Salida Centennial Photo Archive

If using an image in a publication or reproduction, please credit the Salida Regional Library, Salida, Colorado

(please click on each image for a larger view)

The Salida Centennial Committee has compiled this collection of old photographs as an ongoing project to help preserve the history of Salida and the surrounding areas.
Photos in this collection have been donated from the following collections:
•    Frank Thomson
•    Donna Nevens
•    Salilda Museum
•    Alice Chinn
•    Salida Fire Department
•    Josephine Soukup (Kratky)
•    Ernest Brownson
•    Alta Proctor
•    Janice Pennington
•    Dick Dixon
The collection was gathered by members of the Salida Centennial Committee photo sub-committee. Members include:
•    Dick Dixon
•    John Ophus
•    Carol Kellerman
•    Barbara Snyder
Other Salida Centennial Committee members are:
•    Charles Melien
•    Charles Brown
•    Marion Reynolds
•    Richard Harris
•    Arlene Shovald
•    Gail Anderson
•    Merle Baranczyk
•    Pete Siemers
•    Hoppy Randolph


(1) Salida: The Early Years
 by Eleanor Fry
, contributing editor Dick Dixon, 
Arkansas Valley Publishing Co., 
125 E Second St., 
Salida CO 81201
(2) Trails Among the Columbine
: A Colorado High Country Anthology; 
Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Town
, Salida, Colorado 1991/1992
, Sundance Publications Limited
(3) The Mountain Mail
, Arkansas Valley Publishing Co
., 125 E Second St.
, Salida CO 81201 
(4) Ray Perschbacher

   traintrain 2
Rotary snowplow on Monarch Pass ca. 1907

crew beggs
Using space left vacant by the 1888 fire, Charles Webster Crews and R. H. Beggs constructed this building in 1900 as a branch of their Pueblo store. The company, founded in 1882 in Leadville, went out of business in 2000 after closure of the Salida store – the last of three.  (1)

lumber yard
Located at the west corner of G and Second streets, a lumber yard had been established by V. C. Davenport, with a railroad siding in the rear. A load of wood roof shingles was ready for delivery to a new home site. The fenced area (at left) was a livery stable that became the base of operations for E. G. Hellman’s Turret & Whitehorn Stage Line in 1903.  (2)

d and rg
Hundreds of men were employed in the D&RG machine shops in Salida. It was the largest, most complete repair shop between Denver and Salt Lake City and could repair or rebuild any kind of disaster that might befall a locomotive or piece of rolling stock. On several occasions the crew built locomotives using spare parts from others. Maintenance was a large part of the work here.  (1)

Salida ca. 1883-1884.

The International Order of Odd Fellows – during a statewide convention – parade up F Street October 15, 1894, preceded by dignitaries in carriages and followed by one of Salida’s marching bands. Cantons of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows perform military-style drills for prizes in a parade up F Street Oct. 16, 1894. The group held its Grand Encampment in Salida Oct. 15-18, 1894, complete with military-style parades, lodge meetings and dances organized by its ladies’ division, the Daughters of Rebekah.

Six years after the disastrous 1888 fire, there appears to be construction work in the lot on the corner of Second and F Streets where the Knights of Pythias building stands today. Alger’s Drug Store is in the J. M. Collins building (with the large awning) at the left. In 2001 this is the parking lot for Pueblo Bank and Trust.  (1)

the band
Salida Band, July 4th, 1912:
•    Basses – James Pearce, Leo Vail
•    Trombones – Frank Albright, Forman Garretts, Fred Coombs
•    Altos – John Bush, Mr. Guy (?)
•    Cornets – John Manful, Earnest Feichtinger, Ulrich Waggener, Frank Holman
•    Clarinets – Otis Camp, Paul James, Frank Peck
•    Piccolo – Frank Mason
•    Drums – Harry William(s), George Gorham


shoeing shop
This horseshoeing business had the financial backing to locate in a brick building – much preferred after the 1888 fire – which is said to have been located between First and Second streets on G Street (at the corner of the alley). Netting was draped over the body of a horse to ward off flies and mosquitoes, terrible pests for both horses and people in the days before sanitation and mosquito-control districts. Used buggies were in the lot beside the shop.  (2)

