From theft to triumph: The odyssey of Theodore Roosevelt’s watch

From theft to triumph: The odyssey of Theodore Roosevelt's watch.

From theft to triumph: The odyssey of Theodore Roosevelt's watch. Image: National Park Service / Facebook

The silver pocket watch held deep sentimental value for Theodore Roosevelt, gifted to him in 1898 by his sister and brother-in-law before he became president.

This cherished timepiece accompanied him on his global travels and eventually found its place at Sagamore Hill, Roosevelt’s Long Island home and now a national historic site.

However, in 1987, the watch was stolen from an unlocked case at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site in Buffalo, New York, where it was on loan.

Disappearance Mystery

The mystery of its disappearance persisted for 36 years until it resurfaced at a Florida auction house last year, seized by federal agents.

During a ceremony attended by Roosevelt’s great-grandson, Tweed Roosevelt, the watch was triumphantly returned to Sagamore Hill.

Despite its simple appearance, the watch held immense significance to Roosevelt, bearing engravings commemorating its gift from his relatives.

Shrouded in Mystery

The circumstances surrounding the watch’s reappearance remain shrouded in mystery.

Investigations by the National Park Service and FBI have yet to uncover who stole the watch and how it disappeared for so long.

Despite these unanswered questions, its authenticity was confirmed through meticulous research and comparisons to historical records.

Crafted by the Waltham Watch Co., the watch resembles typical pocket watches of its era but carries personal significance with its engraved dedications.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, UK, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 20 years.