Mrs. B. H. Hardaway was a remarkable and independent woman with vision and tenacity. In the late 1920s, after the death of her husband, she made the bold decision to sell Coca Cola stock and build the Hardaway Cottage on the grounds of the Roosevelt Institute for Rehabilitation.This was a bold choice for anyone since the country was recovering from the great depression, but she as a woman was moving about in a man’s world and demonstrated incredible determination.
Prior to the mission of polio treatment and research the grounds of the Warm Springs institute had also served as a resort for the wealthy. In the page above from the 1933 edition of the Polio Chronicle it is noted that, “Mrs. B. H. Hardaway of Columbus, Ga. who for years has owned a cottage near the Inn and spent part of summers here has completed a fine brick home.” Clearly the Hardaway family and Rebecca had a fondness for the area prior to the arrival of Franklin D. Roosevelt. But, I can only surmise that as Roosevelt promoted the area for the treatment of Polio, established a home in the area, and hosted important dignitaries Rebecca became convinced of the importance of the area.