Rifle Reflects: 100 Years Back
Aug. 18, 1905, wasn’t a particularly momentous day in Rifle.
In fact, there wasn’t even a “Rifle’s Incorporated!” in big bold letters, or “We’re Finally a Town!” in that day’s edition of The Rifle Telegram.
Instead, just a tiny 16-line story on the front page titled “Nominating Convention” explained that “the business men of the town” (remember, women couldn’t yet vote) were calling a meeting to discuss who would be nominated to run for office in the town’s first election on Sept. 5.
And on the editorial page, amidst six other topics, the Telegram expressed this opinion about the town’s new status:
“Now that the town is incorporated, and an election of officers is about to be held, The Telegram wishes to counsel harmony as well as judicious care in the matter of making the first selection. Get together and place in office level-headed men who have the interests of the entire people and not some single clique or faction. Let brotherly harmony prevail, especially at this time. The future interests of the town demand it.”
That was about all that was written about incorporation.
Keith Lambert, Rifle’s mayor circa 2005, said he’s not surprised.
“You can think of it like this,” he said. “You buy a new house. You’re involved in all aspects of the process. It takes awhile, so by the time you get to actually closing the deal, it’s not a huge event.”
But in retrospect, he continued, as the years go on and the house holds years of memories, the day you first purchased the place becomes a much more significant date.
“And that’s what we’re doing today,” Mayor Lambert said. “We’re commemorating that 100 years ago, people bonded together for the common good. They took the initiative to make Rifle a community. They had the foresight to create their own destiny. That’s what we’re commending.”
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Construction for the South Midland project is on schedule, though crews will continue to work on weekends to keep the course.