Our 26th President is widely considered the most famous, and arguably the most impactful, conservationist to occupy the White House. Theodore Roosevelt’s administration backed the landmark 1906 Antiquities Act, and Teddy used it to great effect. He played a significant role in the creation of 150 national forests, 5 national parks, 51 Federal bird preserves, and 18 national monuments. Roosevelt helped preserve approximately 230 million acres among the parks and federal lands he promoted.
Rechristened Theodore Roosevelt Island in 1933, the Neocostin Nacotchtank called it “Analostan” and it bore the name Mason’s Island from the family whose ferry and then plantation occupied the site from 1717 until 1833. The island served as a training ground for US Colored Troops (USCT) during the Civil War. James Madison escaped the British advance on Washington in August 1814 by crossing the Potomac at Mason’s Ferry.
For all who love the parks, Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy is one we cherish. A novel concept at the time, Roosevelt so eloquently expressed that it is the nation’s duty to protect our most sacred public lands and wild places for the generations to come.
Theodore Roosevelt Island lies across a side channel of the Potomac from the Virginia shoreline.
The memorial plaza is the centerpiece of the island.
TR’s statue anchors the memorial plaza.