Baby born in Colorado town of Salida, named Salida

Map of Salida, Colorado, from 1882

The Colorado mountain town of Salida (pronounced sah-LIE-dah) was founded in 1880. It’s name was based on the Spanish word for “exit” or “way out,” salida (pronounced sah-LEE-dah), because it’s located close to where the Arkansas River flows out of the Upper Arkansas Valley and into Bighorn Sheep Canyon.

Not long after Salida was established, the town fathers announced that a free plot of land would be given to the first baby girl named after the community.

In May of 1881, Stephen and Esther Hunt of Salida welcomed a baby girl, and — taking the town up on its offer — named her Salida Gertrude.

But when Salida Gertrude tried to collect her prize upon turning 21, she was denied. The offer had apparently never been entered into the town record and made official.

Nearly 80 years later, on Salida Gertrude’s 100th birthday, Salida town mayor Ed Touber tried to make things right by presenting Salida with a plaque “bearing her name and the town symbol.”

Something’s better than nothing, I suppose.


Image: Bird’s eye view of Salida, Chaffee County, Colorado. 188 – LOC

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