Frontier Diary |

Frontier Diary

Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyThe men of the Glenwood Springs Volunteer Fire Department pose for a cold winter day photo in 1922. This photograph which appeared in the January 1923 issue of Fire and Water Engineering magazine, promoted the department as well as the resort of Glenwood Springs.

“Most of us prefer to take our daily plunge when the air is at a fairly even temperature, but these hardy boys of Colorado say, ‘Come on in, the water is fine,’ when the mercury is flirting with zero, even if their bath is a hot one.”

“Fire and Water Engineering, January 1923

In 1922, the men of the Glenwood Springs Volunteer Fire Department donned their bathing suits and braved the cold for some photographs. Their poses promoted their department as well as the vacation opportunities of Glenwood Springs itself.

Glenwood Springs had recently hosted a fireman’s convention, with fire chiefs from across the nation in attendance. The warm weather during that convention failed to convince many from the east of the winter conditions possible in the great state of Colorado. It was with that disbelief in mind that Charles Canady, member of the Glenwood Springs Volunteer Fire Department, decided to send an example of a Colorado winter to his colleagues. At the same time, he did a little visual boasting about the hardiness of his department.

The fire laddies positioned their American La France fire truck on the hot springs pool grounds for the photo shoot. Photographs show the men, dressed in bathing suits, standing near the truck, their feet buried in more than a skiff of snow. They all were described as “cool as cucumbers in a cake of ice.”

Charles Canady sent the photograph to the editor of Fire and Water Engineering magazine with a letter. In January 1923, the magazine, considered “the oldest and largest journal devoted to fire protection and water supply,” published Canady’s letter and the photograph. Glenwood Springs and its fire department received much deserved national publicity.

Today, our fire department is still strong and so is Fire and Water Engineering magazine, which is currently published under the name of Fire Engineering.

“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. Monday and Thursday through Saturday.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User