Two-story Bathhouse PlannedWritten by Dick Perue
Headlines in the June 7, 1900 issue of “The Saratoga Sun,” read:
Hot Springs Hotel
To Have a Two-Story Bathhouse
Added on the North Side with Waiting Rooms and Other Modern Conveniences
Hon. F. Chatterton, Secretary of State, James M. Rumsey, cashier of the First National Bank of Rawlins and R. A. Smiley, owners of the Hot Springs Hotel property, have all been here this week looking over the situation.
Mr. Weaver, who formerly owned one-fourth of the property, has disposed of his share to his partners, the above named gentlemen. The present owners have determined on radical improvements on the property, one of which is a two-story bathhouse, 20 by 32 feet, which will be built on the north side of the hotel. This building will contain bathrooms on both floors, the upper story for ladies and the lower for gentlemen. In each story there will be a large waiting room, handsomely furnished, toilet rooms and every other convenience and comfort possible for the pleasure and benefit of the patrons of the place.
The upper story will be connected with the hotel by means of a covered passage way. The hotel and bathhouse will be supplied with a system of sewerage and hot and cold baths. The tubs in the bathrooms will be of slate and made to order for the proprietors.
There will be a water tank on the top of the bathhouse, which will hold 1,160 gallons of water, supplying shower baths and as a safeguard against fire. A gasoline engine will pump the baths and supply the tank, bathhouse and hotel with water, fresh and cool from the river, which flows by the hotel door.
The hotel is handsomely re-furnished and, when the bathhouse is finished and furnished – which will be by July 15 – Manager Baker will have a hostelry second to none in the state. Both the owners of the hotel and the people of Saratoga are to be congratulated on this improvement, which will soon place this property in first class shape.
Postcard from the Past - ‘Slow Auto Race’ Event New at 1916 FairWritten by Dick Perue
Livestock, vegetable, flower and grain exhibits, bread and cake baking competition, art displays, horse and foot races and a bucking contest were the usual events staged at the Carbon County Fair held in Saratoga in early September.
However, several new and novelty events were featured in 1916 according to an article in the Sept. 7 issue of “The Saratoga Sun.”
The hometown weekly newspaper reports:
“The ladies' nail-driving contest had several enthusiastic entries and competition was lively...This contest was driving two 40-penny spikes in a log, and the fastest time was 12.5 seconds.
“The half-mile running race, which was the big event of the afternoon, was taken by the McPherson horse first, with McPhail second and was a very close race among the three contestants.
“The ladies’ potato race was taken by Mrs...
“The novelty race, in which there were 12 entries, was won by Harry Anderson, with Jack Tapers second.
“The ladies' foot race was won by...
“The start of the Carbon County Championship Bucking Contest showed the following entries:...The string of buckers was heavy, and all of the boys made excellent rides, except..., whose horse came very near falling and was compelled to ‘pull’ a little leather, although the boy seemed to be a good rider, but this disqualified him for the finals.
“The afternoon program Tuesday started with the Rep race, which consisted in the riders going to bed with chaps and boots off, getting up, dress, saddle one horse, pack the other with a diamond hitch and run around track, half mile. This race had five entries...
“The fast half-mile burro race was taken in by...
“Following the burro race was the ladies' nail-driving contest for non-winners.
“The relay race was contested between Harry Anderson and Chas. McPhail, with Anderson being an easy winner. This was 2.5 miles, change saddle and ride five horses. Anderson’s work was perfect in the fact that he never made a single wrong move and was sure of his ground every foot. This was close enough to be interesting until the fourth horse.
“The slow auto race had about 12 entries, but most of them quit before they got far... This race was one-half mile in high gear, and the slow time was something over nine minutes.
