‘The Turkey Syndicate’ distributed birds to Colorado families
Glenwood Springs, November 1921. In the effort to profit from the Thanksgiving holiday, five resourceful young men hatch a plot to corner the poultry market. Nicknamed “The Turkey Syndicate”, the men set up their operation in Gavin’s Garage at 901 Grand Avenue. Their mission: to kill, dress and distribute one thousand turkeys. Their market: hungry families across the state of Colorado.Ray Meyers, the brains behind the operation, enlisted his friends Les Mechau, Ray Ould, Morgan Gavin and Bob Ryan in the scheme. Their “Syndicate” purchased about a thousand live birds from farmers across the country. All were delivered to Glenwood Springs where they were butchered and prepared for processing.While Meyers was good at calculating profits, he was not so accurate in estimating the work required to meet the orders. As the bird carcasses stacked up, removal of the feathers fell behind. In the effort to meet demand, twenty more young men were hired. With the two hundred extra plucking fingers, the work continued for three continuous days and nights.The feathers literally flew from the birds. Some feathers floated outside. The hundreds of thousands remaining within garage made the building resemble a mattress factory.In the end the orders were met, and Meyers was given high marks for his ability to make a profit from the deal. However, in the turkey plucking department he was given a failing grade.Many a young Glenwood Springs man probably massaged cramped fingers before reaching for a drumstick on Thanksgiving Day. The pain was just a reminder of the work required to make a holiday special.”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. Mondays, and Thursdays through Saturdays.”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. Mondays, and Thursdays through Saturdays.
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