Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, with First Ladies Lady Bird Johnson, Jackie Kennedy and Tess Truman in Hyde Park, NY for the service of Eleanor Roosevelt, who died on this day in 1962.
FDR encouraged Eleanor Roosevelt to develop the property as a place that she could realize some of her ideas for work with winter jobs for rural workers and women. She named the spot Val-Kill, loosely translated as waterfall-stream from the Dutch language common to the original European settlers of the area.
There are two buildings which are adjacent to Fallkill Creek. Stone Cottage, the original cottage which was home to Marion Dickerman and Nancy Cook, which they sold back to Eleanor in 1947 and a large two-story stuccoed building that housed Val-Kill Industries and which would become Eleanor's home after Franklin's death. It was the only residence that she personally owned.
Eleanor Roosevelt often hosted workshops for Encampment for Citizenship there.
The larger house was converted into four rental units after Eleanor's death in 1962, and in 1970 the land was purchased by a private company for development purposes. Public reaction to this sale developed into a preservation campaign and the possibility of making the site a national memorial. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation making it the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.