Sagamore Hill (house)

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
Sagamore Hill
Location Cove Neck, New York
Coordinates 40°53′8″N 73°29′51″W / 40.88556°N 73.49750°W / 40.88556; -73.49750Coordinates: 40°53′8″N 73°29′51″W / 40.88556°N 73.49750°W / 40.88556; -73.49750
Area 83.02 acres (33.60 ha)
Built 1884
Architect Lamb & Rich
C. Grant LaForge
Architectural style Queen Anne
Visitation 38,009 (2005)
NRHP reference # 66000096
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[1]
Designated NHS July 25, 1962

Sagamore Hill was the home of the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, from 1885 until his death in 1919. It is located in the Incorporated Village of Cove Neck, New York, near Oyster Bay in Nassau County on the North Shore of Long Island,[2] 25 miles (40 km) east of Manhattan. It is now the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, which includes the Theodore Roosevelt Museum in a later building on the grounds.


A native of New York City, Theodore Roosevelt spent many summers of his youth on extended vacations with his family in the Oyster Bay area. In 1880, 22-year-old Roosevelt purchased 155 acres (63 ha) of land for $30,000 (equal to $760,759 today) on Cove Neck, a small peninsula roughly 2 miles (3.2 km) northeast of the hamlet of Oyster Bay. In 1881, his uncle James A. Roosevelt had an estate home built several hundred feet west of the Sagamore Hill property.

In 1884, Theodore Roosevelt hired the New York architectural firm of Lamb & Rich to design a shingle-style, Queen Anne home for the property. The 22-room house was completed by John A. Wood and Son, of Lawrence, Long Island, in 1886 for $16,975 (equal to $462,349 today), and Roosevelt moved into the house in 1887. Roosevelt had originally planned to name the house "Leeholm" after his wife, Alice Hathaway Lee Roosevelt. However, she died in 1884 and Roosevelt remarried in 1886, so he decided to change the name to "Sagamore Hill". Sagamore is the Algonquin word for chieftain, the head of the tribe.

In 1905, Roosevelt expanded the house, adding the largest room, called the "North Room" (40 by 30 feet (12.2 by 9.1 m)), for $19,000 (equal to $517,504 today). The North Room is furnished with trophies from the former president's hunts and gifts from foreign dignitaries, alongside pieces of art and books from the Roosevelts' collection. The home then had 23 rooms, including a water closet with a porcelain tub, which was a luxury at the time of its construction.[3]

The house and its surrounding farmland became the primary residence of Theodore and Edith Roosevelt for the rest of their lives and the birthplace of three of their five children. Sagamore Hill took on its greatest importance when it became known as the "Summer White House" during the seven summers (1902–1908) that Roosevelt spent there as President. It played host to numerous visits from foreign dignitaries and peace talks that helped draw an end to the Russo-Japanese War.[4] Roosevelt died at Sagamore Hill on January 6, 1919, and he was buried at nearby Youngs Memorial Cemetery.

On July 25, 1962, Congress established Sagamore Hill National Historic Site to preserve the house as a unit of the National Park Service. As with all historic areas administered by the National Park Service, Sagamore Hill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.[1]

The home is open to the public by guided tour, and almost all of the furnishings are original. Also on the site is the Theodore Roosevelt Museum, which chronicles the life and career of the President. The museum is housed in the 1938 house called "Old Orchard", the former residence of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and his family. Sagamore Hill was closed for about 4 years (from 2011 to 2015) to allow for restoration work to take place.[5]


  1. 1 2 National Park Service (2008-04-15). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. Bleyer, Bill. When LI place names don't reflect the map. Newsday. Accessed on October 9, 2007.
  3. "Sagamore Hill". The Almanac of Theodore Roosevelt. Chapultepec, Inc. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  4. "Sagamore Hill". National Park Foundation. National Park Foundation. Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  5. Grimes, William. "Theodore Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill Home Cries 'Bully!'". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2017.

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