Brad Reifler Visits Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic SiteEleanor Roosevelt may be best known as the First Lady and wife to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, butmost will attest that she stands in her own right as one of history’s most endearing, humane andintelligent women, says Brad Reifler, a Hudson Valley resident and history buff. For those who wish toknow Mrs. Roosevelt just a bit more,can tour her lovely and modest house -- a retreat she called Val-Killand its surrounding gardens in the historic Hyde Park in upstate New York. According to national parkofficials, Val-Kill is “The only National Historic Site dedicated to a first lady.”For history buffs, Mrs. Roosevelt’s contributions are well-known but for new generations who may notbe as familiar with her life story, a visit toVal-Kill and the surrounding attractions in Hyde Park includingthe Franklin D. Roosevelt Home, engages visitors into one of the most exciting and eloquent individualsin the US. Mrs. Roosevelt began her adult career as a history teacher and rose to becomethe first ladyof our nation during one of the most turbulent and violent times in US history.Many will argue that Mrs. Roosevelt was not just the first lady of the nation, but first lady and championeducation and the environment. One of her most endearing quotes says it all: “Educationis thecornerstone of liberty."Val-Kill is located on the 300-acre Hyde Park that also houses the Franklin D. Roosevelt Home NationalHistoric site, the Presidential Library and Museum, the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site, as wellas a myriad of lovely gardens. According to Brad Reifler, visitors may take guided tours of Val-KillCottage as well as enjoy the brand new, “Close to Home” short film which offers more insight into herremarkable life.Entrance to the park grounds is free, however there is an $8.00 fee for adults for Val-Kill which includesa guided tour of Val-Kill. Children ages 15 and under are admitted free of charge.On December 15, 2012, visitors may enjoy a special “open house” which includes a tour of Val-Kill aswell as the other attractions in Hyde Park. Admission on this day is free, says Brad Reifler.The Val-Kill Cottage is open daily, 9am to 5 pm. Hyde Park is located on route 9 and roughly 90 milesnorth of New York City and 70 miles south of Albany. The winter tour schedule begins in November – sofor more information on Val-Kill tour times call 1-845-229-5320 or visit the website for details ondirections, planning your visit, videos of all the major highlights of Hyde Park and more:http://www.nps.gov/elro.