Who Slept Here? Tracking Washington, Roosevelt, JFK, Judy Garland, and The Babe, to Name a Few
Move over, George Washington.
When it comes to real estate listings that tout celebrities “who slept here,” the first president of the United States will have to share that bed, er, honor, with Teddy Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Judy Garland, Ernest Hemingway and Susan B. Anthony, to name a few.
But it’s Washington who may hold the record for the number of places that claim the founding father allegedly caught some shut-eye. After all, the eastern seaboard is littered with homes, inns, taverns, lighthouses and hot springs where the well-traveled Washington was said to have slept in his quest to “present himself to the citizens of the shaky new union,” according to Smithsonian Magazine.
And, if you haven’t noticed, “George Washington Slept Here” is the biggest real estate cliché this side of “location, location, location.”
In a casual survey of homes for sale across the U.S., it turns out Washington is not the only presidential name drop. Public land preservationist Teddy Roosevelt also stars in a bevy of real estate listings, as do presidents John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush and William McKinley. And then there’s the Babe, Judy and Papa. Let’s take a look at real estate listings that offer some celebrity pop.
Mount Jackson, VA
6059 Main St, Mount Jackson, VA 22842
For Sale: $399,900
Despite the remodel and system upgrades, this house maintains the aura of the original 18th century structure that served as one of the places where the “father of our country” caught some shut-eye. This home, the oldest on the Mount Jackson real estate market, is billed as a place where “Geo.Washington Slept.” Built in 1750, this fantastic restored log home sits on Mill Creek in the Shenandoah Valley. It may have touches that Washington never saw, like new appliances, central air, granite counters and hammered copper sinks, other facets harken back 260 years: a wine cellar, stone walls, five fireplaces, random pine floors, stone chimneys and exposed log. Clearly, these logs weren’t cherry wood, otherwise, maybe the honest first president would have taken a swing at them.
President Teddy Roosevelt
107 Chichester Rd, Huntington, NY 11743 (left)
For Sale: $849,000
President Teddy’s frequent visits to the historic Peace and Plenty Inn on Long Island, N.Y., adds some cachet to the $849K listing.
“Everywhere you look, there is history,” listing agent Joan DaCorta Fumento of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage said about the 3,500-square-foot home on 2.3 acres, which is listed on the Huntington real estate market. “The property is magnificent, rolling in some places, it goes up a little bit, making it very private.”
Roosevelt may have chowed down and slept at the Huntington, Long Island inn, but he left his mark — literally — on the Juniper Lodge (below).
Juniper Lodge – 1225 Washington Hill Rd, Tamworth, NH 03886 (above)
For Sale: $1,475,000
The lucky new owner will not only sleep in a house where Roosevelt stayed many times, but they will get his artwork.
“The house was owned by the Reynolds family, the great industrialist, and Teddy was a close friend. I guess when he stayed there he doodled. The family saved the doodles and saved his designs on 8×8-inch ceramic tiles and they remain part of the house. They are built into the stairs that head up to the bedrooms,’’ said LandVest agent John Hayes. Juniper Lodge is listed on the Tamworth real estate market for $1.475 million; the median Tamworth list price is $149,000.
Shelter Island, NY
“The Primrose” — 9 Westmoreland Dr., Shelter Island 11964 (above)
For Sale: $3,500,000
Roosevelt was also a visitor to The Primrose — which is one of three select parcels of Westmoreland Farm — and it’s now listed on the Shelter Island real estate market for $3.5 million. Shelter Island, located on the east end of Long Island, between the north and south forks, is only accessible by ferry. Median Shelter Island home values are currently $789,300. As one of three original homes on Westmoreland Farm, the Primrose (above) recalls the days when Vice President Roosevelt and President McKinley were guests in 1898. The pair had been visiting American troops stationed at Montauk, L.I., during the Spanish-American War when they made a visit over to Shelter Island and Westmoreland Farm. However, while rumors that the “Primrose” was built for McKinley have been debunked, he did stay at another house on Westmoreland Farm prior to his assassination.
The Bambino, too
Another famous visitor to Westmoreland Farm included the Great Bambino, Babe Ruth, who visited as a guest of James Roe, a former Queens, N.Y. Congessman who owned the Primrose property (as well as the rest of the Westmoreland Farm) from 1938 until the late ‘50s. Babe, however, stayed at the Virginia house nearby. “He sent me an autographed picture, which I still have,’’ said Frances Roe Kestler, Roe’s daughter and author of “Never-Never Land: The Saga of Westmoreland Farm.”
