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Shutdown Would Close Teddy Roosevelt's House

National Park Service facilities, championed by the 26th president, would be the first to be hit by the federal shutdown.

The home of Oyster Bay's most famous resident, , would be closed if the shutdown of federal services takes place Friday.

Tours of the "Summer White House," where Roosevelt spent much of his time away from Washington while he was the 26th U.S. president, would be discontinued beginning Friday if the federal shutdown takes place, a spokesman for the said Thursday.

Barbara Baxter, a spokeswoman for the National Parks Service, said Sagamore Hill and all 394 national parks in the federal system would be closed to the public if the federal government's shutdown takes place.

"We continue to remain hopeful that the shutdown will be avoided," Baxter said Thursday afternoon.

Essential services, including U.S. military forces, the Postal Service, and federal law enforcement agencies, would not be affected directly by the shutdown, federal officials say.

Sagamore Hill and other national parks on Long Island would be affected. They include The Gateway National Recreation Area on Jamaica Bay in Rockaway and the Fire Island National Seashore on the Atlantic Ocean off Suffolk County.

The National Parks Service offers tours of the Roosevelt's 80-acre grounds and mansion on Cove Neck. Tours are conducted five days per week, Wednesdays through Sundays, hourly from 10. a.m. to 4 p.m. The the Roosevelt mansion has between 80,000 and 100,000 visitors a year, federal officials said.

The colorful and progressive Roosevelt, a lifelong conservationist who championed the National Parks System, occupied the home from 1885 until his death there in 1919.

Roosevelt served as U.S. president from September, 1901 until March, 1909, when the 23-room, Queen Anne-style mansion served as the Summer White House. He and his second wife, Edith, raised six children in the home.

The government shutdown would also furlough eight federal employees at Long Island’s 10 National Wildlife Refuges, said Michelle Williams, refuge manager for the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex. 

The closed wildlife preservation areas include the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge that surrounds Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill property, located on a secluded neck that defines Oyster Bay to the west and opens on Long Island Sound. Roosevelt is considered the father of the national wildlife refuge system.

The shutdown would also close the Wertheim refuge in Shirley and the refuge in Lloyd Harbor, she said. 

Wertheim alone has 95,000 visitors annually, Williams said. Other visitation figures weren't available.

Wildlife at the various refuges would not be affected by the shutdown, Williams said. The Oyster Bay refuge is the home to Long Island's last commercial oyster farm and a wide variety of water fowl.

Tim Brennan April 07, 2011 at 10:09 PM
“Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.” -Theodore Roosevelt
buddyboy April 07, 2011 at 11:58 PM
I remember the last time this happened back in 1994 or 1995. I was a democratic back then and joined the bandwagon and media and blamed the Republicans and Gingrich. 15 years later , and a now an independant voter - I look back and see that even back then the Democrats were unwilling to cut spending- and along with the media, always blaming any entitlement cust on Republicans. Seems nothing has changed except more and more people believe they are entitled to things like health insurance and 99 weeks+ unemployment and if your a public servant - unlimited benefits.
zorfnog April 08, 2011 at 04:51 AM
who cares
zorfnog April 08, 2011 at 04:52 AM
big deal
kyle April 08, 2011 at 05:01 AM
if they close it will they sell it cuz id buy his house
Frank H. April 12, 2011 at 12:32 AM
"There are good men and bad men of all nationalities, creeds and colors; and if this world of ours is ever to become what we hope some day it may become, it must be by the general recognition that the man's heart and soul, the man's worth and actions, determine his standing." Theodore Roosevelt Letter, Oyster Bay, NY, September 1, 1903
Joe Dowd (Editor) April 12, 2011 at 04:24 AM
Thanks for the great TR quote, FH: I looked up another; this from a speech in Memphis TN, Oct. 25, 1905: "This country has nothing to fear from the crooked man who fails. We put him in jail. It is the crooked man who succeeds who is a threat to this country." -- President Theodore Roosevelt.

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