FDR's discovery of Warm Springs - WRBL

Our Town

FDR's discovery of Warm Springs

Posted: Updated:

(WARM SPRINGS, Ga.)  The year was 1921.  Young New York politician Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken with polio, paralyzed from the waist down.

He had a friend, a native of Columbus, Ga. named George Peabody, who owned some property in Warm Springs that used to be the site of the Meriwether Inn, a popular resort and spa.  Peabody told Roosevelt about the rejuvenating qualities of the warm mineral-filled springs. 

In 1924 Roosevelt paid his first visit to Warm Springs.  The story goes that after making daily swims in the pools fed by the naturally-heated springs, he could see improvement.  Three years later Roosevelt bought the property from Peabody.  FDR would start a foundation that led to a hospital dedicated to the treatment of polio patients.

Roosevelt adopted Warm Springs as his second home.  He built a six-room cottage that was finished in 1932, the year he first won the presidency.  The cottage became known as the Little White House.

Charlotte Robertson is a tour guide who says the cottage was built for just over $8,700.  Robertson says, "I think it was only fitting that this is where he took his last breath because he really and truly loved this place."

He not only loved the Little White House, he loved the people in Warm Springs.  Robertson adds, "He really connected with the people in this town, going out and speaking to them one on one.  That helped him shape a lot of the policies that he put in place to help the country during the Depression."

Carolyn Hendricks was just a small girl when FDR first started coming to Warm Springs.  She describes a personal encounter with him. "When he pulled up in the yard and was talking with my dad he caught our eye, and he motioned for us to come to the car.  So we ran over and jumped up on the running board.  He shook hands with us and when he did, he put a little piece of taffy candy in our hands."

Just up the mountain from Warm Springs is FDR State Park where President Roosevelt loved to relax.  His favorite spot was Dowdell's Knob which overlooks Pine Mountain Valley.  FDR enjoyed coming to this area for picnics, so much so that he had a stone grill built on the site that's still there today.

Phil Scoggins

After taking 16-year break from broadcasting, Phil rejoined WRBL as a news anchor where he has been ever since. More>>

  • Community NewsMore>>

  • WRBL's 'Our Town' Warm Springs newscasts moved to April 12

    WRBL's 'Our Town' Warm Springs newscasts moved to April 12

    Monday, November 18 2013 1:50 PM EST2013-11-18 18:50:08 GMT
    Photo By: Kevin Roble - News 3 Chief Photographer Photo By: Kevin Roble - News 3 Chief Photographer
    As part of WRBL's 60th Anniversary celebration, the station's "Our Town" tour will make a stop in historic Warm Springs, Georgia on Thursday, April 11th. The station will broadcast portions of "News 3
    Due to the threat of severe weather on Thursday, WRBL has made the decision to move the station's "Our Town" visit in historic Warm Springs, Georgia from Thursday, April 11th to Friday, April 12.
  • A Tour of Auburn with Mayor Bill Ham

    A Tour of Auburn with Mayor Bill Ham

    Tuesday, December 3 2013 4:26 PM EST2013-12-03 21:26:29 GMT
    Mayor Bill Ham is in his fourth term as mayor of Auburn. When he walks the city sidewalks, family memories come flooding back. His father ran Bill Ham Cleaners on Magnolia Street for 35 years. Standing in front of the old storefront, Ham told me, "At the Georgia game I still had people that would say to me, 'Man, I was in school and your dad helped me do this or that.' He was there long enough to touch a lot of generations." Ham has a lot to brag about when it comes to Auburn. It ranks as th...
    Mayor Bill Ham is in his fourth term as mayor of Auburn. When he walks the city sidewalks, family memories come flooding back. His father ran Bill Ham Cleaners on Magnolia Street for 35 years. Standing in front of the old storefront, Ham told me, "At the Georgia game I still had people that would say to me, 'Man, I was in school and your dad helped me do this or that.' He was there long enough to touch a lot of generations." Ham has a lot to brag about when it comes to Auburn. It ranks as th...
  • On-Demand: Our Town Auburn

    On-Demand: Our Town Auburn

    Tuesday, November 26 2013 7:00 PM EST2013-11-27 00:00:58 GMT
    Replay in its entirety WRBL News 3's "Our Town Auburn" from Tuesday, November 26, 2013.
    Replay in its entirety WRBL News 3's "Our Town Auburn" from Tuesday, November 26, 2013.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Heat and humidity continue

    Heat and humidity continue

    Saturday, August 30 2014 3:51 PM EDT2014-08-30 19:51:05 GMT
    The bulk of the rain has been well to our west today and will stay that way for the duration of tonight and tomorrow. We'll only see an isolated shower or storm the next few days due to most of the tropical moisture lifting well north of us. That's all due to an area of low pressure in the upper Midwest that is sucking it all north. This will leave us on the warm and humid side of things, which is why isolated showers and storms are in the forecast the next few days. 
    The bulk of the rain has been well to our west today and will stay that way for the duration of tonight and tomorrow. We'll only see an isolated shower or storm the next few days due to most of the tropical moisture lifting well north of us. That's all due to an area of low pressure in the upper Midwest that is sucking it all north. This will leave us on the warm and humid side of things, which is why isolated showers and storms are in the forecast the next few days. 
  • Columbus gets new Walmarts...with a twist

    Columbus gets new Walmarts...with a twist

    Aug 25, 2014 07:03 PM2014-08-28 22:27:56 GMT
    Three new Walmart's are coming to town, and two of them are not your average Supercenter.Construction is about to be underway at the new Walmart Supercenter on Victory Drive at the site of the old Baker High School. Two new proposals, however, will bring the Walmart Neighborhood Market to Columbus.The Market is like a grocery store, without the clothes, hardware, etc. typical to most Walmart's.See the proposals at www.columbusga.org/planning. You can voice your opinion about the new stores be...
    Three new Walmart's are coming to town, and two of them are not your average Supercenter.Construction is about to be underway at the new Walmart Supercenter on Victory Drive at the site of the old Baker High School. Two new proposals, however, will bring the Walmart Neighborhood Market to Columbus.The Market is like a grocery store, without the clothes, hardware, etc. typical to most Walmart's.See the proposals at www.columbusga.org/planning. You can voice your opinion about the new stores be...
  • WRBL PrepZone high school football scores

    WRBL PrepZone high school football scores

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:11 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:11:52 GMT
    The latest football news from WRBL News 3 sports each Friday night at 11:15p et on The PrepZone.The latest football news from WRBL News 3 sports each Friday night at 11:15p et on The PrepZone.

    Latest in-game and final high school football scores from across the Chattahoochee River valley area.

    Latest in-game and final high school football scores from across the Chattahoochee River valley area.

Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.