One of the gems that film producer Frank Boring has uncovered as he goes through Colorado State University’s archives to create a documentary about CSU’s first 150 years is a film from 1919 that contains footage of one of the University’s first mascots: Teddy the Bear.
The university’s first mascots were famous pets on campus, including a black bear and two canines: Peanuts from 1913 to 1917, and Gallant Defender starting in 1918. Peanuts lived a celebrated life as a handsome black and white bulldog. He witnessed two football championships – 1915 and 1916 — while barking enthusiastically from the sidelines. When a battery of soldiers who were students at CSU went off to fight World War I, Peanuts went to New York City and marched with his fellow Aggies through the streets, making an impression on local press, before riding a train home to Fort Collins in late 1917.
Teddy the Bear belonged to a member of the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show who lived in Fort Collins. The 1919 film shows him on the sidelines of a home football game against the University of Colorado that was played at Colorado Field. And the video below features the film’s footage of a train rolling into campus. The Colorado Central Railroad paid the University $100 for access through the campus in perpetuity.
The 1919 film, which is believed to be the earliest footage of the campus, will be the subject of the next installment of the “Reel CSU Stories” series later this month.
Dell Rae Ciaravola contributed to this report.