Paradise for the allergy sufferer |

Paradise for the allergy sufferer

Frontier DiaryWilla SoncartyRegistrar, Frontier Historical Society and MuseumGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Photo Courtesy Frontier Historical SocietyPrior to 1900, two patrons pose in front of Vapor Cave Number 3. In the summer and autumn of 1899, an epidemic of hay fever plagued the residents of Front Range communities. Seizing upon opportunity, the Avalanche Echo newspaper advertised Glenwood Springs clean air as well as the curative properties of the vapor caves as a relief to these sufferers of the everlasting sneeze and other hay fever symptoms.

“Others are here for treatment and all express satisfaction at their rescue from the everlasting sneeze and other disagreeable accompaniments of the dreaded hay fever. Our advice to the sufferers is ‘come to Glenwood Springs and be cured.'” – Avalanche Echo, Aug. 31, 1899 Colorado’s Front Range communities were in the midst of a summer epidemic. Weeds were in bloom, creating discomfort in such numbers that health departments were at maximum capacity caring for all afflicted. Inflamed noses, volleys of sneezes, visible handkerchiefs and a bustling laundry trade attested to the proliferation of pollen in the air.The Avalanche Echo newspaper of Aug. 31, 1899, reported, “The symptoms of the affliction first appear in July, when the July crop of weeds is in bloom, and is aggravated by the August auxiliary, reinforced by the floras of September, slightly abated by the decreased vegetation of October.” Only a frost would bring eventual relief. Physicians recommended menthol in an atomizer to decrease the discomfort. They also prescribed a change of climate.With that last prescription came lengthy advertising from the Avalanche Echo: Come to Glenwood Springs.According to the newspaper, Glenwood Springs was paradise for the allergy sufferer. This was a resort with clear air. The community was surrounded with a “growth of hardy, health giving trees – pine, pinion, and cedar – and there are no weeds growing on these wooded slopes.” The paper, however, did acknowledge some weed growth in town, and took to task those owning untended vacant lots, encouraging town authorities to take care of this small but troublesome problem.In addition to this advertised pollen-free environment, the medicinal properties of the vapor caves were also relayed. Testimonials from W.R. Logan of Colorado Springs and A.M. Hubert of Fort Collins told of the relief found in the caves. Both men claimed to come yearly to Glenwood Springs for the vapor baths. Both declared immediate cures resulting from the treatments.So, in the autumn of 1899, the rally cry directed toward victims of the dreaded “weed disease” was “Come to Glenwood Springs!” The change of climate, the clear air, and the mineral waters would alleviate what was known as the “everlasting sneeze.” “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. For more information, call 945-4448.

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