Alice Teddy the Bear Skates to National Fame

Aug 1, 2014

 Alice Teddy began life in the Applegate Valley in 1907 as any other young cinnamon colored bear cub.  Everything changed when at four months old she lost her mother to a hunter’s gun.

A visitor from Wisconsin, George B. Crapsey, took the orphan home.  He named her Alice Teddy and used sugar-lump encouragement to teach her to wear shoes and clothes, walk upright and roller skate.   Crapsey and his wife, Carrie, joined the Patanges Vaudeville Theater Circuit and toured the world with the bear for the next 16 years.  Headlines and announcements dot papers across the country.  A 1911 New Year’s Day front-page headline in Greenburg, Penn., reads, “Skating Bear A Wonder.”  The story reports, “enthusiastic applause of fully two thousand people (greeted) Alice Teddy, the wonderful skating bear … (at) her initial appearance and performance at The Big Rink carnival last night.” The Crapseys retired to the Greensprings east of Ashland, Ore., and tied Alice Teddy to a tree as an attraction at their gas station and campground.   The Crapseys eventually sold Alice Teddy.  What happened to her after that is lost to the past.

 Sources: Fattig, Paul. "He took that roller-skating bear all over the world".  Mail Tribune June 2011 [Medford, Ore.]. Web. 17 July 2014;   "Alice Teddy, the Roller Skating Bear." Jackson County Oregon History Notes. Ed. Jan Wright. Wright Research and Archives. Web. 17 July 2014.