Built after the 1888 fire, the J.M. Collins building at the corner of West Second and F Streets was one of the most impressive in the downtown district. The two segments at the right were razed in the 1980’s to make room for a parking lot.  (1)

fire dept
Construction rubble is heaped in the open space beyond the horses hitched to Salida’s new chemical and ladder truck about 1903. Unidentified firemen wear new dress uniforms, and harness on the team is complete with fancy decorations and feather plumes attached to the top of the bridles. When the town council outgrew its first offices, members bought Fraternity Hall at 140 E St. and moved the new fire equipment in downstairs and took the upstairs for city offices. By 1911, firemen were moved into the building at the right and city offices expanded onto both floors in Fraternity Hall. Both buildings are still used for city offices and fire department equipment. This truck is the only one that the fire department doesn’t still have.  (1)

monte cristo
The Hotel Monte Christo was decorated with American flags and bunting in commemoration of the Fourth of July. The lunchroom occupied this wing of the hotel, and the main entrance was to the left, where some gentlemen were relaxed under the canopy. By 1890, standard-gauge rail had reached Salida, and dual-gauge track was clearly visible here.  (2)

hotel monte cristo
The rear of the Hotel Monte Christo is seen in this rare view, recorded on a glass negative before 1889, during the period before the standard-gauge reached Salida. Tents were put up for additional staff on either side of the bunkhouse. The D&RG pumphouse is to the right of the hotel. Beyond the pumphouse coal shed, the cabooses are visible. A protective rock wall was built to prevent erosion of the property by high water from the Arkansas River. Tenderfoot Hill, still speckled with pinon and cedar trees, was beyond the hotel and railroad yards.  (2)

merchant tailor
Merchant tailor W. S. Buchanan employed men and women in the manufacture of clothing. Peeling wallpaper attests to a leaky roof and holes in the window blinds speak of neglect and wear. It doesn’t appear to be a comfortable work place.  (1)

unknown group
unknown group

c and s
Colorado and Southern trains served Nathrop and the Western Slope via the Alpine Tunnel after the demise of the storied Denver, South Park and Pacific about 1899. The C & S struggled financially as did its predecessor, finally abandoning the run to Gunnison in 1910 with closure of the Tunnel. The line from Buena Vista to Hancock was abandoned in 1924.  (1)
Maud Perschbacher dates this picture as taken in July or August, 1910 at the Alma Station. She identified the people from left to right as: a blind man named Redman, depot agent John Geyer and his wife, fireman Bill Cantonwine, engineer Bill Gallagher and his wife, conductor Jack Harris and his wife, Maud (Matthews) Pershcbacher holding her son, William Earnest Perschbacher (aged 3 months), John Raymond Perschbacher (son of Joseph and Maud), brakeman Joseph T. Perschbacher and Leonard Perschbacher (son of Joseph and Maud).  (4)

engine 30
Colorado & Southern engine No. 30.

Sometimes the only way to keep trains running on the Colorado and Southern was for crews to laboriously hand shovel snow from the tracks. This crew attempts to free a train trapped by slides between Hancock and the Alpine Tunnel.  (1)

panoramic special

W Panoramic Special ca. 1920.

royal gorge
D&RG Royal Gorge ca. 1920.

switch engines
This lineup of three switch engines was photographed in Salida in 1890. No. 213 was a narrow-gauge 1881 Grant-built 2-8-0, No. 576 was a standard-gauge 1889 Baldwin 2-8-0, and N. 218 was another narrow-gauge Grant 2-8-0. Note the arrangement of coupler pockets on the locomotives, which enabled them to handle either standard- or narrow-gauge cars. The D&RG seldom purchased new switch engines (No. 106 in Salida being one early notable exception) until the diesel era. Instead, old, small, or surplus road locomotives were converted for switching duty by adding front and rear footboards, as well as rear headlights, as these three locomotives demonstrated.  (2)

A narrow-gauge train had arrived from the west, a locomotive (possibly No. 218) was removing the loaded gondolas of ash from next to the ashpit, and No. 404 had moved out of the roundhouse onto the turntable. During the warm weather, locomotives under steam were spotted with their stacks outside of the roundhouse to improve ventilation in the building.  (2)
Walter Moore is pictured in the center of three men leaning against No. 404.

roundhouse tracks
All 27 roundhouse tracks and nearly half of the Salida roundhouse itself, are visible in this photograph, taken sometime between 1890 and 1892. Nearly half of the stalls carry four rails to handle both gauges. The 62-foot turntable was used until 1909, when it was replaced with an 80-foot model. Moving counter-clockwise from the roundhouse lead nearest the photographer, the following locomotives are visible:
•    narrow-gauge Engine 62, a Baldwin Class 56 2-8-0 (notice the irregular size of coal in its tender)
•    narrow-gauge Grant Class 60 (C-16) 2-8-0, No.213
•    a narrow-gauge tender from a Class 60 locomotive
•    an unidentifiable narrow-gauge locomotive
•    two unidentifiable standard-gauge engines
•    an unidentifiable narrow-gauge 2-8-0
•    narrow-gauge locomotive No. 404
•    an 1881 Baldwin Class 70 (C-19) 2-8-0
•    narrow-gauge No. 274, an 1882 Baldwin Class 60 (C-16) 2-8-0
•    No. 401, another Class 70 (C-19) 2-8-0
•    and two barely visible locomotives in the darkness of the roundhouse.
Class 60 Grant 2-8-0 No. 218 rode on the turntable. Class 60 No. 267 and Class 70 No. 409, along with two unidentifiable standard-gauge engines, rested on the ashpit lead. Six gondolas full of ashes, along with one empty, were spotted next to the ashpit. Three drag flangers were next to the ashpit. Notice the water column next to engine No. 267. At left – looking into the distance – you can see the water tank, the Hotel Monte Christo, and the Salida depot. Notice the attractive arch doorways of each roundhouse stall. Tenderfoot Hill looms behind the roundhouse.  (2)

