Campobello Island in New Brunswick is famous for being the summer cottage belonging to Theodore Roosevelt. National park status was not adequate for this historic site, since it located in Canada, but marks a piece of American History. Therefore, what could otherwise have been dubbed Theodore Roosevelt national park, came to be known by the more prestigious title, The Roosevelt Campobello International Park. The park, Roosevelt Cottage, its grounds, and four other cottages of the period, is maintained by a joint United States and Canadian commission.
Roosevelt was one of America's best known presidents. He led the country through its Great Depression and World War Two. His parents bought land on Campobello island when he was only a year old, and form then until he developed polio almost thirty eight years later.
When tourists first enter the park they are welcomed by the Edmund S. Muskie Visitor Center. The Visitor center provides historical and biographical information on the park, Roosevelt, his family, and his presidency in the form of displays and a short video. There is also a modest gift shop.
The central focus of the park, Roosevelt Cottage, contains thirty-four rooms. Visitors are allowed to roam throughout the cottage at their own pace. Guides are stationed in various places to provide explanations and answer questions. Before it was part of the park, Roosevelt and his family spent summers in the cottage, and entertained themselves on the grounds. Guests are able to see the office where he worked during his campaign and the beds where his children slept.
Four other cottages also belong to the park. These include Hubbard, Prince, Wells-Shober, and Johnston, all cottages built in the same period as the Roosevelt Cottage. Hubbard is open for public tours when not in use as a conference center. However, the other three cottages provide meeting spaces, guest lodging and dining facilities for the park.
Though the cottages provide an historic value, the grounds are worth exploring simply for their beauty. There is much to explore. The park encompasses 2800 acres. Visitors can drive over 8.4 miles of roadway, or choose to stroll down one of the walking trails that cover eight miles of the park. Roosevelt spent a lot of time sailing on the ocean or playing on the beach with his family. Visitors can go down to the beach as well, and explore the massive inter-tidal zone created by the Bay of Fundy's legendary tides. And despite the cool damp climate caused by the Labrador currents, Beautiful gardens flourish around the cottages.
Perhaps the most beautiful part of the park is its symbolism. Because it is an international park, cared for and funded equally by the United States and Canada it represents a solidarity between the two countries. Canada respect the parks historical significance to America, and America respects the beauty of Canada's Campobello island. Both Countries benefit from the unity and historical awareness fostered by Roosevelt Campobello International Park.