Rosalynn Carter Called This New York State Town Home
On Sunday, we learned the sad news that former First Lady Rosalynn Carter passed away at home at the age of 96.
Reports on Friday stated that she was moved into hospice care in her home of Plains, Georgia, alongside her husband of over 77 years, former President Jimmy Carter.
Both Rosalynn and Jimmy Carter were born and raised in Plains, and according to Rosaylynn’s autobiography grew up “three years and three miles apart” from one another - so it’s no wonder why that’s where they both decided to spend their time post-presidency and, eventually, Rosalynn’s final days.
However, not many people know that both Jimmy and Rosalynn spent an important amount of time in Upstate New York.
Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Lived In Upstate New York
According to the Historical Marker Database, former President Carter could not afford a standard 4-year college education, so he enlisted in the Navy and attended the US Naval Academy. He spent many early years of his service working with the Navy’s new atomic-powered submarine program.
In the early 1950’s, while a lieutenant, Carter was selected to be an engineering officer for a submarine that was then under construction, the U.S.S. Sea Wolf. To prepare for the new assignment, Carter took classes in reactor technology and nuclear physics at Union College in Schenectady, New York; also working closely with local companies General Electric and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.
While attending Union, he also assisted in tutoring the men under his command who were also taking courses as part of their submarine assignment.
Where Did The Carters Live While Attending Union College?
As he trained for his upcoming assignment at Union, Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn lived in designated military housing in nearby Rotterdam, New York, with their sons Jack, Chip, and Jeff (their daughter Amy wasn’t born until 1967, well after the Carters’ time in the Capital Region).
If you’re wondering where this housing was, it’s behind the current Rotterdam town library; very close to the busy “5 Corners” intersection. There’s a stone marker and plaque in the apartment complex that’s there now to mark the time the Carters lived there.
After Jimmy’s father passed away in 1953, the family reluctantly moved out of the Capital Region and back to Georgia to oversee the Carter family peanut farm.
Several accounts suggest that Rosalynn loved the Schenectady area so much that she had no desire to go back to Georgia, and would rather have raised her family in the Capital District.
Since their time spent in the Capital Region, both Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter went on to achieve great things. Rosalynn specifically was a champion throughout her life for causes such as mental health, Habitat for Humanity, the needs of the elderly, and social justice.