“The riders up in the big bucking contest the second day were... From these were chosen the three former for the finals. All of the boys put on splendid rides, but it was plain that Cook made the three cleanest rides, drawing good buckers. Baiers put on a fine ride at the last. Tapers was thrown, virtually after having made the ride. His horse bucked to the fence, and he loosened up in the saddle, preparing for the fence jump he figured the horse was going to make; upon reaching the fence the horse turned, not jumping, but Tapers did.
“Arrah Wanna won the money for the best bucker.
“The town was well-lighted, and the evenings were spent in the picture shows and the dance hall. The fair put up a pavilion under canvas, which was used for a part of the evening the first night for dancing and was intended to be used the second night for the street mask ball but a rain cooled things off and there were only a few masked.
“Owing to the sudden illness of Prof. Bowman of the University he was unable to attend the Fair and lecture, which was a disappointment to the people as well as the association officials.”
Postcard from the Past - A Delightful Home in a Special PlaceWritten by Dick Perue
Settling of the West could not be complete until good homes were built. The May 23, 1895 issue of the hometown weekly newspaper portrays one “Delightful Home” as thus:
“On Tuesday, Attorney Alfred Heath and The Sun man went to the beautiful ranch of W.B. Cowan and took lunch with that estimable gentleman and his charming wife. Those people possess an ideal home in a lovely spot, and its charm is daily being made more powerful by the additions and improvements of the grounds surrounding it.
“The house, which was constructed by J.H. Jefferson, of pine logs, several years ago, stands in a bend of the river, adjacent to a thick grove of cottonwood trees and is flanked on the east by a range of high picturesque bluffs. It is modeled after the styles of old country residences, with a hall running the full length through the center of the building, in which an old fashioned fireplace holds a prominent place.
“The furnishings are in keeping with the character of the building, and it would be hard to conjure up a more delightful, picturesque and inviting interior than is presented by this building.”
Of course, if you have a beautiful home you must have a special place to build it. In the same issue of “The Saratoga Sun” appeared the following advertisement:
To the Public
“No place in the West presents the same advantages in the way of location, climate and natural resources as the town of Saratoga. Situated on one of the loveliest streams of water in the world, in the midst of a fine stock raising and agricultural country and surrounded by mountain ranges, it is sure to be the Denver of Wyoming.
“The climate is mild and invigorating, the scenery delightful and romantic, and a score of medical hot springs rise right in the midst of the town to lend their healing virtues to the many other attractions with which the town is surrounded. The best of public schools, fine churches, a public hall and a public library are to be found in this attractive city.
“Business and dwelling lots are to be purchased on very reasonable terms. Now is your time to invest, while prices are low and terms easy.
“There is abundance of water for irrigation and thousands of acres of land in the country immediately surrounding this town open for settlement. Come and make your homes in a land where you will never know want, where the soil yields, in the greatest abundance, everything that mankind needs and where a poor man may become wealthy by honest toil.
“For information Address: The Sun, Saratoga, Wyoming.”
Postcard from the Past - 1916 Fair Features Ladies' Nail-DrivingWritten by Dick Perue
Much interest was shown in the ladies' nail-driving contest held during the Seventh Annual Carbon County Fair in Saratoga the first week of September, according to an article in the Sept. 7, 1916, issue of “The Saratoga Sun.”
Tidbits from the hometown weekly newspaper follow.
“Two Big Days of Celebration – Fine Exhibits – Large Crowd of Pleased People”
“...RHS Band and Orchestra Furnished Music –...”
In part, the article reads,
“The Carbon County Fair is over as far as the celebration is concerned, and it was the best pleased crowd that ever came off the grounds at the close Tuesday night. Some 3,500 people were here and took in every thing and enjoyed every minute. Saratoga was a good representation of the best people of the county and there was no disturbing elements to mar a perfect event.”
“The exhibition of livestock was above par and some of as fine animals as ever were shown were in attendance at the grounds here this week. Canary and Sons exhibited their thoroughbred Hereford show stock, which were classy stuff. We were sorry to not see more of the purebred and grade cattle of the valley. C.A. Kennaday had some extra good Durham bulls, which took blue ribbons in their classes.