fire destroyed
Fire destroyed 17 locomotives in the roundhouse and shops December 11, 1892, including Nos. 404 and 285 which were in for major repairs and couldn’t be moved. The blaze gutted 14 of 17 roundhouse stalls before city and D&RG firemen and about 100 volunteers could bring it to a halt. Low water pressure, rotten hoses, and freezing weather made fire fighting a nightmare, but there were no major injuries. Volunteers managed to save 20 locomotives and all the others were repaired when shops were rebuilt.  (1)

1892 fire
Shortly after the disastrous 1892 fire, locomotive servicing and repairs had to be done out in the open, in front of the roundhouse ruins. From this angle, the machine shop was at the left, and the charred boiler-house roof was visible beside the stack. Prior to the fire, the arch in the roundhouse doors had been bricked up. The 62-foot turntable was still in use. A standard-gauge switch engine, an 1890 Class 113 (C-28) Baldwin 2-8-0 in the 600-series, stood over the ashpit. Spotted on the roundhouse leads, from left to right, were Engines 227, 283, 400 (?), 401, 44, 530 (standard-gauge), 407 and 403. Burned hulks of locomotives remained in the remnants of the roundhouse.  (2)

middle class living
Late 19th century middle class living is evident in this Salida home, believed to be that of local photographer N. W. Meigs. The family plays cards amid busy decorations that include chair drapes, stacked pillows, heavy framed photographs and dark wood furnishings.  (1)

     colchester miningincreased mining
Increased mining activity – and some small financial successes in the late 1890’s – prompted a spate of prospecting by Salida businessmen and even a few children. They swarmed up the gulches northeast of town with picks, shovels and a little dynamite seeking “color.” They weren’t disappointed – at first – because they found showings of gold, silver, copper and lead. For a time during the winter of 1895-96, many businesses closed early so proprietors could go “mining.”
One of those efforts was the Colchester Mining and Milling Company, which dug two tunnels – No. 2 above – into the side of the mountain between Cleora and the mouth of today’s Longfellow Gulch. In the first photo, Thomas T Foster stands at left of the entrance to tunnel No. 2, arms folded across his chest. The boy with the shovel is his son, William Garnet Foster. The man in the vest is unidentified, as is the seated man; Richard Milton Bratton stands at the far right. The other men in the operation are unidentified.
No. 1 tunnel is just above the level of the D&RG mainline and about 100 yards away on a “gentle slope, just right for men pushing loaded ore cars to the railroad,” according to a Salida Mail article. Tunnel No. 2 is a few hundred feet above and a little east of the discovery opening. Plans were to connect the two inside the mountain, but ore ran out before then.  (1)

no 168
D&RG No. 168, photo taken between 1900 – 1902. Henry Harvard Haley is on the right.

Once large numbers of people began congregating into towns, commercial meat hunters provided – for a time – much of the food before regular supply lines could be established. Camp gear, big bore rifles, a few burros, some pack saddles or old Army McClellan saddles, and a keen eye were all that was necessary. This hunting outfit heads out of Buena Vista in about 1879.  (1)

francis haley king
Francis Haley King, on the left side of the buggy seat, and her unidentified companion, won second place in the children’s float contest for their entry in the July 4 parade. The decorations seem to have held together remarkably well considering the parade route ran 12 blocks up F Street, turned right on Twelfth before returning to First Street on G. It was touted then as the longest parade in Salida history.  (1)

tunnel 2
Tunnel No. 2, Colchester Gold & Copper Mining & Milling Co., Salida, Colo.

