Saturday, April 12, 2008

A TR connection?

Today, I received a book -- a History of the San Lorenzo Valley, and inside, a cursory look revealed both a story about Bessie Glass helping to catch a diamond thief, and a photo of the Grand Central Hotel (of which Joseph was half-owner starting in 1905, and eventually ran in 1909.)

Taking another look at a photo (Felton Townspeople) that Sarah had provided, I was able to ID the building in the "Felton Townspeople" photo as also being the Grand Central Hotel. (The lady with the bicycle is Lucy Ball.) It also figures in several other Felton photographs from Sarah.

So what's the deal with Teddy Roosevelt? Well, biggify the top photo, and check out the 4th guy from the left. I mentioned off-handedly to Jeff, "Hey, look: Teddy Roosevelt!" At first, we were like, yeah, right, everybody looked like TR in those days. But then, looking at the facts, it didn't sound so crazy...

Why it might be TR:

  • Teddy Roosevelt visited Felton in May 1903 to dedicate Big Basin State Park (he was instrumental in saving the redwoods here) - the photo is consistent with the time frame;
  • Joseph Ball was county Supervisor at the time of Roosevelt's visit; he likely would have been part of the welcoming committee (I suspect that Joseph Ball is in this photo, but there's no way to identify him);
  • Clothing is consistent with May weather. Some of the men are wearing straw boaters; Lucy is in white cotton.
  • The Felton TR lookalike is holding up the kid that looks like Charlie McCarthy. That seems like something TR would do during a photo opp.
Why it probably isn't TR:

  • Felton guy is a little frayed around the edges. TR was a dandy.
  • When TR visited the San Lorenzo Valley, 12,000 people showed up. It would appear that if this were TR, there would be a crowd.
The probability is very low, but it's been a fun ponderable..... we need Archie from C.S.I. to do a biometric analysis.

No comments: