Wednesday, October 20, 2010

c. 1960 news clipping about commemoration of FDR's trip home from Campobello after polio attack in 1921

1960 clipping from a Maine newspaper about the reenactment of the 1921 journey by Franklin Delano Roosevelt from his beloved island of Campobello, New Brunswick, Canada, where he had suffered an attack of polio, to the railway station at Eastport, Maine for his return to Hyde Park.  The reenactment was to be made for the movie "Sunrise at Campobello".

Unfortunately, I have only the clipping, not the entire page it came from, which would have included the name of the newspaper and allowed me to give credit.  


EASTPORT - Calendars to the contrary, it will be 1921 Saturday on a railroad siding near the Eastport waterfront.

There'll be a smoking steam locomotive coupled to an old-time coach and sleeping car, a conductor in a stove-pipe cap and high collar, maybe a horse or some vintage automobiles.  Commanding the entire scene will be the cameras of a Hollywood film production unit, recording a dramatic sequence in the life of the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Schary Productions, Inc., and the Maine Central Railroad will reenact the start of Roosevelt's journey from Eastport to Hyde Park, N.Y. following his polio attack.  The action will be part of the screen version of "Sunrise at Campobello" the successful Broadway biography of the late President.

In addition to Ralph Bellamy, Greer Garson and Hume Cronyn, the stars will include Maine Central steam locomotive 519, which has been reprieved from retirement, painted and polished for its return to the rails.  The 47-year-old locomotive and its cars have already been hauled to Eastport, where last-minute details are being checked against Saturday's filming.  The old engine will not move by itself, and power will be supplied by a behind-the-scene diesel.

Among the onlookers as the cameras roll Saturday may be several former Maine Central employes who participated in the original incident 39 years ago.  Retired conductor Ross Haycock of Calais - now 91 - was one of the four men who carried Roosevelt's stretcher aboard the sleeping car.

The spectators could also include Walter Brown of Eastport, who was baggagemaster at the time, and William Noble, also of Eastport, who served as a car inspector.

The Eastport ticket agent, who arranged Roosevelt's transportation, is still an active Maine Central employe.  He's Earl J. McInnis, now district freight agent with headquarters in Portland.

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