tunnel one
Increased mining activity – and some small financial successes in the late 1890’s – prompted a spate of prospecting by Salida businessmen and even a few children. They swarmed up the gulches northeast of town with picks, shovels and a little dynamite seeking “color.” They weren’t disappointed – at first – because they found showings of gold, silver, copper and lead. For a time during the winter of 1895-96, many businesses closed early so proprietors could go “mining.”
One of those efforts was the Colchester Mining and Milling Company, which dug two tunnels – No. 1 above – into the side of the mountain between Cleora and the mouth of today’s Longfellow Gulch.
No. 1 tunnel is just above the level of the D&RG mainline and about 100 yards away on a “gentle slope, just right for men pushing loaded ore cars to the railroad,” according to a Salida Mail article. Tunnel No. 2 is a few hundred feet above and a little east of the discovery opening. Plans were to connect the two inside the mountain, but ore ran out before then.  (1)

burro train
West of St. Elmo, 12,154 foot Tincup Pass provided one of the early access routes to Western Slope mining areas. Burro trains such as this one loading in front of the St. Elmo Hardware provided quick, inexpensive and relatively sure transportation for most general supplies. After arrival of the Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad, the town became a major shipping point for heavy freight as well and there were a dozen or more companies that were able to handle almost any kind of shipment. Busy winter stagecoach traffic forced drivers to replace wheels with sled runners for the hazardous trip over the Continental Divide between 13,555-foot Emma Burr Mountain to the north and 13,124-foot Fitzpatrick Peak to the south.  (1)

mary hanks   albert hanks
Mary Hanks & Albert Hanks

mystery man     mystery woman

mary e hanks
Mary E. Hanks

Mary Helen Alberta Hanks
Mary, Helen, and Alberta Hanks

dinner party
From left; Mary E., Alberta, Winona and Albert E. Hanks, other two on right unknown.

charles hanks
Charles Hanks

324 e second
324 E 2nd. St., since replaced by another building.

helen hanks     charles hanks 1
Helen Hanks & Charles Hanks

Albert Edmund Hanks’ tombstone

first church
The building above is said to be the first church in Salida. It was built during July of 1883, at the corner of 4th and D Streets, and was called the Salida Methodist-Episcopal Church. In 1888 it was replaced by another building.  (2)

wagon ride

helen and charles hanks
Helen and Charles Hanks, taken at 324 E. 2nd. St., Salida, Colorado.

winona hanks
Winona Hanks, 324 2nd. St.

winona and alberta hanks
Winona and Alberta Hanks

alberta hanks
Alberta Hanks, taken at 324 E 2nd. St.

d and rg band
D&RG Scenic Line Band members march in curb-hugging lines as they bring up the rear of one of Salida’s many parades. Horse-drawn floats and fire equipment obviously preceded the band. The parade route is eastbound on First Street, almost at its intersection with F Street. To the right of the Union Hotel is an assayer and chemist; Henry’s Place, a saloon, is in the frame building and the sign on the wall advertises Dr. Kilmer’s Swamp Root Kidney Remedy. Manful’s Barber Shop is at the right. The photo was taken before 1900 and all of the buildings except the frame one remain today.  (1)

janelle house
Janelle House

lela benton
Lela Benton

edna kalyniak
Edna (Eklund) Kalyniak

harry conley
Thought to be Harry Conley

ed creswell
Ed Creswell on the left

colburn jay
Colburn Jay, Mrs. Dunmire, Fred Watson, at Garfield.

dr cochems
Dr. Cochem’s house, corner of F and 4th. streets.

mt postcard     mt postcard back
Picture Postcard addressed to:
Mr. R G Ellis
921 Kalamath St.
Denver Colo
Feb 27-18
Hello, Bob, letter received this morning this is the way Monarch looks only it is worse snowing and blowing fierce and a good place to stay away from. What hospital is Myrtle at and why don’t you go to Morrison and see who is left up there also run out and see Arthor at Louises. Will write later–tell Babe Hello.
Don’t think it is ever going to stop snowing

these cars
“These cars stay on the back”
This train wreck occurred January 23, 1918 near Pando, Colorado. The engineer, Fred C. Graham, and the brakeman, Roy Foster Leininger, were killed. Leininger’s body was buried under tons of wreckage and crushed beyond recognition.  (3)

where roy was
“This is where Roy was”

looking for him
“Looking for him”

roy knickerbocker
From left – unknown, Roy Knickerbocker, Henry Franklin Knickerbocker, unknown, Tom Knickerbocker

family portrait
A family portrait

drive in market     drive in market 2
Oxford’s Market on Highway 50 (current location of Hub Bub Brewing)

Sheep in holding pens

fc watson store
F.C. Watson Store in Garfield, burned about 1929

Foundations for the roundhouse, Salida Colo. 8-1-23

20 stall
The 20-stall standard-gauge roundhouse was constructed in 1900, east of the narrow-gauge roundhouse. By the date of this photograph, August 1, 1923, a new eight-stall roundhouse addition was being constructed as a separate building; however it shared the 100-foot turntable with the original standard-gauge roundhouse. The 100-foot turntable replaced the original 80-foot turntable in 1917. Forms were set up to pour concrete for locomotive service pits, and brick was used to construct the building walls. A steam-powered shovel was used to cut back the hillside next to Cottonwood Gulch (sometimes referred to as “Rattlesnake Gulch”).  (2)

