Frontier Diary |

Frontier Diary

Willa SoncartyRegistrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyThe Garfield County High School building as it appeared in 1925. By 1926, the schools student body had adopted the demon as the schools mascot, with the colors of red and white chosen as the school colors. While the Garfield County High School building no longer stands, todays Glenwood Springs High School has retained the demon as its mascot, along with the colors of red and white.

On Jan. 18, 1915, the doors of the newly completed Garfield County High School opened, allowing the school to receive its first students. Located at the site of today’s 1405 Grand Ave., this institution of higher learning welcomed not only students from Glenwood Springs but also from communities throughout Garfield County.In the two decades following the end of World War I, high school enrollments increased throughout the United States. As a greater number of students came together to learn, unification and identification through the use of colors and school mascots became commonplace. Garfield County High School was no exception to this trend. As enrollment in the 1920s brought more students from surrounding towns and farms, Garfield County High School students searched, too, for that unifying and identifying mascot. They had to look no further than the Glenwood Hot Springs.Geothermal activity spawned the creation of the hot springs. This same activity inspired myth and legend. The Ute Indians used these springs for healing and as a connection to a higher spirit. Non-Indian settlers of Glenwood Springs sometimes described the steamy waters as a connection to the underworld – a place of fear, superstition and intimidation.By 1926, the students of Garfield County High School had selected the demon as the school mascot. To the students, the demon represented a unifying force when participating in athletic competition. But just as the atmosphere created by the hot springs could have many different interpretations, so could the Garfield County High School demon mascot. “A person with energy and drive” is also a definition of “demon,” and those qualities defined the student body and the Glenwood Springs community. The Greek word “daimónion,” from which the word “demon” is derived, is defined as “thing of divine nature,” a term which could be used to describe the hot springs.Fred Willman’s book “Why Mascots Have Tales” states, “High school mascots are like the tip of an iceberg. What we see is a name and a logo. But, the stories beneath them tell us much about the geography, the history and the people.” Today’s Glenwood Springs High School Demons are no exception.”Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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