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Sheep & Goat Fund

Home San Angelo San Angelo History The Lighter Side of the Frontier

The Lighter Side of the Frontier

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Nothing says summer relief better than a jump into some cool waters, and when not fishing, the citizens often took advantage of a cool swim. This circa 1900 shot of a family or friends outing reflects the modesty of the age with the full body swim suits, and note how many are staring right into the camera lens. Another smaller group on the river bank prefer to watch.

By Robert F. Bluthardt
Site Manager, Fort Concho National Historic Landmark

Published November 2012

In the last 30 years of the nineteenth century, San Angelo, Texas, developed from a “whiskey village,” serving the soldiers of Fort Concho, to a thriving trade and commercial center, where 6,000 folks lived, worked, and, yes, played! We sometimes forget that the need for recreation, entertainment, and amusement is both timeless and universal. Our ancestors at Fort Concho and in our community made good use of the natural resources, available equipment and their imagination to provide a break from the daily chores and routines we might find unbearable in the modern age. These photos, selected from the fort’s large collection, cover some of that era’s amusements and diversions. Some remain with us, and some have faded away, but all reflect a truly different age.

The bicycle craze captured the nation in the 1890s, and San Angelo was no exception. This staged photo represents the San Angelo Wheelmen, a period bike club. The rock ledges of the Concho River create an impressive background for this serious group. Both the bikes and the horses in the top section would be left behind by the automobile craze a generation later.


Images are provided courtesy Fort Concho National Historic Landmark. For use or more information about visiting the living museum of Fort Concho, call (325) 481-2646, or visit www.fortconcho.com.

 

 

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