the family. As she talked to us she was walking backwards. Someone asked her how she was able to do this. She said she had 3 kids and had lots of practice. You go moms.

In 1881 some Boston & NY businessmen bought most of the island and formed the Campobello Company. They were hoping to use islands charms to lure guest to their big hotels and eventually sell them land for a summer home. The only way to get there was by boat.

This was a bust because summer long vacations were really impractical, WWI and automobiles. Most of the hotels closed by 1910. However the Roosevelt's and few others stayed.

James & Sara Roosevelt brought their 1year old son to visit Campobello in 1883. They decided to buy a house that was partially built. They moved in the summer of 1885. The home is no longer there.

The home has with stood the test of time. All but 5 items are original to the home. Even his hat that he loved to wear.

·         James & Sara Roosevelt honeymooned for 1 year.
·    Franklin & Eleanor are 5th cousin, once removed. (What the heck is once removed? Either you are or not.)
·     The Roosevelt cottage used to belong the Hardman & Grace Kuhn. In her will she  offered it to Sara at a bargain price of $5,000 including the furniture and 2 hectares of land. She did this because she like Eleanor. Sara willed it to FDR
·         Home is 18 bed, 6 bath and 10,237 square feet
·         Eleanor spoke fluent French. She spoke French first as her nanny was French
·    Eleanor always had a room for her brother whatever home she had until his death in 1941.

Interior House pictures. Notice the extremely wide door. That was in the house before FDR got polio.



Check out the megaphone. I guess it is the for runner of the cell phone. This is how Eleanor would call her kids to dinner. It was said that you could hear the call all over the island. No excuses that they could not hear the call.

They had running water and flushed toilets but kerosene lights. That works for me. No outhouses. 

This something unique. The home had a long hall that was dark. So they put in the frosted glass so the daughters room could be private but still give the hall the light it needed.

The stove was bought my Sara for the home because it said President. See the name under the middle part of the stove.

Trust me this home was opulent for the times.

After the home tour it was time for Tea with Eleanor.

This tea was not as grand as the one Tatiana (Mrs. Tea) puts on for the YaYa's each year but the stories we got about Eleanor was worth it. Mrs. Tea you are right. Not all tea is the same. It tasted better with the lemon. But definitely not yours. Lo put milk in his and he regretted it. It was great he wanted to go to the tea with me.


·       Eleanor worked with the Red Cross. She felt this was the most rewarding work in her life.
·         She let her actions speak for her
·         She had press conferences in the white house.
·      She would only let women attend her press conferences. So all the news media had to hire female correspondents
·         She traveled over 40,000 miles in the first year as first lady.
·         She was friends with Mary McLeod Bethune.
·         Louis Howe was 1 of 7 people influential in Eleanor's life.
·      Resigned for the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) because they would not let Marian Anderson sing in Constitution Hall.
·     When black pilots were not allowed to fly, Eleanor went to Tuskegee and flew with pilot C. Alfred Anderson for over 1 hour.  When she went back to Washington she pushed her husband to let these young men fly. They did. And they never lost a bomber group.  

·      Eleanor wrote  a column called My Day. She wrote this until 2 months before she died. She only missed 4 days and that was during FDR funeral.

·     She only took one item from the White House and that was her ability to use her real signature without being a stamp for correspondence.
·         Truman elected her to be an ambassador to the United Nations for America.
·         Eisenhower took the ambassadorship away from her because she campaigned for his opponent.
·         Kennedy gave the ambassadorship back to Eleanor.
·   Someone asked her why her furniture did not match. She said her friends came in different sizes and shapes and she wanted them to be comfortable at her home. Boy that sounds like something Serena would say. Very practical.

Theresa and Debbie were our host. The tea was lovely because it focused on the true thoughts and ways of Eleanor.  If you come to this island you got to go to the tea. It is worth it.

We also go a tour of the neighbors cottage. Norm Hubbard was a architect and his home reflected his talents. When you walked into the breakfast room and saw that oval window you are blown away. This is the original window from the early 1900's. The wraparound porch and the view is to die for.


We picked the Hilton and head back to Maine to go to Nova Scotia. At the border we were stopped by the border patrol to make sure we were not "smuggling any Canadians" back with us. Like they want to come here. Ha, ha.

We went to get propane and found a Walmart. Decided to call it a day.

Question of the Day

What year was the RDR International Park dedicated?  

Well, until the next time Campers......

Lo & Bren


  1. The park was dedicated in 1962, which seems kinda late. MAN, this place looks worth going - even the bathroom is pretty. I love that oval window, which must have cost pretty pennies for the time - so hard to make. Anywhere they give you tea and stories seems worth going to me. ☺

  2. OK, now I'm green. It just sounds wonderful. Some have all the fun. No worries though glad it is you two. Me too Tanita - that oval window is to die for. How cool. Framing that thing was a feet I'm sure as well.