The Dog Butch was a town icon of glen...

The Dog Butch was a town icon of glencove

Posted in the Lattingtown Forum

Retired Senior

Norwalk, CT

#1 Aug 21, 2009
I lived in GC in the 40s and this very big St Bernard dog used to roam the streets,every one knew him and would give him hand outs even though I believe he was owned by owners of one the large estates.I can remember him swimming in the creek on a hot summer day and lying in the middle of the side walks in town.He would get on the train and go to Jamaica and return by him self he was every ones pet.When he died they tried to replace him with another but it didn't work out.
oh well

Stormville, NY

#2 Aug 31, 2009
Retired Senior wrote:
I lived in GC in the 40s and this very big St Bernard dog used to roam the streets,every one knew him and would give him hand outs even though I believe he was owned by owners of one the large estates.I can remember him swimming in the creek on a hot summer day and lying in the middle of the side walks in town.He would get on the train and go to Jamaica and return by him self he was every ones pet.When he died they tried to replace him with another but it didn't work out.
He probably took a dump wherever he wanted too. Charming.
Bill

North Pole, AK

#3 May 28, 2011
Butch was more than a dog living on the streets. He was a local celebrity. Google "Butch of Glen Cove" to see the story. I too, was a child in Glen Cove in the 1940's, and took Butch to be a normal local dog. it was not until years later did I realize what a special relationship existed between the town's people and Butch. He would actually ride the Long Island Railroad to Locust Valley by himself, go to his favorite butcher shop for a large bone, and then return home on the train. No joke or exaggeration. We saw him out on his rounds every day and always stopped to pet him and say hello. When he died schools were closed for the installation of a large bronze plaque with his likeness and history on it. Hundreds of us school children filled the area around the Glen Street station for the unveiling. Sadly, on a visit years ago I saw no hint of the plaque or any screw holes where it had been installed on the track-side wall of the station. Does anyone know what happened to it?Too bad Life magazine is no longer around to do another story on dear old Butch.
Jane Weekes

Bernin, France

#4 Sep 18, 2011
Retired Senior wrote:
I lived in GC in the 40s and this very big St Bernard dog used to roam the streets,every one knew him and would give him hand outs even though I believe he was owned by owners of one the large estates.I can remember him swimming in the creek on a hot summer day and lying in the middle of the side walks in town.He would get on the train and go to Jamaica and return by him self he was every ones pet.When he died they tried to replace him with another but it didn't work out.
My Mother's family owned Butch. I heard stories about him as a child and I know that my Mother had very fond memories of him. They had a lovely house in Glen Cove which was torn down several years ago to make room for more development.
Randy Waskawic

Winneconne, WI

#5 Oct 26, 2011
I grew up in Locust Valley and often heard stories about Butch and his antics. My mother said that he was once the subject of a story in Life, Look or the Saturday Evening Post. My mom (a devout animal lover) passed on this year, and among her treasures I found a 3.5" button commemorating Butch. The copy says "BUTCH 1939-1948". There's a sketch of a St. Bernard's head and the Lions Club logo. I was born a year before Butch died, but every adult I knew in Locust Valley could tell tales about him and his regular ridership on the LIRR.
Randy Waskawic

Winneconne, WI

#6 Oct 26, 2011
To amend my previous post, I did a little research and found that Butch was written up in the Mar 25, 1946 issue of LIFE. If you google:

butch st. bernard glen cove

you will find links that take you to screen versions of the story.

Anyone who attended elementary school in Locust Valley in the 1950s may also remember Candy, a St Bernard who was a frequent and regular visitor to the playground during recess.
JoeyBagOfDonuts

Highland, NY

#7 Oct 27, 2011
Bill wrote:
Butch was more than a dog living on the streets. He was a local celebrity. Google "Butch of Glen Cove" to see the story. I too, was a child in Glen Cove in the 1940's, and took Butch to be a normal local dog. it was not until years later did I realize what a special relationship existed between the town's people and Butch. He would actually ride the Long Island Railroad to Locust Valley by himself, go to his favorite butcher shop for a large bone, and then return home on the train. No joke or exaggeration. We saw him out on his rounds every day and always stopped to pet him and say hello. When he died schools were closed for the installation of a large bronze plaque with his likeness and history on it. Hundreds of us school children filled the area around the Glen Street station for the unveiling. Sadly, on a visit years ago I saw no hint of the plaque or any screw holes where it had been installed on the track-side wall of the station. Does anyone know what happened to it?Too bad Life magazine is no longer around to do another story on dear old Butch.
Hey Bill Who picked up after Butch, probably the same people I see picking up after there dogs than throwing it to the curb in front of some elses home.Butch was no BALTO.
Lois in Glen Cove

Brooklyn, NY

#8 May 30, 2012
About a year ago a house in Glen Cove sold and the new owners found Butch's plaque hidden in the house. It is now in the Glen Cove City Museum.
Lois in Glen Cove

Brooklyn, NY

#9 May 30, 2012
About a year ago a house in Glen Cove sold. The new owners found Butch's plaque hidden in the house. It is now in the Museum of the City of Glen Cove.
Bonnie Dalzell

Highland, NY

#10 Sep 21, 2012
Butch was our family dog, in Douglaston. When my father was in the military during the war, and there was food rationing, meat was difficult to come by. Dog food had yet to be invented. He re-homed Butch to the Miller family in G C. My sister and I were 5 and 2. My mother used to park us outside on a blanket and Butch would patrol the blanket and nudge us back on when we strayed off. My mother would be in the house tending her chores. He adored us, which is why I think he had a preference for children as evidenced by his hanging out at the school when it let out in the afternoon. I have toured GC several times searching for signs of him....there was supposed to be a plaque in the train station commemorating him for his ad hoc trips he took on the LIRR. There was also a plaque embedded in a big rock somewhere, I don't know exactly where. He used to visit back and forth getting butcher shop remnants in 2 places. I still have the original LIFE magazine which reported his antics. I am sure living with him made a huge impression on me as I have had a Leonberger most recently...a non-drooling giant dog with Saint in their historic lineage.
Bill in California

