The Little White House was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s personal retreat located in Western Georgia in a town called Warm Springs. Warm Springs is located only an hour from Atlanta, making it a great spot for a day trip. Roosevelt originally came to the vacation town searching for a way to cure the effects of polio on his body. Supposedly, soaking in the area’s natural hot springs would give feeling back to his paralyzed legs. Roosevelt did have success and alleviation of symptoms after visiting the springs, so he built a house there that came to be known as the Little White House.
Roosevelt visited Warm Springs fairly often before and during his Presidency. His wife Eleanor often accompanied him on these visits. Roosevelt actually died at the Little White House while sitting for a portrait, during which he suffered a stroke. It is rumored that Roosevelt’s mistress was with him at Warm Springs at the time of his death. Whether or not this is true, the home is a must see for Roosevelt enthusiasts. Visitors can tour the home and see some of Roosevelt’s personal effects, including his car. The unfinished portrait he was sitting for on the day of his death sits on display, and the house is arranged to appear as it did on that day.
Open everyday from 9 am to 4:45 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Years.
Exhibits about and memorabilia from the Carter administration.
Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale
Jimmy Carter was the 39th President of the United States, serving from 1977 to 1981. Originally hailing from Plains, Georgia, after his Presidency, Carter sought to build a Presidential library and museum someplace in his home state. The Jimmy Carter Museum & Library is located in Atlanta, Georgia about two miles from downtown. Both a research library and museum are open to the public. The library contains all kinds of texts related to Carter and his wife and other figures from his presidency. Though not all of the material is open to the public, researchers with a clear goal should be able to get permission to look through the many resources.
The Jimmy Carter Museum may be of more interest to those who do not have research in mind but simply want to learn more about the President or the White House in general. The Museum contains displays about the life of Carter, his Presidency, and his family and other pursuits. There is also a replica of the Oval Office which visitors can walk though. Various other displays are also open, such as gifts from heads of state given to the Carters.
Open 9:00 am – 4:45 pm, Monday – Saturday; 12:00 pm – 4:45 pm, Sunday
$8.00 – Adults; $6.00 – Seniors (60+), Military, and College Students with IDs; Free – Children (16 and under)
The Heyward-Washington House, St. Michael’s Church, St. Phillip’s Church
Thomas Heyward, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, John Rutledge, Edward Rutledge, John C. Calhoun, Edward Rutledge, Charles Pinckney
First stop is the Thomas Heyward House on Meeting Street. The Heyward-Washington House gets its name from two of the political legends who once inhabited the home. The house actually belonged to Thomas Heyward, Jr., who was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. George Washington, however, stayed in the house during his visit to Charleston in 1791. Visitors can tour the home and learn more about Heyward’s personal life as well as Washington’s visit.
Only a few blocks away is St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, the oldest church building in Charleston. Besides being the worship place for many famous guests, including George Washington and Robert E. Lee, the church’s graveyard is also the resting place for several important political figures. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, who played a major role in the US Revolution and later ran for both vice president and president, is buried there, as is John Rutledge. Both Pinckney and Rutledge were signers of the US Constitution.
Next up is another church that is located only a short distance from St. Michael’s. St. Phillips is another of Charleston’s famous Episcopal churches with a variety of notable graves in the churchyard. John C. Calhoun, former vice president of the United States, is buried here, as is Edward Rutledge, the youngest signer of the Declaration of Independence. Charles Pinckney, cousin of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, is also buried here. Like his cousin, Pinckney was a signer of the Constitution.
Heyward-Washington House: Open Monday – Saturday 10:00 am to 5 pm and Sunday 1:00 pm to 5 p.m.
87 Church St, Charleston, SC 29403 Adults/$10 Children/$5
St. Michaels Episcopal Church
71 Broad Street Charleston, South Carolina 29401
St. Phillips Episcopal Church
142 Church St, Charleston, SC 29401
From Greenville….3 hours.
From Columbia…1.45 hours.
From Atlanta…4.45 hours.
The Burk-Stark Mansion, located in Abbeville, South Carolina, has seen its fair share of history. The home, named for one-time owner Armistead Burt, served as the last meeting site for the Confederate War Council on May 2, 1865. It was here that Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, uttered some of the last words of the South: “all is indeed lost”.
Jefferson Davis, John Breckenridge, Braxton Bragg, Basil Duke, Varina Davis
How did this lovely home come to be the site of such a meeting? Armistead Burt and Jefferson Davis’s wife, Varina, were friends from their days in Washington D.C., where Burt was a Congressman. When thing began getting (even more) ugly for the Confederacy during the final states of the Civil War, Varina knew it was time to high tail it out of the Confederate capital, and Burt invited Varina and her children to come stay in Abbeville. Varina only stayed a short time, but Davis and his associates made their way to Abbeville shortly after her departure to regroup and discuss their next move. The Confederate government was on the move after the surrenders of Robert E. Lee and Joseph E. Johnson in April, both to rummage support and move into safer territory. Things were pretty much hopeless, but like any hopeful leader, Davis wanted to push through the South to rally the troops and keep on fighting.
