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Pine Mountain in Harris County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Franklin D. Roosevelt

and Dowdell's Knob

 
 
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dowdell's Knob Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 19, 2013
1. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Dowdell's Knob Marker
Inscription.  

This overlook, named Dowdell's Knob, was one of the dearest spots on earth to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Named for an early Harris County family, Dowdell's Knob rises to 1,395 feet above sea level and is the highest point on Pine Mountain. Here, on this rocky mountaintop, the wonder of natural beauty and the saga of world history combine in a unique relationship.

A Favorite Spot
In 1924, Roosevelt first visited the nearby town of Warm Springs (then known as Bullochville) seeking treatment for the polio with which he had been stricken three years earlier. This first visit was Roosevelt's introduction to what would soon become this New York native's beloved "home away from home." It wasn't only the warm waters of the area's natural springs that brought him back here again and again; Roosevelt fell in love with the beauty, tranquility and joy he found on and around Pine Mountain's wooded slopes. With its sweeping view of farmland and forest below, Dowdell's Knob soon became Roosevelt's favorite picnic spot.

Part of the Community
A great champion of "the little man," Roosevelt enjoyed visiting
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the local communities to talk to the farmers and other rural folk about their view of the world. He also established many lasting friendships among the local residents, including Cason and Virginia Callaway, founders of nearby Callaway Gardens. The Callaways enjoyed Roosevelt's company many times during his stays in Georgia.

Little White House
In 1932, the same year he was first elected President of the United States, Roosevelt built his "Little White House" in Warm Springs, where he relished the simplicity and peace of his rural retreat. Here at Dowdell's Knob, Roosevelt spent many relaxing afternoons with family and friends. An avid picnicker, he often would enjoy luncheons spread out under the wide Piedmont sky. Roosevelt always tried to keep his disability hidden from the public, but Dowdell's Knob was one of the few places where he felt at ease and comfortable enough to wear his leg braces outside of his pants.

Finding Comfort in Nature
A weary Roosevelt was taking a much-needed vacation at the Little White House in the spring of 1945 when, on April 10, he asked his Secret Service agents to drive him out to the point here at Dowdell's Knob. On arrival, he requested that his men leave him alone in the car, walk up the road, and not come back until they heard the car's horn. The President sat here alone in his car contemplating more
Dowdell's Knob image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 19, 2013
2. Dowdell's Knob
than we can dare to imagine, for two hours. Surely, the leader of the free world during World War II had many burdens to bear, and the quietness of this place helped to ease them. His love for this place speaks volumes about the man—perhaps, mostly, about his longing for simplicity, beauty and peace.

Just two days later, on April 12, 1945, Roosevelt died of a sudden and massive cerebral hemorrhage while working on a speech and sitting to have his portrait painted at the Little White House. Those last peaceful hours of one of the giants of world history seem to linger here, where the echoes of his era can be heard in the quietness.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #32 Franklin D. Roosevelt series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1924.
 
Location. 32° 50.409′ N, 84° 44.714′ W. Marker is in Pine Mountain, Georgia, in Harris County. Marker is on Dowdell Knob Road, 1.3 miles south of Pine Mountain Highway (Georgia Route 190), on the left when traveling south. Located in F.D. Roosevelt State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2970 Georgia 190, Shiloh GA 31826, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. This Was His Georgia (a few steps from this marker); Dowdell's Knob (approx.
Franklin D. Roosevelt image. Click for full size.
Public Domain from FDR Library, circa May 1929
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
1.3 miles away); Longleaf Pine Planting (approx. 2.6 miles away); Roosevelt Farm (approx. 2.7 miles away); Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial Bridge (approx. 3.7 miles away); Franklin Delano Roosevelt (approx. 4.4 miles away); The Little White House (approx. 4˝ miles away); Warm Springs Treatment Pools (approx. 4.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pine Mountain.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
 
Franklin D. Roosevelt image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, February 16, 2015
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt
This 1945 Portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt by Douglas Chandor hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

“When Franklin Roosevelt began serving in New York's state legislature in 1911, some observers declared him ill-suited to the rough realities of politics. But Roosevelt thrived on those realities; some two decades later, he was advancing from the New York governorship to the presidency.

Taking office against the bleak backdrop of the Great Depression, Roosevelt responded quickly to this economic disaster with a host of regulatory and welfare measures that redefined the government's role in American life. Among conservatives, the new federal involvement in matters traditionally left to the private sector was a betrayal of America's ideals. But in other quarters, Roosevelt's activism inspired an unwavering popularity that led to his election to an unprecedented four terms.

When Roosevelt sat for this portrait in 1945, his presidential concerns had long since shifted to guiding the nation through World War II. This likeness is a study for a larger painting a sketch of which appears at the lower left commemorating Roosevelt's meeting with wartime Allied leaders, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at Yalta.” — National Portrait Gallery
Nearby marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, October 19, 2013
5. Nearby marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 20, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 571 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 20, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   4. submitted on November 2, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   5. submitted on October 20, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 19, 2024