Real Estate Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 NRDS ID#641625055

While I was researching Merrick's history, I came across a most enjoyable true story of a yellow mongrel who went on to become the official mascot for the Long Island Railroad.  He lived about 100 years ago and is buried at the Merrick train station.  LIRR

Just last year, Heather Worthington, a children's author, published the heartwarming book, Miles of Smiles, sure to appeal to dog lovers of all ages. The story goes that one day in 1901, a stray dog, frightened during a thunderstorm, showed up at the Garden City train station. The station master let the dog in and waited for someone to claim him, When no one did, the kind-hearted railroad employee decided to adopt the dog and named him, Roxey, after one of his own beloved pets. He thought Roxey would make a wonderful addition to the station.

Roxey was free-spirited and had plans that did not include sitting around at the station house all day. He developed a love for hopping the trains. Soon, Roxey was riding the rails daily. He was quite the celebrity and often made the news when he showed up in different towns. 

He was not only attached to the conducters, he was also a friend to the regular passengers. Sometimes, he would even follow them home for a meal, but always returned the next day to his life as the most famous railroad dog. He was even given a special pass which he wore around his neck that entitled him to ride any train at any time.

Roxey's most celebrated train ride was with Teddy Roosevelt, in which he rode in the President's private car to Oyster Bay. This was the location of Sagamore Hill, the President's summer home.  In 1914, this loveable dog passed away and was put to rest at the Merrick train station.

The headstone was donated by a group of female commuters. It is located south of the station building near Sunrise Highway and east of Merrick Avenue. After all these years, Roxey still has a loyal following who come to visit and keep his gravesite clean. They bring flowers and freshen the water bowl.

Shortly after Ms. Worthington's book was published, New York City's Penn Station held a ceremony in remembrance of Roxey, the Long Island Railroad's good-will ambassador. Children from a local school were invited to hear the story, meet the author and learn about railroad safety.

There are many wonderful and comparable stories of station dogs around the country. This is just a slice of Merrick's local lore.                                                       

                                                        Roxey's grave                         

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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Roxey is amazing and I think this is such a great story!

Feb 09, 2011 01:46 PM #1
Donne Knudsen
Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA - Simi Valley, CA
CalState Realty Services

Jill - What a great story and just about Roxy but also about the people who keep his memory alive.

Feb 09, 2011 02:06 PM #2
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Jill, what a great and entertaining story! And as Donna says how great you all are to keep his memory alive!

Feb 09, 2011 10:45 PM #3
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Joan, Donne and Ellen - Thank you all very much. When I first came across this story, I thought it was delightful and needed to be retold - poor timing - someone beat me to it. It captures your imagination because I don't think Roxey would have been afforded the same celebrity status today. There are too many people and too many regulations for a dog to hop on and off the train at will. Does our President ever ride the railroad??

Feb 10, 2011 12:53 AM #4
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

Such a great story.  Dogs certainly do enhance our lives!!!!


Feb 10, 2011 03:00 AM #5
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Thanks Belinda. What a cutie!

Feb 10, 2011 09:13 AM #6
Cindy Westfall
Premiere Property Group,LLC Portland Metro & Suburbs Oregon - Tualatin, OR
ABR,GRI Your Tualatin & Portland Metro Real Estate

Hi Jill, not sure how I missed this post! What an endearing tale of Roxie. Life back then was a bit simpler with people embracing a cute, I fear a stray would not be allowed to ride the rails.

Feb 17, 2011 02:42 PM #7
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

I bet the owner would be tracked down and ticketed! LOL

Feb 18, 2011 01:02 AM #8
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Jill Sackler

LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
Long Island Living - Where Memories Are Made
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