In this photograph, taken August 28, 1923, a large locomotive backshop was under construction behind the new roundhouse addition. The backshop, currently part of a lime products plant, is virtually the only railroad-built structure of significance remaining in Salida, other than the original portion of the hospital. A standard-gauge rotary snowplow sat behind the 1900 roundhouse, where a glimpse of the roof of the D&RG hospital is also visible.  (2)

roundhouse walls
Brick was used for the walls of the roundhouse – Salida Colo. 8-28-23

backshop 1
Construction of the backshop, Salida, Colo. 8-28-23

backshop 2
Construction of the backshop and roundhouse, Salida Colo. 8-28-23

baby wagon

     tug of warladies and gentlemen

family dog

north fork falls
Picnics in the mountains offered time for a little relaxation and a chance to get out of town. The falls of the North Fork of the South Arkansas River northwest of Maysville were easily accessible by buggy or via the railroad and an easy hike.  (1)


Young men took to bicycles in the early 1890’s like they do to cars and pickup trucks today. As with bicyclists today, the clothing had to fit the sport, and it was suits, ties, hats and vests – Sunday finery. Most were equally comfortable on these “safety” bikes or on the high-wheel “ordinaries.” They formed riding clubs, held a variety of endurance and short distance contests, and sometimes managed to rub parents and law officers the wrong way with their speed and crazy antics. This photo was taken in front of the I.O.O.F. Hall, Phil Bogler is third from the left.  (1)


football 33
1933 Salida High School Football Champions

football 34
1934 Championship Salida High School Football Team

football 35
1935 Championship Salida High School Football Team

haight and churcher
Haight and Churcher Furniture and Undertakers. Frank Churcher is driving.

haight and churcher 1
Haight and Churcher specialized in home furnishing sales and had a woodworking shop in which they produced a small amount of furniture. As a natural spin-off, they were the only coffin makers in Salida – so they became morticians as well. If people didn’t like what was in stock, the store would order fancy furniture and coffins for people who were willing to wait. Isaac Haight is shown here.  (1)

nina churcher
Dressed in Sunday finery, Nina Churcher, held by Frank Churcher, presents a bouquet of flowers to Commodore W. S. Schley who doffs his hat in thanks on May 27, 1899. Schley, and Admiral William T. Sampson, became naval heroes when they bottled Spanish Admiral Topete y Cervera and his fleet in Santiago Bay, Cuba, on May 19, 1898, then destroyed the Spanish fleet as it attempted to escape July 3. Celebrities, dignitaries and politicians frequently made themselves visible – or spoke – from their railroad cars as yard crews swapped locomotives. When residents learned someone special was coming, it was a good excuse for a parade – winter or summer.  (1)

Schley in the West — Salida Mail, May 30, 1899.

arthur thompson
Despite a schedule that included overseeing construction of the big Ohio and Colorado smokestack in 1917, getting married, and being promoted to superintendent at the smelter, Arthur Theodore Thompson (in the chair at the right) took time for a shave and a haircut at Manful’s Barbershop at 109 F Street in Salida.  (1)

duke's grave
Although damaged and vandalized, pillars supporting the roof over the grave of Duke remained in place in the early 1920s when this trio of young Salida women (Nina Churcher (Thompson) on right) visited the monument on their way to a picnic at the Crater, a popular Sunday hiking destination.  (3)

marvin ice houses
Marvin Ice Houses and Pond, ca. 1908 – 1910

inside methodist
Photo marked “to Jesse Hanks” August 15, 1898
Date corresponds with the death of Albert Edmond Hanks. This scene is inside the Methodist – Episcopal Church, the second building of three at the present location. The present building was erected in 1899, the first being demolished in 1888.

Unidentified workers who built the 365-foot smokestack grin happily as they pose with their boss, assistant superintendent Arthur Thompson, atop the stack November 14, 1917, during a simple topping out ceremony held that day. Thompson placed a silver dollar in the wet mortar of the last few bricks. Town clerk Bertie Roney, the first woman to the top of the stack, was hoisted in the materials bucket. Because she isn’t in any of the photos taken that day and the shadow of a woman’s hat is, Miss Roney was likely the photographer who recorded the event. She exposed four or five negatives that were later given to Arthur Thompson, who passed them to his son, Frank, of Poncha Springs.  (1)

wet mortar
Wet mortar, a trowel and unfinished brick-work in the foreground show the last stage of construction November 14, 1917. Southwest of the new stack is the old stack continuing to spew smoke over the valley. It was torn down a short time after the new smokestack was completed. The view from 365 feet up gives a good idea of the layout of D&RG and company rails.  (1)

365 foot stack
The view from the top of the 365-foot stack.

