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Determined women organizecommunity celebration

Willa Soncarty

Miss Gertrude Porter believed Christmas should be a time of magic for children and an opportunity for community celebration. She wanted to create a gathering place for that one day – a place where songs could be sung and treats enjoyed. She wanted a community Christmas tree that would illustrate the beauty of the season and promote the joy of the holiday to residents and visitors.With this mission in mind, Miss Porter and a committee of enthusiastic women canvassed local businesses in December 1915 seeking monetary donations to fund a community celebration. One hundred twenty four businesses and individuals contributed nearly $100 to the cause. The money was used to purchase stockings filled with candy and nuts, which would be distributed to the children during the celebration. The women then organized a Christmas program. Songs were selected to be sung by local school children, the Male and Ladies’ Quartettes, and by the Girls’ and Boys’ High School Glee Clubs. Moore’s Orchestra would supply the program’s opening music.Sam Thompson donated a beautiful spruce tree which was set in the intersection of Eighth Street and Grand Avenue on Christmas Eve. As a donation by the Glenwood Light and Water Company, colored electric lights illuminated the intersection.At 4 o’clock on Dec. 25, 1915, Santa Claus, in a sleigh donated by Deacon Livery, arrived at the community Christmas tree, marking the beginning of the celebration. Any child of any age could attend the program as all were invited to “partake of Santa Claus’ favor.” Gertrude Porter desired to bring a community together during the holiday. Her joyful view of the season sparked a continuing Yuletide tradition.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Mondays, and Thursdays through Saturdays.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Winter hours are 1-4 p.m. Mondays, and Thursdays through Saturdays.


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