Monday, April 4, 2011

Rembering what places were like

An interesting edition of the Casper Star Tribune's history column appeared this week, under the title "Routines Disrupted".

The following caught my attention, showing what the town was like early in the 20th Century. It's easy to imagine everything being slower paced and more relaxed, and easy to forget the atmosphere that actually prevailed at the time:

Because the city authorities stopped them from selling liquor and insisted that there must be no more piano thumping in their houses, the landladies of the bawdy houses of Casper held an indignation meeting one day last week and decided to suspend business entirely, and accordingly all the inmates of the three places on David street were discharged on the first of the month and Saturday morning fifteen of them left town on the east-bound train, it is hoped to return no more.

“These people got the notion in their head that they could do just as they pleased so long as they remained in the restricted district, and high carnival was held nearly every night for awhile, and it was seldom that a big fight was not pulled off by some of them two or three times a week. They caused the authorities so much trouble that it kept one man on watch nearly every night to quell the disturbance. But after tolerating it until it could be tolerated no longer, the order was given out to cut out the booze and the music, and this made the madams mad and they have closed up their houses, and threaten to ‘kill the town.’ ...

“[I]f the places are ever opened up again, which they undoubtedly will be before the end of this week if they are permitted to do so, the people should, and no doubt will, insist that the places be conducted along lines that will not disturb the decent people of the town.”