COBWEB CORNERS: The president is not amused!
By Mel McFarland
There was an incident during President Roosevelt's visit to Colorado in 1905 that upset him. I will share that with you after I tell you this rather interesting story that happened at Buena Vista station.
I had the opportunity to interview the daughter of the Midland's Station agent at Buena Vista when I wrote my first book on the Midland Railway over 20 years ago. She related how she received a tour of the special train when it stopped at their station heading west. It was led by the President himself, and he carried her younger sister on his arm as they traveled through the private cars! There was even talk that the family might travel with the president to New Castle, as the agent there was a close family friend, but they did not go.
The trip over the Midland was mainly at night, and the train neared Glenwood Springs in the early hours of the April morning. As mentioned last week, the president had been over the Denver and Rio Grande a few years earlier, and had stayed in Glenwood Springs. He was shocked as he stepped out onto his car's open platform, only to see Glenwood Springs, and all the people awaiting him, gliding past on the other side of the river! He quickly dispatched his aide to find the conductor to explain the problem!
It was a simple answer, one he understood before the conductor arrived. The city of Glenwood Springs sits on the east side of the Roaring Fork River where it meets the Colorado River. The Denver and Rio Grande follows the Colorado River down Glenwood Canyon from the east. The Colorado Midland arrived in Glenwood from the south, traveling up from Basalt on the west side of the river. The Glenwood station, however, was in clear view on the east side of the river! It was only a minute or two before the train stopped, and a switch was thrown, and his train triumphantly backed across the Midland's big bridge over the river, into its Glenwood Springs station.
I believe this was Roosevelt's last Colorado hunting trip. however, it was around this time that the Teddy Bear story was dreamed up. I will leave that story for another author, thank you.