Everybody loves photographs. But we especially love photographs from the distant past.
Vintage photos tell a story that is distinctly different than our own, and they portray people that we likely don’t know. But despite the different times and faces, the places are often recognizable. We therefore have a connection with these people whom we don’t know and we have an understanding of their lives circumstances. It is a fascinating one-way relationship that we will likely – and unknowingly – share with others in the future.
Vintage photos are that much more enlightening when we know a little information about the people or the situation. We know what may have motivated them to take the photograph. We may more completely understand – beyond what the photograph might suggest – what brought these people together into these particular circumstances and activities. We gain the invaluable insight into another time which reveals that people from another culture and society oftentimes have the same motivations, desires, hopes, and fears. In short, old photographs most elementally teach us empathy, which is possibly one of the most valuable traits we can learn.
All of this to say that we have been digging through our old photographs lately and have unearthed a trove of vintage photos that need to be identified, archived, and most importantly – shared with you. We’ve copied them into a digital medium and enlisted the invaluable skills of our grandmother, Annabeth Light Lockhart, who has helped us identify who is depicted and what is going on. All of these particular photos predate her, but many of the people in them knew her as a child. Now through her we are able to form a invaluable, albeit minute, connection with these people who were photographed almost 100 years ago.
A St. Patrick’s Day Serenade
According to Annabeth, this photo portrays the entire high school posing in front of F.M. Light & Sons on St. Patricks day, 1915. While we can only conjecture on why this activity included the entire student body, we like to assume it was just a good excuse to get out of the schoolhouse as, apparently, schools in the Yampa Valley didn’t have snow days very often back then either. In any case we do know that Anna Shearer, soon to marry Clarence Light and eventually become Annabeth’s mother, was the principal of the high school and that she brought these students down the street to serenade Clarence at the store. It was a fun St. Patrick’s day activity judging my the looks on their faces and the costumes they are wearing. They went to serenade Clarence, but first they had to take a selfie.
High School Hangout
More Steamboat Springs High School students, this time enjoying some sunshine on the school steps sometime in 1915. Other than their age and their location Annabeth didn’t recognize them, but the picture was probably taken because they were Anna Shearer’s students. Once again the fashion is one of the most fascinating aspects of the photo. These high schoolers are wearing a suit, dresses, and a Native American feathered updo. Perhaps they are dressed for a special occasion, but most likely this was normal for an average day at school. In any case, a smiling young face is always a good sight so we share these smiles with you.
This photograph dates to 1919 and shows the Steamboat Concert Band before a performance at the Royal Hotel in Yampa, CO. Clarence Light was one of the band’s trombone players. The Royal Hotel was built in 1903 and was still in use until January of 2015 when it was unfortunately destroyed in a fire.
While these are all that we’ve got for now we are excited to bring you more vintage photos in the future. It is important to gather all the information we can so that we can present the most interesting information about each photograph. If you have enjoyed these photos and would like to see more, or if you know any information about these vintage photos, please let us know. The history of the Yampa Valley depicted here is not just our particular story. It is the story of all of us who lived, and are living, in Northwest Colorado.