Friday, December 9, 2022


Teddy Roosevelt slept here. Yeah, right!


By Chuck Woodbury
Something is fishy about the stories I hear from operators of historic hotels. It seems that Teddy Roosevelt spent the night in about two-thirds of them.

On the dozens of tours of old hotels I’ve ever taken, most in the West, the guide will come to a certain room, open the door and say Teddy Roosevelt spent the night in that very room. Or he will stop in the lobby, point to the balcony and say, “Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech there.”

Young Teddy the hunter, shot in a photo studio.

I say “Bully!”

In my hometown of Edmonds, Wash., there’s a Teddy tale about when 24-hour telephone service came to town. The story goes that then-President Roosevelt was staying in a local hunting lodge (now a home). Telephone service was only available during the day, but Teddy insisted he needed it 24/7. And so the phone company kept operators working round the clock. The town folks were so happy about it that they insisted the 24-hour service remain after the President left.

I don’t believe all the stories about “Teddy Slept Here.” I think the people that tell them are just repeating what they heard from someone else, who were just repeating what they had heard, etc. I don’t think Teddy could possibly have done so much sleeping around.

Oh, one more thing: All, or at least most of the best known photos of Teddy in hunting and military garb were shot in a New York photo studio. Teddy was pretty good at working the media.

I don’t believe all the Elvis slept here stories, either.

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Gene Bjerke
3 years ago

Maybe some enterprising tourist destination owner could get some business out of publicizing that “This is the only place that George Washington/Teddy Roosevelt/Andrew Jackson (pick one) never slept.”

3 years ago

I think the same is true of Clark Gable and Carol Lombard….they slept everywhere.

Robert H
3 years ago
Reply to  Drew

I know the last place Carol “slept.” Mt. Potosi, NV (fatal plane crash).

3 years ago

Ok, so, now really, I do know where Teddy slept. Friends of ours own a piece of land that abuts Lassen National Park. These people are verified ansestors to the Standard Oil Fortunes. They have a small lodge along Mill Creek that is being past on through to the Nature Conservancy. This neat piece of property has a large in ground swimming pool that is heated by a volcanic hot spring and cooled to a proper temperature with water diverted from Mill Creek. Teddy stayed there during a visit through the area. Really. No, Really.

Bob Phillips
3 years ago

Just as irrelevant but probably at least accurate: When I was a kid in the ’50s my family was visiting Virginia City, NV. In the basement of the old Territorial Enterprise newspaper building was a toilet with a sign, “Mark Twain sat here.”

3 years ago
Reply to  Bob Phillips

I live in Carson City, Nevada, and Mark Twain as slept (or sat) everywhere here and in the rest of the state. That man really got around.