On Our Way to an UPPER STATE (NY) Of MIND!

June 13, 2010

I will "Bear" it out a few more days! 🙂

Well today we left the “Big Apple” or “Big Oyster” or “Big Tune” or whatever New York City nickname you use and headed upstate. Many in our group are disappointed that we are leaving the big city but I am ready. This has just been an incredible experience and I learning so much that wil help be become a better teacher. But it is time to move on! vThere is history in more places than just New York Cityu and I want to experience those too!

I titled this shot: "Mirror Image" Even though one is younger, cuter, balder, and smarter!

The first stop of the day was at Sagamore Hill, the 23 room Victorian mansion that Theodore Roosevelt built on Cove Neck in Oyster Bay. Before construction of the house could begin TR’s wife died of Bright’s disease (kidney disease) just two days after giving birth to their first child. His mother died that same day which must have devastated him emotionally. TR’s sister moved into the newly completed home in 1885 with the baby while TR divided his time between the house and North Dakota.

TR remarried to a childhood friend Edith Kermit Carow in 1886 and they moved into the mansion where they spent their lives except for absences due to his public career. Sagamore was the center of much of the daily presidential affairs from 1902 – 1909. Three of his children were born at Sagamore. In 1919, TR died during his sleep from complications associated with a blood clot. He was only 60 years old. His wife Edith lived at Sagamore until her death in 1948 at age 87.

The Ice House

Sagamore Hill is a National Historic Site run by the National Park Service. There are over 6000 books in the house which reflect his love for reading. He wrote over 30 separate volumes of history, biographies, memoirs and the sort. He felt that reading was very important to leading a good life, so much so that his children were expected to read a book a day once they reached a certain age. If they failed to do so or were not ready to discuss their readings, they would not be allowed to eat with the family and would wait and eat with the servants.

This Estate representing the life of Theodore Roosevelt’s life was great. I just wish we were allowed to act like responsible adults and take pictures without the flash. There was so much to see inside the house that can never be described accurately without pictures. My favorites were the Gun Room, the library which also served as TR’s office, the drawing room which was Mrs. Roosevelt’s area, and the spacious dinning room. Many in the group, myself included felt like this site was much better and informative to history teachers than the Franklin Roosevelt site at Hyde Park.

TR's Grave

After leaving Sagamore Hill went visited the gravesite of Theodore Roosevelt (turns out he did not like being called Teddy) then ate a nice lunch and on the road again, headed upstate! As we drove I had visions, more like flashbacks of the 4 months I lived in upper state New York (Newburg) in the 4eth grade. The ride was so lush, so green, so full of life. There were many small ponds and I saw several birds swoop in, fishing I suppose? There were green fields and farms intermingled among the patches of trees. There are many meandering creeks and brooks cutting through the fields alongside the road. The green reminded me of the lower mountains and foothills of Colorado with the thick, green forests. But something is different and his is where the Geography in me kicked it.

The difference seems to be location and variety. Here in upper state New York it is very green and full of thick forests. I remember playing in a semi forest just off our back yard. We walked through a path in this forest to school and crossed over a creek along the way. But as we traveled by bus I noticed that we were basically traveling a flat path. In Colorado you would be up and down throughout the mountains to get a view as spectacular as this. There were rolling hills around us on each side, just no climbing as we drove through the land. The trees were different too. In the Colorado Mountains we basically have evergreens (pine trees) and aspens. Out here in upper state New York they have a wide variety of multitude trees. I remember the fall time in New York. There were so many different colors of leaves, reds and purples, and oranges, and yellows, and greens! Yes, this emotion did flood back through me as I thought about the beautiful land of you youth.

Then my Geographic background kicked in. I have taught geography for many years and I also taught Earth Science before too. I did notice several rock formations at where sedimentary in nature. I began to wonder how the land was formed. Had this once been an ocean? Did the sea recede or did geographic forces lift the land. I began to study the landscape and noticed evidence of glaciers with round U shaped valleys and rounded off hills indicating an older area of land with much erosion. How fun it would be to bring kids from Colorado here to explore, learn about, and discover a new world of history, geography, and culture of the diverse and exciting area.   

Dinner before Blogging! 🙂 😦 8)



  1. What’s for dinner?

  2. What’s a big tune?

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