Colorado City saloon enactment proves popular

       “Happy Hour at Jake's Saloon,” a special fundraiser by and for the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS), raised more than $2,000 March 3, according to OCCHS President Sharon Swint.

ressed as turn-of-the-20th century Colorado City bar owner/baker Jacob Schmidt, Phil McDonald talks to two of the attendees March 3 at the "Happy Hour at Jake's Saloon" fundraiser for the all-volunteer Old Colorado City Historical Society.
Westside Pioneer photo

       ”The community embraced the event,” she said, estimating attendance in the History Center at the maxium capacity of 90. The income resulted from paid admissions and sales at a simultaneous silent auction.
       “OCC merchants and OCCHS members were sooooo giving in providing silent auction items,” Swint said in an e-mail. “The old pharmaceutical bottles we sold were part of a very large donated acquisition (the Harold Collection). The items sold were duplicates and triplicates of the items we have in collections. It is our hope that some of the proceeds from the fundraiser will be used to set up an acquisition fund, so that we can buy an item of historic importance to OCC when it becomes available such as we did with the Fosdick map. This is something that has not been an option in the past.”

Portraying legendary, hatchet-wielding temperance leader Carrie Nation during a skit later in the evening about Schmidt's life, Kathy McBride draws laughter when she tells Schmidt, "I've destroyed better bars than this!" Both McDonald and McBride are society members.
Westside Pioneer photo

       Attendees were treated to a skit featuring OCCHS members Phil McDonald dressed as Schmidt and Sandy Hanzlian as his wife Bertha. Other players were Kathy McBride as Carrie Nation, the famous temperance leader from that era (turn of the 20th century), and Gerry Murphy, as a Colorado City cop who arrests her before she can swing her famous hatchet on Schmidt's bar.
       In character, McDonald told how Schmidt was born in Germany but to avoid military conscription at age 16 he moved to the United States in 1881. He learned baking, and a bakery was his and Bertha's initial business after they moved to Colorado City in 1888. But in 1896 he sold the bakery and partnered in a beer hall - displeasing Bertha - and ran it until the town “went dry” in 1913. The building he constructed for the saloon in 1904 still stands at 2611 W. Colorado Ave.

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