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Franklin Delano Roosevelt - This was his Georgia.
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member GA Cacher
N 32° 50.407 W 084° 44.708
16S E 711041 N 3635815
Quick Description: Statue of FDR at his favorite spot to grill and chill. Located at Dowdell's Knob off Ga. 190 near the Meriwether County line just near the Little White House, Warn Springs, GA.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 5/24/2008 7:29:38 AM
Waymark Code: WM3VWJ
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member skrabut
Views: 99

Long Description:

FDR's favorite retreat was Dowdell's Knob in what is now F.D. Roosevelt State Park. On this rocky outcropping, FDR entertained his closest friends using a grill that remains on the site. He also came here alone to grapple with issues like World War II and the Depression. Dowdell's Knob is where FDR felt most at home and is one of the few places where he felt no need to hide his disability.

The Statue: Martin Dawe, the well-known Atlanta-based sculptor has conceived a unique statue ~ the only one that exposes the president’s leg braces.
After extensive research, including conversations with FDR's relatives, Dawe has created the president as he appeared so often at Dowdell’s Knob ~ sitting on his removable car seat with his legs uncovered.
"I wanted the sculpture to be strong, wise and intimate,” says Dawe. "Capturing FDR's likeness was just a matter of studying photos and video, but capturing his character and legacy was another matter."
Placing the sculpture on Dowdell’s Knob not only adds poignancy to the design, but allows visitors to sit beside the president at the very place where FDR conceived many of the ideas that have continued to shape our county.

History:
PRESIDENTIAL LANDMARK TO BE UNVEILED ON GEORGIA MOUNTAINTOP PINE MOUNTAIN, GA., APRIL 3, 2007 -- How did the United States’ first true depiction of America’s longest-serving president end up on a hilltop in middle Georgia? According to Dan White, 57, who instigated the latest statue of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it was a matter of serendipity sparking inspiration.

“I took out-of- town guests to see the view from the knob,” said the Atlanta builder, referring to Dowdell’s Knob overlook at F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain. “A professional actor portraying FDR was there giving people an opportunity to interact with him. Having that real-life image completed the experience for us, and I knew we needed to make this connection to FDR permanent.”

Thus began White’s six-year quest to have a statue installed at FDR’s favorite retreat and picnic spot. And he succeeded despite having no art background or political connections.

The statue, commissioned by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and created by Atlanta sculptor Martin Dawe, is the first in the country to depict President Roosevelt wearing his leg braces on the outside of his pants. The historically accurate 1,200-pound bronze shows FDR on his removable car seat gazing out over the valley, just as he did in the 1930s and 1940s. The sculpture, designed so visitors can sit beside the president, has garnered praise from the Roosevelt family.

"I am delighted with this piece,” said Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, her grandmother's namesake and Boeing Company executive. "It captures the essence of my grandfather that is rarely seen -- his great spirit, his joy in living. It is an honest, accessible portrait of him.”

White is hopeful that this permanent tribute will inspire and remind people of FDR’s connection to Georgia.

“FDR advanced the cause of ordinary working people in the state, and our issues -- the ones of rural Georgia -- are what shaped his policies for the rest of the country,” he said.

White’s own connection to FDR began early. Raised in Yatesville, a small town about 40 miles east of Dowdell’s Knob, White said FDR’s impact was profound. “They still talk about the day the lights came on there,” he remembered, referring to the president’s rural electrification initiatives of the 1930s.

“FDR chose to call one of the poorest parts of the country his home. He thought this place was special and it made me feel positive about being from this part of Georgia,” said White.

Few Americans realize that Roosevelt contracted polio before being elected president, and he built a small vacation home in rural Georgia so that he could swim in the therapeutic waters of Warm Springs. He rarely wore his leg braces in public, except on occasion when visiting his Little White House. The new sculpture is the first one showing his braces.

STATUE INSTALLATION
The statue will be unveiled Thursday, April 12, 2007 as part of the annual commemoration of FDR’s death in Warm Springs, Ga. (GSPHS News Release)

The grill was filled with concrete to preserve it for the future.

Historic marker
THIS WAS HIS GEORGIA

Franklin D. Roosevelt was a frequent visitor (41 trips)
to Warm Springs from 1924-1945. Dowdell's Knob was one
of his favorite spots for both quiet contemplation
and picnics. F.D.R. visited this spot overlooking
Pine Mountain Valley as a private citizen, as governor of New York
and as 32nd president of the U.S.

He wanted more people to visit the area and urged the building
of the scenic highway across Pine Mt. and the construction
of the spur here (1937).

President Roosevelt had the grill built to help him enjoy picnics
in his more formal style. He preferred linen-draped tables
with hot dishes served from silver. In place of a blanket
he preferred to sit on a chair or on an automobile seat
placed on the ground.

F.D.R. came here to contemplate the upcoming founding of the
United Nations and the Americans dying on Okinawa and in
Germany during his final trip to Warm Springs, April, 1945.

072-7 GEORGIA HISTORIC MARKER 1984

URL of the statue: [Web Link]

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