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Frontier Diary

Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum

For early Garfield County residents, June was not the chosen month for marriage. From 1884, when the first marriage license was issued by Garfield County, to 1899, more marriages were recorded in the chilly month of December than any other.

With fields to plow, fences to mend, livestock to tend, crops to harvest, food to preserve, fuel to gather, and buildings to construct and repair, this left the quiet winter months for the pioneer farmer and rancher to consider taking a mate. By the early 20th century, this trend toward winter marriage had changed little.

The businessmen of Glenwood Springs in 1910 sought to temporarily break this pattern. They considered August a splendid month for marriage. Therefore, any couple marrying Sunday, Aug. 14, would receive premiums in addition to marital bliss.



County Clerk Hubbard offered marriage licenses at the reduced rate of $1.50 while Justice C.M. White lowered his fees to the happy couples. The Colorado Midland Railway provided free round-trip train transportation.

Free lodging was offered at the Grand Hotel at 8th and Cooper. The Hotel Colorado prepared a bridal banquet. To commemorate the event, photographer F.E. Walters donated one wedding photograph to each couple.



Looking to the future, Dr. Kennedy of Basalt offered free medical services for the birth of any of the couples’ first children, while the Aspen-Democrat Times would give a dress to the family’s “first edition.” Attorney S.J. DeLan wished all a peaceful and prosperous union, but he would waive his legal fees should any of these couples require a divorce.

Newspapers record no couples marrying on Aug. 14, 1910. Apparently, love comes on its own terms and marriage is premium enough.

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday and Thursday through Saturday.


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