Teddy Roosevelt Day is Coming to Isle La Motte
September 23, 2017
Draft Schedule - To be Confirmed later in the Season
For the seventeenth year, Isle La Motte will celebrate its unique fall festival - Teddy Roosevelt Day. It’s an island-wide, day-long celebration taking place this year on September 23. The day memorializes the tenure of TR as our Conservation President and highlighting community efforts to preserve and conserve our historic buildings, farms, fields, forests, and fossils.
It is sponsored by three island organizations: the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust, the Isle La Motte Historical Society, and the Isle La Motte Community Organization. Festival sites include the historic Harmon Noble Barn, a former elementary school now a bicycle hostel and B&B which retains the old lunch counter and blackboards, the Historical Society complex of buildings including the Slab Log Cabin, the blacksmith shop (one of the most intact historic blacksmith shops in Vermont if not in all of New England, and a stone schoolhouse, Halls’ Orchard, the two fossil preserves on Isle La Motte - the Fisk Quarry and Goodsell Ridge Preserves, and Fisk Farm, the site visited by Teddy Roosevelt when he came to Isle La Motte in 1901. The day will include music, art, drama and food - culminating in a parade from the Historical Society to the newly restored Goodsell Ridge Preserve Barn, a Teddy Roosevelt Drama, and other celebrational events.
The TR Festival on Isle La Motte began in 2001, just one hundred years after Teddy Roosevelt visited Isle La Motte on September 6, 1901. Vice President Roosevelt had been invited to speak at a great luncheon at the home of Lieutenant Governor Nelson Fisk which was sponsored by the Fish and Game League - the conservation organization of its day. On that day the sun shone over a thousand Vermonters who had gathered on Isle La Motte for a great luncheon and speeches. Many had come on the sidewheel lake steamer Chateauguy which tied up at the Fisk Quarry dock a few yards south of the grand stone house in which the Fisks lived. However, the day darkened when, after the main festivities, word came that President McKinley had been shot in Buffalo, New York. McKinley died eight days later and on September 14, 1901 forty two year old Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th president of the United States.
It is generally agreed that Roosevelt’s greatest accomplishment was that of conservation. During his presidency he created 150 National Forests, 5 National Parks, 18 National Monuments, 4 National Game Preserves, 21 Reclamation Projects, and 51 Federal Bird Reservations or about 230 million acres of land.
The beauty of the Champlain Islands is a treasure to cherish. On September 17 on Isle La Motte we will celebrate our conserved lands, our preserved buildings, and our agricultural heritage. We are inspired by Teddy Roosevelt who once wrote, “Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children.”