85 foot stack
For about 29 months, the 365-foot smokestack did the job for which it was intended, but financial hard times forced the company to close in 1920. The short 85-foot stack beside the tall one was razed in the late 1920’s to provide brick for at least a couple of homes in Salida.  (1)

brick yard
Major fires, two years apart spurred Salidans into a spate of brick construction that eventually saved the town from more devastating damage. A couple of brick yards were in operation before the 1886 fire, but within a year after the 1888 conflagration, there were at least four in production. Clay, sand and water are stirred into a stiff mud before it is packed into molds. It was repetitive, back-wrenching work, but it was lucrative for many years. George and Charles Lunnon are back near the kiln, Ben Lunnon is at the right, and Charles Schuth is seated next to the mixer.  (1)

mixing pit
The mixing pit at the brickworks, Ben Lunnon is kneeling at the right.

arthur and emil

Arthur Thompson, smelter assistant superintendent, and Emil Bruderlin, structural engineer, perch on the lip of the new smokestack during the topping-out ceremony. The large material bucket and one leg of the hoisting windlass show how materials reached the top. The wooden construction floor is a plug inserted inside the 17 foot diameter of the smokestack mouth. Bruderlin sits on a stack of bricks used for the last course of masonry.  (1)

salida elks 808
Salida Elks #808

hike to the crater
Salida High School hike to the Crater, Nina Churcher is on the left, Omer Divers is standing on the left in the back row.

salida hose no 1
Members of Salida Hose Co. No. 1 display their new rubber coats and recently purchased hose cart February 27, 1883. The fire house was on East First St. and included a tower for drying hose – which always seemed to be in short supply. The bell is believed to be the one purchased by women of Ascension Church. Although firemen couldn’t know it yet, they would be faced with using this equipment to fight four major conflagrations in the future. The December 31, 1886 blaze took out two blocks in the area bounded by F and G streets and from First Street to the Arkansas River. In 1888, a larger fire destroyed about two blocks on either side of F Street, north of First Street. Fire destroyed the D&RG Hospital in 1899. All were rebuilt. Firemen who turned out for the photo are Thomas Dansbury, Samuel King, Charlie Shirk, William Haight, Harley North, Frank Churcher (foreman), Call Smith, Fred Bateman, Samuel Mogan, Harry Whitehead, Charles Hawkins, Richard Griffith, Thomas Doubbie, Morgan Smith, M. W. Hicks, J. P. Smith and George McLain. The roster read like a “Who’s Who” of Salida businessmen.  (1)

odo club
O.D.O. Club

nina and omer
Nina Churcher and Omer Divers at the Crater

the tramps
Calling themselves “The Tramps,” this group of young men display the latest in late 19th. century male fashion. Seated are W. R. Kirkbride, Lewis Kirkbride, Frank Bogue, Harvey Russell and an unidentified man. The two standing are Charles Bogue and Edward H. Kirkbride. The painted backdrop is an effort to stimulate outdoor portrait photography in the days before cameras could conveniently be carried on location.  (1)

knights of pythias
Knights of Pythias Band –  taken during the Grand Lodge Session, September 3, 1890:
•    Comstock – Solo B flat
•    Logan – first B flat
•    Kirkbride – first B flat
•    Bogue – first tenor
•    Johnston – 2nd tenor
•    Gilliam – 2nd alto
•    Porchard – 1st alto
•    Smith – baritone
•    Motz – tuba
•    Williams – snare drum
•    Gillet – bass drum
•    Warner – drum major

Knights of Pythias Grand Lodge Meeting

no longer south arkansas
In 1883, Salida (no longer South Arkansas) was growing in three directions from the river. The Craig Opera House is at the corner of Second and F Streets and the Presbyterian Church, the first designed for religious services, is a little white frame building at the corner of Third and F Streets. A few days after this photo was taken in mid-May, the F Street bridge was seriously damaged by normal spring runoff when two sections were ripped from the center. The Monte Christo Hotel is complete and Central School, a small stone structure, is barely visible. Work hasn’t started on the new two-story brick addition that created a landmark.  (1)

d st bridge
Construction of the D Street suspension bridge was an early priority of the D&RG because so many of its shop workers and yard hands lived on that side of town. The bridge shortened their walk to work. May 30, 1904, Memorial Day, the bridge collapsed as 12 women and children threw flowers “on the bottom of the stream in memory of the heroic dead” who served in the Civil and Spanish-American wars. At least six died in the high spring runoff, and their bodies were never recovered.  (1)

