Roslyn Heights photographer Xiomáro shoots ‘secrets’ of Sagamore Hill

The North Room where TR met with dignitaries,

The North Room where TR met with dignitaries, heads of state, and other political leaders. The room was designed by TR to impress. Here, it is nearly empty (few furnishings, flags hanging from ceiling are gone, etc.) (Credit: Xiomáro, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site)

OYSTER BAY - When Theodore Roosevelt’s home at Sagamore Hill was closed for renovations, a Roslyn Heights photographer got a chance to shoot up-close in the house and document some of the secrets therein.

Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president, is often remembered as the larger-than-life trust buster and Rough Rider. Xiomáro’s photo series “How I love Sagamore Hill” shines a light on Roosevelt the family man. He was commissioned to photograph the emptied structure before a huge restoration effort began there.

“It was pretty much empty and it hadn’t been seen that way since the Roosevelts moved in,” says Xiomáro.

The series includes photos of an "E" scratched into a door by young Archie Roosevelt, crudely carved in an attempt to get his sister Ethel in trouble. Another photo shows “door locked” painted on the boy’s bedroom door to keep the girls out.

"It's so interesting to know that during this time period with everything that is going on in the country and the world that you have kids, you know, living there with the father just doing what kids do," says Xiomáro.

Xiomáro's Sagamore Hill photos are currently on display at Harvard University and the Long Island Museum.

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