From the Archive: Headlines from History

by Lesley Drayton, Curator, Fort Collins Local History Archive

What was newsworthy in Fort Collins one hundred years ago? Well, you can find out by visiting the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection! This amazing site has thousands of scanned newspapers from around the state dating from 1859 to 1923, and the best part is they’re all keyword searchable! That’s enough to make this archivist tear up with joy.

One can spend countless hours perusing four historic Fort Collins newspapers: the Fort Collins Standard, Express, Courier, and Weekly Courier. I thought it would be fun to see what was going on in Fort Collins on this date a century ago; the closest I could get to today’s date in the weekly paper was November 10, 1910.

The paper was full of election news, and a fun story:

The City of Fort Collins fostered the gambling spirit in town by holding a public auction of unopened, unclaimed parcels. Some bidders were luckier than others; one unfortunate man “paid a fat price for a fat telescope found it to contain old rags and dirty ties,” while “one tall individual drew a case of juvenile suspenders.” Another fellow nabbed a mystery box containing baby shoes. According to the Weekly Courier, “he was a bachelor.”

Of course, the ads in the paper are always entertaining.  Here’s a great one from Patterson Pharmacy:

And here is a photo from the Local History Archive of the interior of Patterson Pharmacy where Fort Collins residents from 1910 could purchase their Snow Liniment.


And what paper would be complete without at least one scandal?

What pieces from today’s new do you think people might find interesting one hundred years from now?


6 Responses to “From the Archive: Headlines from History”

  1. 1 Katie November 8, 2010 at 9:36 am

    I want to imagine that the bidders at the unclaimed packages auction had a Yankee swap afterward where they opened their packages and tried to trade with everyone else. Because you all want the Ipod, and no one wants the ceramic serving platter shaped like a wombat.

  2. 2 Doug November 9, 2010 at 8:14 am

    I want to know more about the ladies who were insulted on Mountain Avenue. What was the insult? And who were the insulters? Scandals demand details!


  3. 3 Katie November 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Good point, Doug! And did the insulters apologize? Otherwise we end up with an “avenging the ladies honor” thing going on, and those don’t always end well…

  4. 4 Lesley November 9, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    @ Doug: Here is the “Ladies Insulted” article in its entirety from the newspaper. There are a lot of juicy details missing, but there is a thinly veiled threat to the “miscreant”!

    “Complaint has been made to the effect that a young man on West Mountain Avenue has been insulting ladies. Two cases have occurred within the last few days in the same neighborhood. Friends of the ladies are prepared for the miscreant and there is apt to be trouble, if the offense is repeated. In each case the insult was offered in the early evening.”

  5. 5 Katie November 10, 2010 at 9:14 am

    “Friends of the ladies are prepared for the miscreant and there is apt to be trouble…” – Love it.

  6. 6 Doug November 10, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Yikes! Sounds like frontier justice in 1910. Presumably the miscreant took the hint, assuming of course he read the newspaper…..

    Thanks for the full article,


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