h street school
This is the H Street School, which was built in the western part of town between Seventh and Eighth streets. Completed in 1892, the $20,000 structure housed the Salida Public High School on the second floor until 1910. Elementary classrooms were located in the partial basement and on the first floor. In 1920, the school was renamed “Longfellow,” after the American poet. After the present elementary school was constructed in 1957, the historic Longfellow School was razed in 1966.  (2)

denton hotel
Four stories capped with a corner tower made the St. Clair Hotel the tallest building in Salida when it opened for business June 6, 1890, and there are still none that equal or exceed it. The building, located on the northeast corner of First and E Streets, was 75-by-90 feet, included 68 sleeping rooms (many with their own bathrooms) and had a balcony on two sides. There was a fine dining room. Construction cost $45,000, in addition to $8,000 in oak furnishings. A grand ball with music by the Salida Concert Band was held to open what was then Salida’s finest hotel. As an aid to patrons who wanted rides to various points in town, there was 24-hour omnibus (hack) service. The St. Clair was too far from the railroad depot to be successful and by 1908 succeeding owners renamed it the Hotel Denton. It was torn down in the early 1970’s, when it was known as the Rainbow. (1)

St. Clair Hotel advertising card ca. 1900 — donated by Richard Reed.

fire wagon
Horse-drawn fire wagon.

tenderfoot behind roundhouse
Tenderfoot Mountain behind the roundhouse.

hospital and annex
Hospital and annex.

before the s
Looking North on F St, before the S was installed on Tenderfoot Mountain.

depot and railyard
The depot and railyard, viewed from across the Arkansas River, near where Riverside Park is located today.

silver dollars
February 25, 1954 – J. Ford White, C. H. Kelleher (President, Salida Building and Loan Association), Theo. M. Jacobs, Alice Chinn (Secretary/Treasurer, Salida Building and Loan Association). A patron of the Building and Loan had paid off a mortgage with this wheelbarrow load of silver dollars. Building and Loan officers are shown on the way to deposit the silver dollars at First National Bank.

silver dollars 1
C. H. Kelleher – Salida Building and Loan President, Alice Chinn – secretary/treasurer, and Theo Jacobs, Director, counting the 3,000 silver dollars a patron had used to pay off a mortgage.

new roundhouse
The new roundhouse.

no 83
Denver & Rio Grande locomotive No. 83 was in use here as a switch engine, and was posed on the mainline, with the rebuilt machine shop behind. Notice the front and rear arc headlamps in use on this Baldwin engine, the last Class 56 narrow-gauge 2-8-0 to be built, having entered service in 1881. The engine’s pilot truck had been removed, which converted No. 83 into an 0-8-0.  (2)

steve frazee

salida 1913

508 F

Photo by John Kratky who lived in Salida from 1912 – 1920.

colo auto co
“Colo Auto Co.” Photo taken by John Kratky.

kratky 1     kratky 2     kratky 3
kratky 4     kratky 5     kratky 6
kratky 8     kratky 9
Eight photos taken by John Kratky.

trees on tenderfoot
Trees on Tenderfoot Mountain are alive and well when this photograph was taken March 20, 1895. They began dying shortly after the smelter opened – upwind – in 1902, and by 1917 there were almost none left. Two foot paths up the mountain were used by hundreds of visitors who wanted to get a view of the city while they waited to change trains. The mountain was a favorite picnic spot for locals as well.  (1)

salida before 1890
Salida before 1890.

salida after 1890
Salida after 1890.

third rail
Although preparations began a year earlier, the third rail was laid through Salida during 1890. Addition of the outside rail allowed standard gauge as well as narrow gauge trains to operate over the entire Rio Grande system. Switches, frogs and rerailers – especially in the crowded Salida yards – were an engineering marvel. As late as 1890, the tender of this switcher is fitted with a kerosene work light.  (1)

100 trains a day
As many as 100 trains a day passed through Salida – and sometimes there were 15 or more passenger trains. That was apparently the case on this day in 1884. The coaches on the far track are awaiting wash jobs before returning to service.  (1)

mystery church
Unknown Church.

