Devereux was Glenwood’s `First Lady’ |

Devereux was Glenwood’s `First Lady’

By Willa Soncarty

Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum

With the grand opening of the Hotel Colorado on June 10, 1893, Walter Devereux’s work was complete. His seven years of planning, financing and building transformed Glenwood Springs from frontier town to health resort.

Behind each successful man is a strong woman. Such was Walter Devereux’s wife, Mary Porter Gregory Devereux.

Mary Gregory was born in Manhattan in November 1850 to William and Hester Gregory. The family was financially comfortable, and Mary enjoyed trips to the family’s country home and an education at the all-girls Ferris Institute.

The Ferris Institute transformed Mary’s life. She cultivated her artistic talents. It was through her sister’s friendship with a fellow classmate, Olivia Devereux, that Mary met her future husband, Walter Devereux.

A smitten Walter proposed marriage to Mary in 1873, however, the engagement was prolonged by Walter’s studies and travels. In 1880, the couple married.

Walter’s mining career took the couple to the wilds of Arizona in 1881, where a tent was a temporary home. In 1883, the couple moved to Aspen, and then part-time to Glenwood Springs.

Mary took pride in her children: Walter, Jr., William, Hester and Alvin IV. Through violin lessons, European trips and the opera, she exposed them to worldly ideas, and through church her Presbyterian faith. She cared deeply for her husband, nursing him through nervous exhaustion and a stroke.

Her passion for painting, fine art and furniture energized her mind. She was physically energized by good food, polo and camping.

Mary Devereux succumbed to Bright’s Disease in 1911. With her passing we lost a woman truly deserving the title “Glenwood’s First Lady.”

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“The Second Summer of the

Sisterhood” By Ann Brashares

373 pages

Delacorte Press; $15.95

Rule No. 1: “You must never wash the Pants.” Why? Because these are magical pants; they possess an otherworldly power that dramatically affected four teenage girls.

Their mothers were known as the “Septembers.” Four best friends from the same pregnancy aerobics class that were all due in early September. Their four daughters-Lena, Tibby, Carmen, and Bridget-grew up closer than sisters. Eventually, the mothers’ relationship diminished, but the daughters’ only became stronger.

The first book in the series, “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” describes the first summer in which these girls are not together. Bridget went to soccer camp, Lena traveled to Greece, Carmen visited her father, and Tibby was left at home.

While packing, Carmen discovered a pair of old, forgotten jeans. Purchased in a second hand shop, the pants appeared completely unremarkable. But then Carmen and her friends tried them on. And despite the fact that they are all different heights, despite the fact that they all weigh different amounts, the Pants fit them all!

And what’s more, the Pants fit each girl as if they were tailored for her alone. And so the “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” was established. The Pants traveled between each of the girls, partaking in each of their adventures, and at the end of the summer, they reunited and recorded everything onto the Pants.

Well, that was last summer.

This summer is different. Initially, everyone, except Tibby (who had plans for a college film program) was going to stay home. But plans are always apt to change.

Bee spontaneously decided to flee home and spend a clandestine summer at her grandmother’s. Lena found a job at a local boutique, but spent more time working on her lovesick heart. Carmen, confused and emotional because of her mother’s new boyfriend, struggled to cope. So the Pants were pulled out of hibernation and returned to active duty.

Ann Brashares’ talented pen created four distinctly unique teenage girls. And just as the remarkable Pants are able to fit each one perfectly, this book will fit each reader as well.

Maybe soccer-loving, attention-getting, lean, blonde Bee is someone to whom it is easy to relate. Or maybe ethnically beautiful, artistically talented, timid, unassuming Lena if familiar.

Possibly, there is a little part of each girl that the reader resembles. Regardless of whether you’re a Bee or a Lena, a Tibby, or a Carmen, it’s comforting to read about someone like you.

Even if The Sisterhood were only a mediocre read (which it is definitely not), the quotes hidden between the chapters would make it worthwhile.

“Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed.” – Michael Pritchard

“You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E. L. Doctorow

“Nothing is too wonderful to be true.” – Michael Faraday

A fantastic summer read, full of familial love, romantic love, unrequited love, and friendly love, this book is emotion full and sweetly simple at the same time. Lose yourself in someone else’s lovesick heart for awhile.

“Rule No. 10: Remember: Pants = love. Love your pals. Love yourself.”

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