Baldwinsville History Mystery: Nov. 2, 2016
Question: This cruiser is tied up on the Baldwin Canal. The frame building at the left is a warehouse; Frazee’s brick plaster mill is at its right and the Frazee flour mill is at the far right. The boat made quite a splash when it was launched in 1906. Do you know what was so special about this vessel?
Last week’s answer: The photo last week showed Col. Theodore Roosevelt (R). His connection with Baldwinsville was a barbecue and political rally. It was held on the C.J. Church lot at the corner of North and Charlotte streets, which is now Mercer Park. One thousand pounds of the best western steer rounds were cooked in a large oven on the grounds, and serving was to begin at 1 p.m.
Roosevelt and his party came on a special train, stopping first in Fulton and then Phoenix. Then a committee of 10 automobiles brought “Teddy’s” party to Baldwinsville, arriving at 3:30.
The Fair Haven band played for the occasion, and members of Vernice Suttle American Legion Post greeted the colonel and his group. A delegation of former servicemen headed by R.L. Madden, commander of the post, assisted in the welcoming. It was noted that several thousand people from all over attended the event.
An unexpected arrival of an airplane from Syracuse circled the grounds and landed on the Battery A farm for a short stay.
The barbecue was coordinated by Fred Wyker of Liverpool. The large staff of carvers and waiters served the meat in sandwiches along with coffee.
Colonel Roosevelt was introduced by Mrs. Knapp, candidate from this county for the office of Secretary of State. Roosevelt, his usual impressive self with a pipe in one hand and a somewhat beat-up fedora hat in the other, gave a short speech. On his lapel was a distinguished service medal (World War I) and of course his recognizable smile.
Unfortunately, at the Nov. 6 election, he lost to Tammany chieftain “Al” Smith. Mrs. Knapp also lost.
If you are an astute “Jeopardy” fanatic, you will have picked up on the fact that President Teddy Roosevelt was not the candidate. He died in 1919. This candidate, who had a lot of his father’s familiar mannerisms, was Teddy Jr., or technically Teddy III.
The photo was correctly identified by Steve McMahon, who sent the following email to the Messenger:
“The candidate shown is Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., son of the two-term president who was his namesake. He came to Baldwinsville from Oswego by way of Fulton. I have an original press photo of him in a butcher’s apron carving up a side of beef for B’villians at the Big Election BBQ of 1924 in Mercer Park. Despite his whistlestop Upstate tour, he lost the NYS gubernatorial election to incumbent Democrat Al Smith, four-term populist governor of the Empire State. Thanks for sharing the photo.”
Thanks again to Anthony Christopher’s articles for the information for this History Mystery.
Did you wonder about the mention of Battery A? Watch for a future HM on the subject.
Contact Editor Sarah Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 434-8889 ext. 310 with your guess by 5 p.m. Friday (please leave the information in the message; we are not generally able to return calls regarding History Mystery responses). If you are the first person to correctly identify an element in the photo, your name and guess will appear in next week’s Messenger, along with another History Mystery feature. History Mystery is a joint project of the Museum at the Shacksboro Schoolhouse and the Baldwinsville Public Library.