The most iconic Wolfman of N.H. train ride fame has died


Monitor staff

Published: 04-04-2018 12:13 AM

Bill Farrand, whose portrayal of Wolfman at Clark’s Trading Post in Lincoln remains the standard by which all others who played the part have been judged, died Monday at the age of 60.

Farrand had been battling lung disease, which forced him to retire as Wolfman 10 years ago. He was one of about 30 men who have assumed the role.

“Everyone is heartbroken,” Maureen Clark, one of two bear trainers at Clark’s, said Tuesday night by phone. “He was such a sweet person. Not a scary Wolfman. He was loved by children.”

Farrand’s career as Wolfman began in 1993, when David Clark, grandson of co-founders Florence and E.P. Clark, met him at KOA Campground in Woodstock. Clark’s opened in 1928.

“He was doing the lawns and caretaking the grounds, and we started talking,” David Clark said in an email sent to the Monitor by his daughter.

For 14 years, Farrand, sporting a thick, bushy beard and clad in a coonskin cap, fur clothing and eye patch, chased a steam locomotive, packed with children, driving an antique sprint car that had sharp teeth out front and a prop machine gun in front of the steering wheel.

He shot a rifle, loaded with blank powdered shotgun shells, and was told by children to “Scram, you old goat,” once they realized they were in no danger.

He called trespassers on his land, “nothin’ but city-slickin’, pigeon-lickin’, yellow-bellied, long-nosed geezers.”

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Farrand loved children, although he never had any of his own.

“He wanted a million kids,” Maureen Clark said. “So many generations of kids loved him. They just swarmed around him, and he was a big kid himself.”

Eventually, Farrand’s portrayal became known all over New England and beyond.

“We loved all the Wolfmen,” Maureen Clark noted, “but he was our favorite. He was outstanding. He was Wolfman 24/7, 365 days a year.”

In fact, Farrand howled one last time in his hospital bed before passing away, according to Maureen Clark.

Farrand is survived by four brothers, two sisters, 14 nieces and nephews, and four great-nieces and -nephews. Calling hours will be held Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. at Fournier-Hale Funeral Home in North Woodstock, with a memorial service beginning immediately after.

(Ray Duckler can be reached at 369-3304, or on Twitter @rayduckler.)]]>