Teddy Roosevelt is not available to recreate his historic 1901 ride from the North Creek Train Depot, but nationally recognized Roosevelt reprisor Joe Wiegand will be on hand to fill those famous shoes.
On September 14-15 the Saratoga/North Creek Railway (SNCRR) is providing historic train rides, recreations and special excursions surrounding the theme of Teddy Roosevelt’s famed ride from Tahawus to North Creek.
“There is no place like the Adirondacks,” says Wiegand. “Teddy loved it there. He was able to explore the area as a youth. He published his first pamphlet about The Summer Birds of the Adirondack [in Franklin County, New York]. Theodore Roosevelt lived life in a big way and being able to bring him to life in even a small way is a pleasure.”
Wiegand has been performing the role of Teddy Roosevelt for the past six years across the United States from the White House to rotary clubs. According to Wiegand it’s the vibrancy of the character of Theodore Roosevelt that is accessible to all ages from young children to grandparents. Roosevelt’s stories from growing up as a young naturalist to winning the Nobel Peace prize are multi-generational.
“Teddy was vacationing when he was notified about President McKinley. His arrival at North Creek and the significance of the railroad all play a part. I am glad that history is being kept alive,” says Wiegand. “I am never sure what questions are going to be asked. It is unscripted. I am not sure what story of Teddy’s life someone may want to hear. The sportsman may want to hear about hunting while the children may want to hear about Teddy’s six children in the White House. Interwoven throughout all the entertainment there is history.”
In additional to Wiegand’s interpretation of Teddy Roosevelt, the SNCRR will be bringing the Leviathan No. 63, a reproduction steam engine, for its northeast debut. The Leviathan is “faithfully reproduced” from the 1868 Schenectady Locomotive Works original design commissioned by the Central Pacific Railroad.
During the Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again Festival weekend, the North Creek Depot Museum will be open along with its annual Rail-Fair in the Kellogg building in Riverfront Park. “Rough Rider” pony rides, exhibits, live music and refreshments are all part of the schedule. Vendors and artisans will be on hand as well as the Adirondack Folk School with turn of the century trade demonstrations.
Photo: Joe Wiegand as Teddy Roosevelt, provided by Saratoga/North Creek Railway (SNCRR)