Yucca Valley, CA

#11 Feb 28, 2013
Lois in Glen Cove wrote:
About a year ago a house in Glen Cove sold and the new owners found Butch's plaque hidden in the house. It is now in the Glen Cove City Museum.
Lois, thanks for that update. I visited the train station on a visit to Glen Cove years ago and was saddened to see the plaque missing. I clearly recall the day St. Patrick's School was closed and we marched to the Glen Street Station for the ceremony to install the plaque. I tell people about Butch all the time.
Betty Wilchek

AOL

#12 Apr 26, 2013
Bonnie Dalzell wrote:
Butch was our family dog, in Douglaston. When my father was in the military during the war, and there was food rationing, meat was difficult to come by. Dog food had yet to be invented. He re-homed Butch to the Miller family in G C. My sister and I were 5 and 2. My mother used to park us outside on a blanket and Butch would patrol the blanket and nudge us back on when we strayed off. My mother would be in the house tending her chores. He adored us, which is why I think he had a preference for children as evidenced by his hanging out at the school when it let out in the afternoon. I have toured GC several times searching for signs of him....there was supposed to be a plaque in the train station commemorating him for his ad hoc trips he took on the LIRR. There was also a plaque embedded in a big rock somewhere, I don't know exactly where. He used to visit back and forth getting butcher shop remnants in 2 places. I still have the original LIFE magazine which reported his antics. I am sure living with him made a huge impression on me as I have had a Leonberger most recently...a non-drooling giant dog with Saint in their historic lineage.
I have an Etsy Shop bettysworls4u where I sell Vintage Items. I came across a Large round Pin with the Name Butch and 1939-1948 on it. Now I know why the owner had a hard time parting with it. Great Memories of a Fine Dog-Butch.
Betty Wilchek

AOL

#13 Apr 26, 2013
I have an Etsy Shop bettysworld4u where I sell Vintage Items. I came across a Large round Pin with the Name Butch and 1939-1948 on it. Now I know why the owner had a hard time parting with it. Great Memories of a Fine Dog-Butch.
Anonymous

Bridgton, ME

#14 Sep 9, 2014
How nice that Butch is still remembered,it was 68 yrs. ago that I met Butch but once, and meeting him you could you understand how he would not be forgotten ,all these years later he is still in my heart .As a young lad I lived in locust Valley on occasion my parents would take a train to Brooklyn. I remember the place the brass plate was on the far wall behind the old stove.I',m
Now up in Maine , I still think back,thank you folk's for keeping his sweet memory alive.
Jerry Poole
jsb1948

United States

#15 Jan 22, 2016
Bill wrote:
Butch was more than a dog living on the streets. He was a local celebrity. Google "Butch of Glen Cove" to see the story. I too, was a child in Glen Cove in the 1940's, and took Butch to be a normal local dog. it was not until years later did I realize what a special relationship existed between the town's people and Butch. He would actually ride the Long Island Railroad to Locust Valley by himself, go to his favorite butcher shop for a large bone, and then return home on the train. No joke or exaggeration. We saw him out on his rounds every day and always stopped to pet him and say hello. When he died schools were closed for the installation of a large bronze plaque with his likeness and history on it. Hundreds of us school children filled the area around the Glen Street station for the unveiling. Sadly, on a visit years ago I saw no hint of the plaque or any screw holes where it had been installed on the track-side wall of the station. Does anyone know what happened to it?Too bad Life magazine is no longer around to do another story on dear old Butch.
My mom told me the plaque was stolen from rr station. I remember reading an article in newsday about the plaque being found in a basement I think it was in east meadow IN the 90's. I don't remember where it was going after that.
Bill now in the desert

Indio, CA

#16 Jan 29, 2017
Jane Weekes wrote:
<quoted text>
My Mother's family owned Butch. I heard stories about him as a child and I know that my Mother had very fond memories of him. They had a lovely house in Glen Cove which was torn down several years ago to make room for more development.
Was your mother Marie Gribbon? And, is the large house across the street from the Presbyterian Church now gone?
Jo Famig

Dobbins, CA

#17 Jun 3, 2017
I have so many fond memories of Butch. My Uncle owned a grocery store & Butch would always receive a treat whenever he stopped by. He was loved by all. He was such a noble & gentil soul who had a great love especially for children. I will never forget Him!
Bill in Alaska

Seattle, WA

#18 Saturday Jul 1
Jo Famig wrote:
I have so many fond memories of Butch. My Uncle owned a grocery store & Butch would always receive a treat whenever he stopped by. He was loved by all. He was such a noble & gentil soul who had a great love especially for children. I will never forget Him!
I would love to know which store your uncle owned.
Bill in Alaska

Seattle, WA

#19 Saturday Jul 1
JoeyBagOfDonuts wrote:
<quoted text>Hey Bill Who picked up after Butch, probably the same people I see picking up after there dogs than throwing it to the curb in front of some elses home.Butch was no BALTO.
Every child has at least one person like you in their neighborhood. The person who sees clouds when others see the sun. Perhaps you were put on earth so that, by contrast, the rest of us can appreciate the simple joys of life. Like a big friendly dog, loved by all -- but one.
Rbatche

Pearl River, NY

#20 Sunday Jul 16
The plaque for Butch is located on a rock near the police booth at the intersection of Bridge, School and Glen Streets. MGM made a movie about Butch.

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