The rest of Davis’s clan was not so sure if rallying the troops was such a good idea. Among the group present in Abbeville were John C. Breckenridge (who would later become the 14th Vice President under James Buchanan), the remaining Confederate cabinet members, and a few prominent generals. Everyone else now thought the war was now a lost cause, but Davis had to be convinced to give up. One can imagine the conversation that took place as everyone in the room attempted to persuade Davis that it was all really over. Some who tell the story report that Davis quickly left the room, shielding his eyes so no one would see him cry. Who can blame him? Only eight days later, Davis and his family were captured by the Union army in Georgia.
Visitors to the Mansion can see the room where Davis and his Council met and the bedrooms where they stayed afterward. The house is also outfitted with period antiques. The bed where Jefferson Davis slept is still in the house and in the same room and position where it was on May 2, 1865.
400 N Main St, Abbeville, SC 29620
Open Friday & Saturday 1 – 5 p.m. or By Appointment
From Greenville … 1 hour.
From Columbia … 2 hours.
From Charleston … 4 hours.
From Atlanta … 2.5 hours.
Though the actual birthplace of Andrew Jackson is disputed, we do know that he grew up in the Waxhaws region, which is on the NC – SC border. The Andrew Jackson State Park is located in South Carolina at the house where Jackson lived as a boy and where he may or may not have been born. An onsite museum has Jackson artifacts and exhibits.
Andrew Jackson was born at a tragic and rather inconvenient time. His father had died three weeks earlier, and his mother had to travel to bury him in North Carolina. The North Carolina camp claims Jackson’s mother didn’t make it back to South Carolina in time and gave birth at her sister’s house. The South Carolina camp maintains that she had Jackson at their home there. Jackson said he was born in South Carolina, but a good number of people think he may have fudged a little for political reasons. Whatever the case, visitors to the Andrew Jackson State Park can at least be assured that Jackson lived here during his Revolutionary War-era youth. The area at the time was pretty primitive and the characters were a bit rough.
At the state park, there are a variety of things for Jackson enthusiasts to see. There’s an Andrew Jackson museum with information about his early life and the Waxhaw region. There is also information about the Revolutionary War. A historic orchard and herb garden and an old schoolhouse are also part of the grounds. In addition to self-guided tours, the facility puts on historical programming, including a celebration of Andrew Jackson in March around his birthday. You can also see a statute depicting Jackson and a marker on his – possible – birthplace.
196 Andrew Jackson Park Rd, Lancaster, SC 29720
Saturday & Sunday 1 – 5 pm., M-F by appointment
Adults/$2 15 & Younger/Free
Greenville … 2 Hrs
Columbia … 1 Hr
Charleston … 2 Hrs 45 Mins
Atlanta … 4 Hrs
The Woodrow Wilson Home in Columbia, SC is a little known landmark that happens to be the former home of – you guessed it- 28th President Woodrow Wilson. The Wilson family built the home in Columbia when Wilson was a teenager. Though they didn’t get to stay long, the house has served as a museum since the 1930’s and recently underwent a nine year renovation to restore it to the exact condition that it was in during Wilson’s stay.
The Woodrow Wilson House is South Carolina’s only Presidential site. Though Wilson was born in Virginia, he grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and the Wilsons planned to settle permanently in Columbia when his father Joseph accepted a job teaching at a Presbyterian Seminary. Jessie, Wilson’s mother, played a big role in the design of the Wilson house and gardens, with the actual architect being Andrew Jackson Downing. Wilson lived in the house during his early teenage years, during which the post-civil war South was undergoing the Reconstruction process. Unfortunately, Joseph Wilson got into a bit of a spat over some issues at the Seminary and he resigned and moved the family to North Carolina after only a couple of years in the home. Wilson’s sister Annie, however, settled in Columbia with her husband, so Wilson’s parents are buried in the city at the First Presbyterian Church.
The Wilson house was almost demolished several times, but has repeatedly been saved, and in 2005 was closed for major repairs. The house reopened again in February of this year. Historians restored the house to the condition it was in in 1871 and replanted some of Wilson’s mother’s gardens. Exhibits and tours on Wilson and Reconstruction were also put into place. Visitors to the home can see the bed that Wilson was born in (located in the home even though he was born in Virginia).