Early local photographer takes photo op
From Rifle to Aspen, people were excited by the arrival of President Theodore Roosevelt in April 1905. The president’s prime mission was to have a private and uninterrupted bear hunt, punctuated only occasionally with scheduled speaking opportunities. To facilitate this peaceful hunt, members of the press were ordered not to venture within 30 miles of the hunting camp. Only those invited could meet with the president.One of those fortunate invitees was Glenwood Springs photographer Charles Ernest Krueger. Krueger was not a novice photographer. After his arrival in New York from Germany in 1865, he established his photography business. Eventually, he traveled throughout the midwest to Denver, until he came to Glenwood Springs in about 1903, establishing Glenwood Studios. Krueger was known for his artistic use of the camera. This artistry, and his ability to capture the best of a moment, earned him an invitation to photograph the president. He photographed Roosevelt’s arrival in New Castle. He then entered the camp, where he photographed the hunting guides and the president. Once the photo shoot was complete, Roosevelt and his hunting party prepared to leave camp for the hunt. Photographer Krueger, however, knew there was one more photo opportunity. He loaded his camera and journeyed ahead of the president, set up and waited for the party to arrive. As the party approached, Krueger saw Roosevelt speak to his guide, who then handed the president a rifle. Krueger gulped. He knew he was in violation of the orders restricting the press. He waited for his camera to meet its demise by the president’s bullet.Instead, Roosevelt graciously granted Krueger’s request for one more photo, this time with gun in hand. Roosevelt thanked him for the photos, and Krueger was then escorted back to camp.In later years, Charles Krueger abandoned his photography, making a living instead selling a tonic he had formulated to heal wounds and cure cancers. He died in Glenwood Springs in 1931, at the age of 88. The Frontier Historical Museum will be closed the week of April 24 for spring cleaning and exhibit changes. Beginning Monday, May 1, the museum will reopen with summer hours, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
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