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The Way We Really Were


By Virginia McConnell Simmons

Identifying “Our President” will be a mystery if you believe the inked script. In fact, only after President McKinley’s assassination, with no living vice president to fill the office, was T.R. catapulted into the presidency in September 1903. Some sharp-eyed Central Coloradans will note that the locomotive should have borne the Denver and Rio Grande’s name when President Roosevelt stopped at Leadville in 1907 during a Western Slope hunting trip, since he had been pictured at Silt on the D&RG’s route. The Colorado Midland also went to Leadville, and the CM’s name is shown on the coal tender in this photo, but this locomotive actually is seen at the Colorado City terminal (on Colorado Springs’ west side) prior to a trip to Cripple Creek by the new President Theodore Roosevelt in late 1903.