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FDR, The Pines, and Maud Stoutenburgh Eliot

The following letter from FDR to MAUD STOUTENBURGH ELIOT, New York City dated June 12, 1937 shows a little piece of Roosevelt’s conservation efforts and his expansion of the National Park Service:

Pinewoods Park, New York
Pinewoods Park, New York


I am so glad to have your letter and to know that you and Ellie (noted below) have seen each other. I understand that “The Pines” have not yet been taken over by the churches. When that takes place I think that there should be created some kind of park authority on the same principle as the State Park Authorities so that the property and its use are permanently labeled with a public interest. Such an Authority would have the right to ask for the help of a CCC camp.

I heartily agree with you that it would be a fine thing if the reforestation work could be undertaken and that in a few years we would have a real park in its natural setting for the use of future generations.

When I go home next month I will talk with the church people about it.

Very sincerely yours,

[13:PPF 751:CT]

(Ellen C. Roosevelt, a cousin of Roosevelt. The letter, June 8, 1937 (PPF 751), concerned Mrs. Eliot’s plans for the future use of the former seat of the Stoutenburgh family, “The Pines,” a wooded area east of the village of Hyde Park. This was given by Mrs. Eliot to the Protestant churches of Hyde Park for development as a park.)