With riches inches ahead in mine shafts or tunnels, men were impatient and work often continued in deep winter snow and sub-zero temperatures near timberline. There was an insatiable demand for mine and construction timbers. Although work was brutal, the rewards were good enough that men such as this fellow at Garfield were willing to risk snow slides and frostbite to snake timber up dangerously narrow trails even in the dead of winter. Miners working underground usually didn’t feel the cold as much, but were faced with a difficult trip to and from work. There was also the chance that while they were underground, the entrance to their workplace might be buried by a snow slide.  (1)

A burro train hauls timber on Old Monarch Pass.

unknown town

good year
“Good Year Tires,” “Ajax Tires,” “Acme Rapid Fire Battery,” “KEEP MUFFLERS CLOSED WITHIN CITY LIMITS”

Wellsville Hot Springs, ca. 1908 – 1912.

enterprize club
Enterprize Club, Washington’s Birthday Party, February 22, 1905 – 06:
•    Mrs. Lairy, minister’s wife
•    Av va (sic) Alford
•    Carrie Darby
•    Bertha Tomlin
•    Miss Ashwell
•    Bessie Granger
•    Nona Black
•    Mrs. Black
•    Minnie Darby
•    unknown
•    Nettie Tomlin
•    Maude Meeker
•    Mrs. Collier
•    Cleo Ashford
•    Galen Gorham
•    Annie Elofson
•    Mrs. Dr. Brown
•    Lena Stokes
•    Edna Graham Meeker

class photo
Class photo, September 23, 1896.
Front Row:
•    Neil Ramsey
•    Oliver Jones
•    Frank Fox
•    William Woodside
•    George Asher
•    John Kilgore
•    Murray Gallagher
•    Clyde Spain
•    Ed Owen
•    George Phillips
•    Gel Hathaway
Second Row:
•    George Burgess
•    Irene Hallock
•    Trix Brown
•    Leona Hunter
•    Mannie Auberson
•    Stella Carmine
•    Bessie Bell
•    unknown
Third Row (seated):
•    Thomas McCracken
•    Mary Thomas
•    Winnie Wenz
•    Mary Hindman
•    Chester Dooley
•    Grace Tracy
•    Kate Welch
Fourth Row:
•    Lena Rout
•    Miss Baer
•    Maud Smith
•    Gertie Jones
•    Maggie Linton
•    Bess Hodgman
•    Etta Wilson
Two boys standing:
•    Joe Fein
•    George Disman

summery salida
Although most of the mess from the January 1888 fire is cleaned up in this summer photo, evidence can still be seen. Despite a massive rebuilding effort – mostly in brick this time – there are still many open lots along F Street above First Street. Rubble from the fire is visible where it was dumped along the bank of the Arkansas River near the F Street Bridge. After two major fires, it is interesting to note how much larger the area that is today Riverside Park has become.  (1)

unknown group 1     unknown group 2     unknown group 3

unknown group 4     unknown group 5     unknown group 6



Brick making was often a family business that included children, parents, and maybe a hired hand or two. Sun-dried bricks were stacked, 20,000-50,000 at a time, creating their own kiln. Plastered with mud to limit air, a fire was kindled and carefully monitored to harden bricks.  (1)

bricks drying     bricks drying 1     bricks drying 3
Bricks drying in the sun.
Clay was packed into three-brick molds which were then dumped on the ground in long rows to sun dry. This unidentified boy may have been responsible for the thousands of bricks drying around him. Most of Salida’s buildings are made of this soft, red local brick.  (1)

This wrecked car may figure into an anecdote about Laura Evans. Thanks to Tracy Beach for her input.
a chapter from My Life as a Whore by Tracy Beach

Motoring along the Arkansas River, where US Highway 50 is today.

near hutchinson
Near the Hutchinson Ranch, where US Highway 50 is today.

overlooking garfield
Overlooking Garfield.

mystery vehicle

motoring along the arkansas
Motoring along the Arkansas River.

4th of July
4th of July on F Street.

mystery woman 2     mystery man 2

alpine park lion
Alpine Park, 4th & F Streets. The Alpine Park Lions were carved by Abran Marchi.

near top of monarch pass
U.S. Hwy 50, near the top of Monarch Pass.

mystery drivers

smelter on the slag dump
The smelter, on the slag dump looking East at the power house and the smokestack, note the center plant in front of the smokestack. The overhead cables supplied electricity. The slag engines were evidently motorized, not steam mules as in other smelters.

AB Stein
ca. 1909 – A. B. Stein went to work at the Salida smelter as a boiler maker’s helper. Over his left shoulder can be seen two chimneys of the blast furnaces. The camera view was looking to the west.

standing on the slag dump
Standing on the slag dump looking Northeast at the blast furnaces, a corner of the power house is visible at the right.

master mechanic
ca. 1918 – A. B. Stein is now a Master Mechanic, and is pictured with his family in front of their house in Smeltertown. Pictured from left to right:
•    Walter, age 10
•    Alfred, age 8
•    Martin, age 6
•    Frances age 2

robert martin stein
1919 – Robert Martin Stein, age 7, in front of “My Rock” looking East, and happy in his first suit of clothes (home-made).

ca. 1918 – The Steins (France, Walter, Alfred, and Martin) in front of their house looking north. The warehouse and assay office in background.








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