Every year, thousands of visitors tour the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, the home of the former United States first lady. Two decades prior to its conversion into a residence the building served as the factory for Val-Kill Industries, a furniture manufacturing business opened by Roosevelt and three partners.
Future U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt purchased property that would eventually become Val-Kill in 1911. The family initially used the site for picnics and a respite from the constant activity at their Springwood estate.
It was at one of the picnics that the concept of creating small industries to benefit local farmers during winter months and economic downturns was discussed.
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