President George H.W. Bush
Duncannon Plantation – 728 Duncannon Rd., Barnwell, SC 29812 (above)
For Sale: $3,250,000
In South Carolina, Duncannon Plantation was once owned by George Herbert Walker, maternal grandfather to the 41st President and great-grandfather to Bush 43. The $3.25M listing comes with a 1802 southern mansion that includes 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and 10 gas fireplaces on 900-plus acres.There is also a 2-bedroom, 2-bath caretaker’s cottage in the rear with two fireplaces. During his 1980 presidential run, George H.W. Bush made campaign speeches referring to Duncannon Plantation, including remembrances of plane landings in the yard. The property is now listed on the Barnwell real estate market for $3,250,000, which is a far cry from the Barnwell median home listings of $97,500.
President John F. Kennedy
Miami, Springs FL
990 Hunting Lodge Drive, Miami Springs, FL (above)
For Sale: $1,600,000
From the Bushes to the Kennedys, the lure of America’s political dynasties continues to add zip to listings presently on the market.
Take this Miami Springs real estate listing that adds a Camelot post-script: “John Kennedy slept here in the ‘60s.” Kennedy was a frequent Miami visitor, including a stopover just days before his assassination in 1963. The 5,384-sq ft home that touts Kennedy as a visitor has 5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths, plus private maid’s quarters and sits on an acre of land.
24 Ocean St., Marshfield, MA 02050 (above)
For Sale: $859,000
The Great Bambino is another historic figure whose far-flung sleeping quarters makes a splash — especially since Babe Ruth liked his seaside getaways. This premier Brant Rock waterfront home with stunning views of the Atlantic has a rich history. “Edgecliff’ was built for the president of Dole Pineapple Co, and in later years, Babe Ruth vacationed here, said listing agent Alice Bowker of Coldwell Banker.
“Some of the elderly neighbors remember when a former owner, an elderly woman, rented rooms in the summer and Babe Ruth stayed here. It’s a lovely year-round house, built in 1880 and well maintained, right on the water,” she said. This home is listed on the Marshfield real estate market for $859,000, where median Marshfield home values are currently $329,700.
222 W. Main St. Georgetown, MA 01833
For Sale: $515,000
Judy Garland’s road to stardom was sadly marked with a stay at this home, which was formerly owned by a doctor from nearby Baldpate hospital. He was one of many doctors who treated the tragic star who battled depression and addiction.
The 1900s home has original hardwood floors and custom built-ins and features 5 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. The 2,287-sq ft home is listed on the Georgetown real estate market for $515,000 where median Georgetown home values are currently $347,000.
9065 Van Emmon Rd, Yorkville, IL 60560 (above)
For Sale: $239,900
Located about an hour west of Chicago, on the Fox River in Yorkville, IL, this cabin was reportedly one of the Chicago mobster’s gin mills during the Prohibition. Or, so the listing says.
The first floor is built log cabin-style and the second story was added later. The home is listed on the Yorkville real estate market for $239,900 and it looks like a perfect place to kayak, canoe, fish, set up an easel and imagine Capone’s meanderings about the property.
14 W. Main St., Glenwood, IL 60425 (above)
For Sale: $119,900
Capone had many hideouts and business ventures in and around Chicago, and beyond and this could be one of them. The listing for this home on the Glenwood real estate market, which is about 30 miles south of Chicago, claims, “This Extremely Well maintained Historic Home was the Village of Glenwood’s First Post Office – Also rumored to belong to Al Capone when he owned the bistro across the street.” Median home values in Glenwood are currently $108,400.
13123 SW 64 Ct. Miami, FL 33156 (above)
For Sale: $2,999,999
This enormous 9,565-sq ft mansion on the Pinecrest real estate market within Miami was formerly owned by Spanish aristocrats and where great American author Ernest Hemingway was said to have been a guest. Perhaps the zebra rug is a perfect ode to Papa, who was a great outdoorsman and fisherman. Median Pinecrest home values are currently $568,400.
Susan B. Anthony
154 Main St. Hampden ME 04444 (above)
For Sale: $245,000
Built in 1880, the Gilbert Mansion in the heart of Hampden hosted the abolitionist and women’s rights’ activist, who hails from New England. The 5,554-sq ft mansion has 8 beds and 2 baths and looks almost intact from its creation in 1880. It is listed on the Hampden real estate market for $245,000, where median Hampden home values are currently $172,600.
Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan
235 N Broadway, Nyack, NY 10960 (above)
For Sale: $4,600,000
Known as “Pretty Penny,” this majestic home on the Hudson was once owned by Helen Hayes, the “First Lady of American Theatre,” and later, comedian Rosie O’Donnell made it her home. Hayes and her playwright husband, Charles MacArthur, purchased the home in the 1930s and turned it into an artistic hub. Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe and even President Ronald Reagan (an actor at the time) passed through. The home is on the Nyack real estate market for $4,600,000 where current median Nyack home values are $381,500.
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