“Horses of several breeds were exhibited. This included draft mares, stallions, colts and mules, owned by different ranchmen over the valley...
“Some very good sheep were exhibited...and the hogs shown by several ranchmen were good.
“There was a good display of poultry, some of it from Snake River, and nearly all were in the prize winning class.
“The art building was beautifully decorated, with bunting and evergreens, as well as the grounds and grandstand. The decorations are directly due to Secretary Casteel, who also secured the street decorations for the town. This building was comfortably full of everything from vegetables to flowers. The fancy work department was well billed and was a display seldom seen. This was needlecraft, knitting and crochet.
“The vegetable and grain exhibit were about as good as could be found in the state and included every kind of garden truck and all kinds of field grass and grains, potatoes in abundance, sweet corn and even tomatoes, while some crab apples also attracted some considerable comment.
“In the kitchen department, the bread and cake was the hardest work placed before any judges at the fair this year, and the competition. There was little room for placing the ribbons on the quality.
“The winners of the bread-baking prizes were in the following manner: Mrs. L.P. Howard, winner with bread made with up-to-date flour; Mrs. M. Munz with Puritan flour; Mrs. Ralph Wood with Cheyenne Chief; and Mrs. Ferry with 5X Lexington Cream, which also took the grand champion prize over the other bread.
“The afternoon of Monday was taken up by the speed program at the race track, which started off at 1:30 p.m. with a quarter-mile cow pony race.”
“The ladies nail-driving contest had several enthusiastic entries and competition was lively...” but, then, that’s another entry for the next Postcard.
Postcard from the Past - Novel events at 1915 County FairWritten by Dick Perue
Organizing, promoting and continuing a county fair in 1915 was a chore that fell to local businessmen, ranchers, government officials and supporters. In August of 1915 the hometown weekly newspaper ran the following article:
“Solidly backed by every business interest in the county and with the county government providing a fund that guarantees one of the most successful ventures of its kind ever promoted in the state, the Carbon County Fair will open on the sixth of September at Saratoga. A group of hard working enthusiasts...and directors of the fair association are leaving nothing undone to write the 1915 celebration big in the annals of county fair.
“Anticipating the fish fry on Cadwell’s Island, the first day of the fair 2,500 trout may be heard on the banks of the North Platte singing the song that all good fishes sing before they go down into the valley of dry bones. Eight men, arch enemies of the fish clan, anyone of whom considers himself disgraced if he comes to camp with less than the limit for a day’s catch, have engaged to whip the streams for three days preceding the opening of the carnival to supply fish for the crowd. A prize of $40 is posted for the man making the largest catch.”
The newspaper listed the anglers and noted:
“They are the artists selected to supply the crowd (with fried trout), and the wise boys say that no one will go to bed hungry that first day.
“Besides the regular menu of western sports and agriculture displays ranging from the largest steer in the world down to canary birds, the directors promise that the three days’ carnival will be replete with new features.
“A Better Baby show, which already has thrown Carbon County mothers into nights of sleepless worry lest their baby be not proclaimed the prettiest, pinkest one of the garden; Captain and Mrs. A. H. Hardy, firearms experts, who smash glass balls from a speeding car, plunk leaden pellets into a chalk white board until they come into being a Teddy Roosevelt smile, teeth and all, together with a troupe of side splitting entertainers and musicians will provide inspiration for all night dances. These are among the attractions that the managers of the fair promise Saratoga guests.
“Another phase of the 1915 exhibit that the directors are emphasizing is the fact that this is a county fair, not a neighborhood enterprise.
“Entrants from the Elk Mountain section, side by side with ranchmen and farmers from Snake River, will compete with residents of the North Platte Valley for the prizes that are being offered. And Saratoga herself, the soul of hospitality, is preparing to make everyone welcome.”