Glenwood provided motorist assistance |

Glenwood provided motorist assistance

Willa Soncarty
Registrar, Frontier Historical Society and Museum
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyAutomobiles had become a regular sight on Grand Avenue by 1925. The Glenwood Motor Club, envisioning the popularity of the auto, established its club rooms in 1912 to assist the traveling motorist. The ornate street lights marking the club's entrance are visible in the center left of the photo. When the club moved its rooms, the street lights were relocated to entrance of the Masonic Lodge on Colorado Avenue, where they remain today.

Assistance to the motorist was one of the missions of the Glenwood Motor Club. Incorporated on April 8, 1910, the club promoted to the general public the joys of automobile ownership and travel.

This group of businessmen was so passionate about its cause that it changed the face of transportation in Glenwood Springs. A week before the club’s official incorporation, seven identical Ford automobiles had been delivered to members of the club. This first mass auto shipment was prominently displayed to the public on Grand Avenue, allowing Glenwood Springs residents to admire the transportation wave of the future.

The Glenwood Motor Club realized that automobile travel, while exciting, was not without difficulty. With that knowledge, the 20 members established a club room in the Sweet Building at 817 Grand Ave., with the sole purpose “of furnishing a rest and pleasure room for visitors.”

The Glenwood Motor Club’s rooms were expertly painted and were furnished with expensive rugs and comfortable chairs. The front room was used as a reading room and reception area. The back room contained billiard and pool tables. A player piano provided musical entertainment. Ornate street lights on Grand Avenue marked the club’s location.

From its official opening in May 1912, the rooms of the Glenwood Motor Club were available to all traveling motorists. Members of the club sought no financial gain from the rooms.

The Glenwood Motor Club’s rooms remained in operation at 817 Grand Ave. until 1933. They then moved to the First National Bank building at 802 Grand Ave. and finally to 714 Grand Ave. The club disbanded in 1938.

Through the help of the Glenwood Motor Club, the public realized the economic and tourism possibilities created by the automobile. Glenwood Springs would never be the same.

“Frontier Diary” is provided to the Post Independent by the Frontier Historical Society and Museum, 1001 Colorado Ave., Glenwood Springs. Summer hours are 1-4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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