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Estes Park Archives Working On New Publication For EP 100th Anniversary

 The National Park Hotel on East Elkhorn Avenue, built and run by Mrs. Harriett Byerly from 1920 until her death in 1955.  Photo by Sanborn real-photo postcard R-500.

The National Park Hotel on East Elkhorn Avenue, built and run by Mrs. Harriett Byerly from 1920 until her death in 1955. Photo by Sanborn real-photo postcard R-500.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the incorporation of Estes Park in 2017, the Estes Park Archives is working on a publication honoring the 100 most important businessmen, businesswomen, and business families in Estes Park, both past and present.

Although the final list generated will be arranged alphabetically, rather than as a “ranking,” it is interesting to propose ways that such a ranked list could be generated from objective parameters, rather than entirely subjectively, from the opinions of a panel of “experts,” for example, or by popular vote.

A perfect example is Harriett Byerly, the owner/operator of the downtown National Park Hotel for more than 30 years beginning in 1920, who was also the matriarch of a family later responsible for such businesses as the Park Theatre Mall and the Estes Park Bowling Alley.

Now that all of Estes Park’s newspapers up to 1950 have been digitized and are completely searchable, Harriett Byerly is far and away the most frequently-mentioned individual in Estes Park newspapers (stripping the database of advertisements, reporter bylines, and newspaper employees listed week-to-week on the masthead), and is unlikely ever to be surpassed.

From the perspective of an unbiased, raw count, was Harriett Byerly thus more important to Estes Park history than Abner Sprague or Mrs. Julian Hayden (the second and third place finishers, respectively, in such a “contest”), or is their predominance in local newspaper pages an artifact or how early newspapers gathered and reported the news?

The Estes Park Archives will begin exploring this theme on Saturday, February 22 at 1:00 p.m. in the U.S. Bank Building meeting room at 363 East Elkhorn, across from the downtown Starbucks. The program is free and open to the public, and advance reservations are not required.

 

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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