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1342150 years: Remembering the year the Bull Moose visited - By Mildred Ann Smith - - April 30, 2006

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  • mrmoose@pol.net
    Apr 30, 2006
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      150 years: Remembering the year the Bull Moose visited - By Mildred Ann Smith - - April 30, 2006
      Hi TR Yahoo Group!

      Thought you might be interested in reading this story from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.Best wishes, Linda



      Linda Shookster

      April 30, 2006

      150 years: Remembering the year the Bull Moose visited

      By Mildred Ann Smith

      EDITOR'S NOTE: The Sentinel is celebrating its 150th year in 2006 by reaching into our archives to republish some of the noteworthy stories of the past. The following story, titled "Conservation and Panama Were Big News in 1903 When 'TR' Visited Santa Cruz" was printed in the Santa Cruz Sentinel on February 2, 1964.

      "Cut down one of these giants and you can't replace it. Nature was the architect and we owe it to ourselves and our children to preserve them."

      This sounds like an appeal for the current Sierra Club campaign to save the Waddell redwoods. Actually, however, it was part of a speech made by that avid conservationist, President Theodore Roosevelt, when he visited Santa Cruz and the Big Trees 61 years ago.

      Roosevelt, making his first visit to California, stressed the need for conservation of natural resources in both an address on Pacific avenue and one at Big Trees.

      "We should keep the trees as we should leave great stretches of wilderness as a heritage for our children's children," he declared.

      This was in 1903, the year of Panama's revolt from Colombia and also the year President Roosevelt signed the treaty with Panama which that country now is protesting.

      Strong navy stressed

      During his Santa Cruz visit on May 11, 1903, he spoke strongly of the position of the United States as a first-rate power and emphasized the importance of having a first-rate navy and fighting seaman.

      Just a month earlier, the Morning Sentinel had reported the President making the first use of his now famous slogan, "Walk softly and carry a big stick."

      Santa Cruzans made elaborate preparations to welcome President Roosevelt and the entire proceedings were duly reported in both the Morning and Evening Sentinels.

      Under the headline, "The Visit of President Roosevelt," the story said in part:

      "Monday morning will always occupy a place in the most important historical events of our city. For the second time in our history, a president has visited Santa Cruz. President Harrison was the first chief executive to honor Santa Cruz with his presence." This was in 1891.

      The article continues, "At an early hour the populace began to gather. People came from miles around. When the train arrived at 9:45 a.m., the President and his party were escorted to carriages. In the President's carriage, to which two black horses were attached, John Werner handling the ribbons, were President Roosevelt, Secretary Loeb, Mayor David C. Clark and J.W. Linscott." County superintendent of schools.

      Like large families

      The latter's son, Dr. L.M. Linscott, recalls hearing his father say that he thought he got the honor of riding with the President because the chief executive liked large families and someone told him there were seven Linscott children.

      The 10 carriages carrying national and state figures, local dignitaries and the press were preceded by the naval reserve and Hastings' band with the procession going first to Beach Hill and then down Pacific Avenue.

      The Sentinel reporter described the scene:

      "The avenue was crowded, flags fluttered in the breeze ... the courthouse was elaborately decorated with bunting. Pupils from the Public, Parochial and Sisters' schools lined both sides of the street and with their flags and flowers presented an inspiring sight. The children strewed the President's pathway with flowers while the cheers made the welkin ring. The smile on the President's countenance betokened the pleasure he felt."

      With McKinley assassinated just two years before, Secret Service men were making sure of the chief executive's safety. The Sentinel account notes that Secret Service men who had walked beside the carriage one also sat beside the driver took places near him when he began his speech "ready for action in case anything that had an appearance of danger was visible."

      Following his talk and the presentation of an inscribed silver plate and a Pioneers' badge to him by F.A. Hihn, the party boarded a special train for the Big Trees. Among the local businessmen were Samuel Leask, Fred Swanton, Duncan McPherson, H.F. Kron, W.T. Jeter, Gus Bowman, H.E. Irish, O.J. Lincoln and F.R. Walti.

      Big Trees visited

      At the Big Trees a luncheon was served with the menu consisting of broiled steaks, Spanish beans, strawberries, coffee, cake and Ben Lomond wine. Local high school girls did the serving.

      Making a speech at the request of these young ladies the President said, "Let me preach to you a moment. Do not do anything to mar the beauty of the trees. Above all do not place cards on them. Cards give an air of ridicule to this solemn majestic grove."

      Following a solitary walk through the trees the President later told someone he had a brief nap a tree was dedicated to him with Linscott making the introductory speech.

      As the train pulled out, the President was heard to say, "There is one satisfaction in being president. It gives a man a pulpit to preach from and a position where his sermon is listened to."

      Amos Elliot, son of engineer on Presidential train, recalls visit

      President Roosevelt's 1903 visit to Santa Cruz has special memories for Amos Elliott, a native Santa Cruzan who now makes his home in Piedmont.

      His father, Robert Elliott, was the engineer of Engine No. 16, which took the presidential party on the old narrow-gauge railway to Big Trees.

      He also had been the engineer for President Harrison's train when he visited here in 1891 and often told young Amos how President Harrison shook hands with all the crew.

      His son recalls that when President Roosevelt's train pulled into Santa Cruz from Big Trees he immediately climbed up into the cab and asked, "Did he shake hands with you, dad?"

      His father shook his head

      President Roosevelt in the meantime had boarded his special train on the nearby broad-gauge tracks and probably realizing his oversight as the train pulled out, smiled and waved and called, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

      "It restored my faith in presidents," Amos Elliott said, and noted that he had occasion to remind Roosevelt of this incident when he introduced him at a University of California function in later years.

      Belles of '03 still live here

      Several of the "attractive young ladies" who served luncheon to President Roosevelt and his party at the Big Trees are still residing in Santa Cruz.

      All students at Santa Cruz high school at the time, they included Ruby Lewis Mrs. L.M. Linscott, Pearl Swanton Mrs. W.D. Dalton, Hettie Irish Mrs. Clay Peters Sr., Eva Bowman Mrs. Ray Judah, Annie Scaroni Mrs. E.K. Annand and Miss Emma Lynam.

      What's more at least two of them have mementoes of the occasion. Mrs. Linscott has the newspaper clippings in her scrapbook and also has one of the yellow ribbon badges which everyone wore.

      Mrs. Dalton took her camera along with her to the Big Trees and snapped pictures of President Roosevelt as well as the tables and the girls who served.

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