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Eleanor Roosevelt Items To Be Sold

December 24, 2000

HYDE PARK, N.Y. (AP) _ Eleanor Roosevelt’s beloved Val-Kill cottage is crammed full with evidence of her busy life: Family photos on the wall, homey chairs for the many guests who came through, a simple desk for writing. It might soon get a bit more crowded.

Headed to the auction block at Christie’s in February is a collection of books, paintings, furniture and jewelry once owned by the Roosevelt family, most of it from Val-Kill. The National Parks Service hopes to buy items back with the help of private funds raised by a preservation group.

``I would just think it’s a shame for these items to be scattered throughout the country,″ said Claudine Bacher, chairwoman of the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Preservation Project. ``They belong in Mrs. Roosevelt’s home.″

Val-Kill was built in 1925 as a getaway from the more formal Roosevelt estate a few miles away. She continued to use it until her death in 1962. Her son John Roosevelt sold the cottage to developers in 1970, but after protests it became a National Historic Site in 1977.

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