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Town of Newcomb replacing historic Teddy Roosevelt plaque

Posted by Matt Ryan on
Home of the Teddy Roosevelt Plaque in Newcomb
Matt Ryan

While driving west along 28N in the Central Adirondacks, I did a double-take passing one of the historic markers along what is commonly called the "Roosevelt-Marcy Trail."  This is the route that then-U.S. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took from the Tahawus Club near Mount Marcy to the train station in North Creek after learning President William McKinley was gravely ill in Buffalo.  I detailed the journey in the 2014 WMHT documentary called "Nine Long Days." 

I did the double take because the historic brown and gold plaque was missing from the stone wall it was set in.  In its place was a big boulder with a rectangle in the center that was conspicuous because it had nothing in it. 

My first thought was that someone had stolen it.  The New York Times recently detailed how an historic marker noting the birthplace of famed 19th Century photographer Matthew Brady was stolen in the nearby Adirondack town of Johnsburg.  Was some selfish history buff taking all of the similar signs inside the Blue Line? 

The answer, it turns out, is no. 

I talked with Newcomb Town Clerk Mary Proud who said I wasn't the first person to call with concern over the missing marker.  She said the plaque had to be removed because the stones around it were falling apart.  In addition, the nearly eighty-year old iron marker itself had a crack in the upper-left corner.  So the town went to work and put a huge boulder that was nearby in it's place, ready with a rectangular opening for a new plaque.  They ordered two signs (in case one gets stolen or vandalized) and Proud told me the wording will be slightly different, correcting what she called a "few errors" describing the route TR followed.   She said as soon as the special bolts arrive needed to secure it to the rock, the sign will be back in its familiar spot along Route 28N, likely in the next week.  

Bully!

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