Swamp Rabbit Trail was first a railroad bed before it was recycled for use as a recreational trail. This modest stone memorial to President Roosevelt is on the trail, and I wanted to share it.
It's one of those charming, amazing little snapshots of history.
The marker reads:
FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT
1882 - 1945
While serving as the 32nd president of the United States, Roosevelt led our country through the Great Depression and World War II. He died while in office on April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia.
Near this site on April 13, 1945 the funeral train carrying the body of Franklin Delano Roosevelt stopped at the Greenville station on its way to Washington, DC. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was aboard the train along with FDR's beloved Scottish Terrier Fala.
A crowd of more than 15,000 mourners gathered in final tribute and to show respect to Mrs Roosevelt. Soldiers lined the tracks for a mile north and south of the station. A telegram listing the names of family, friends and dignitaries who would attend FDR's funeral in Hyde Park, NY, was sent from the station.
Mayor C. Fred McCollough presented two floral wreaths to Presidential Secretary Steve Early. The wreaths were put inside the funeral car, one placed on top of the flag-draped casket.
Children began singing 'Onward Christian Soldiers' and the large crowd quickly joined in as the train slowly pulled away from the station.
At that time, the population of the city of Greenville was only around 35,000; Greenville County's entire population was approx 140,000.
In light of that, 15,000 mourners is an astronomical number.