Business,  Katheryn McMahon Newton Album,  Logistics,  Social,  Travel

The Man of the Hour

Katheryn McMahon Newton album, cards 101-104

Last post included Fred’s post-show review of seeing “The Man of the Hour” at the Pueblo Opera House. The first card today Fred sent to Katheryn prior to the viewing, with a little backstory — and an image of the Opera House.

Based on this card, Fred did not stay at the Antlers Hotel, although he referenced it in a prior card. Instead, he stayed at the Grand.

Good Morning Dear: Wrote you of my arrival here last night. Dont tell a whole lot about [on reverse] the town yet as have not had chance to look up + over the place. Met a party, on train from Colo. Spgs, travelling for a paint house in Chgo + he said he would get a couple of seats for the “Man of the Hour” playing here tonight (He having seen it in Denver) I know where + who I would rather be with While here, I am stopping at the Grand hotel—Leave for “Glenwood Spgs” Sund AM Fred

Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 15 February 1908

The reference to the person he met on the train is interesting. The other traveled for a paint house–likely also a salesman. For those of a musical inclination, this may bring to mind The Music Man‘s opening scene with a train car full of traveling salesmen. I wonder why it’s taken to so long to come to my mind in conjunction with this album, but now it has! While Fred would, of course, rather be with Katheryn he did seem to have a felicity (useful for salespeople) of making friendly acquaintances wherever he went. (Whether or not he kept them is another matter and hardly something likely to come up in his postcards.)

This next card dates from a few days earlier, Fred’s official notice to Katheryn that he was departing from Denver with attendant promise to let her know he’d safely reached his next destination. No other message on the back, hence I’m only providing the front.

Large wooden entrance to Elitch's Gardens with two signs over an archway.
Fred Newton to Katheryn McMahon, 12 February 1908

Based on a quick web search, Elitch’s Gardens is still in operations. It’s an amusement park. I’ve driven through Denver (been there too, but not as often as driven through) and some of the rides are very definitely visible from the interstate. Whether or not the entrance shown here is still in existence? That I can’t speak to. But anyone who wants to (and has the money) can go when it’s open.

This next raises all manner of questions that likely shall never be answered (so what else is new?). It’s postmarked May of 1907 and addressed to Kittie McMahon at her place of work, not her home.

The message blazoned across the front could be a simple question–or a loaded one implying some degree of sentiment. Unless another card from the sender shows up in the dwindling number remaining to be processed, this is all we’ll ever have.

There’s also the question of who the sender is/was. Finnegan? or P.P. Lake? or some combination of both?

And then there’s this card from Boston sent to Anna McMahon on 12 July 1907. The postmark (not shown here) specifies it was processed at Back Bay Station–i.e. at the train station, and the time stamped was 1 P.M. The date is one day prior to when J.T.R. sent Anna a number of cards from Niagara Falls. The handwriting is very similar, and so I think we can speculate with a degree of certainty that we’re right. Or I can, at least.

That’s all for today.

“The Man of the Hour,” copyright 2021, A.R. Henle.

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