Pueblo Colorado was a very bustling city during the 1920's. From 1920 to 1930, the city's payroll was more than two million dollars per month. There were more than 16,000 workers who were employed in various industries, and 181 factories employed over 10,000 people. Pueblo had the largest steel plant west of Chicago. Saddleries, candy factories, mills, machine shops, druggists, and cigar makers were a few of the prominent businesses that made Pueblo thrive during the decade. Typical 1920's "flapper" fashion paved the streets, and The Pueblo Chieftain Newspaper offered colorful ads to its female readers in the typical art deco theme of the time.
Pueblo had it's very own automobile maker, the Baker Steamer Motorcar & Manufacturing Company. There were around five wholesale grocery stores, and the railroads employed over 2,000 people living in Pueblo. However, the 1920's proved to be unsuccessful for some due to a variety of reasons. For example, the Walter Brewing Company was closed from 1916 until 1933 after prohibition. Bar, tavern, and saloon owners lost most of what they had strived toward. The infamous 1921 flood wiped out a large portion of downtown that included multiple businesses and those that established them. (To view flood photos, please see our Southern Colorado Water Trails Collection).
Pueblo's Grand Opera House met its demise late to early morning on March 1, 1922 after a fire started on the top floor. Despite fire fighter efforts and freezing temperatures, the Grand Opera House burned to the ground in less than an hour. Some of those images are included in this collection.
The purpose of this collection is to briefly summarize what life was like during the twenties in Pueblo. Of course, there are many businesses, people, locations, intersections, streets, and historical notations that are not included. Omitted unintentionally, this collection pays homage to all that labored, worked, created, and established a life in Pueblo Colorado during the 1920's and those that endured the roaring decade.