“Teddy” was loved so much by his fellow countrymen that they dedicated a whole island to him. Learn some interesting facts about Theodore Roosevelt Island as we explore this island memorial.

Facts About Theodore Roosevelt Island

They say “Teddy” was ‘the’ man! Leading a nation to greatness or hunting for the big ones, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was always up for it. The 26th president of U.S will forever be known in history for permanently placing the presidency at center stage in U.S politics and making the moral fiber of the president as important as the matters dealt within the White House. He was also the inspiration behind the naming of the common stuffed toy bears as Teddy bears, though he disliked the name. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his charge up San Juan Hill, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War . Theodore Roosevelt is also one of the four presidents to be honored on the Mount Rushmore memorial, marking the first 150 years of United States. When he died in his sleep on January 6, 1919, Thomas R. Marshall, the then vice president of US commented that "Death had to take Roosevelt sleeping, for if he had been awake, there would have been a fight.” One of Roosevelt’s most distinguished traits was his dedication to conservation. It is only fitting that this lovable yet resilient American hero was immortalized with an island of his own. In order to understand what makes the memorial so special, you need to travel to the Theodore Roosevelt Island, located in the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. Here are some interesting & fun facts about the island.
Theodore Roosevelt Island
Interesting & Fun Facts About Theodore Roosevelt Island
  • Throughout history, Theodore Roosevelt Island has been known by many names including My Lord's Island, Barbadoes Island, Mason's Island, Analostan Island, and Anacostine Island.
  • The island got its first recorded name, "Anacostine" in 1668, when the ‘Nacotchtank’ Indians settled over here.
  • In 1682, the island was patented as Anacostine Island by Captain Randolph Brandt.
  • In 1724, the island was purchased by America’s “Forgotten Founder” George Mason. Thereafter, the island was known as Mason’s island, until the memorial was built.
  • George’s son John Mason built a mansion and gardens on the island, but a fire in 1906 razed the mansion, leaving only the foundations that still stand today.
  • The Washington Gas Light Company owned the island from 1913 through 1931. During this time the island was left in an unchecked state causing the foliage to grow wildly.
  • The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Association purchased the wooded island from the Washington Gas Light Company in 1931
  • The island is actually an 88.5 acre wilderness preserve, which is meant as a tribute to Teddy’s conservationist side.
  • The United States Congress authorized the memorial on May 21, 1932, but appropriated the funds only in 1960.
  • The memorial, designed by Eric Gugler, was dedicated to the nation on October 27, 1967. It is administered by National Park Service and is open on all days from dusk till dawn.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island has almost two and a half miles of foot trails, on which you can observe a variety of flora and fauna.
  • A 17-foot bronze statue of Roosevelt by sculptor Paul Manship stands in the center of the island.
  • Around the statue there are two huge fountains and four 21-foot granite tablets inscribed with tenets of Roosevelt’s most famous quotations.
  • Though the island falls under the District of Columbia, it is only accessible through a foot bridge near the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

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