Legends & Legacies: Beer Bust
“Saloon keeper Bowman who runs a place on Hunter Street back of the Bank Exchange was arrested yesterday for selling beer to a little girl,” reported the Aspen Daily Chronicle on Dec. 11, 1890. “He pleaded guilty and paid a fine of $5 and costs, and those familiar with the circumstances consider his punishment very light. The little girl lives with her parents on East Durant Avenue. Some of the employees of the railroad had seen the child go into Bowman’s place after beer. The matter was reported to the police. Yesterday one of the officers watched and saw the girl coming out of the saloon with a pitcher of beer. He followed her to her home and found out what she had. A warrant was then sworn out for Bowman and he was taken to jail. He put up the money for his fine and costs and was released. Had the man been present in court his fine would probably have been much heavier. The girl is only about 12 years old. It is likely that her parents after this will go after their own beer.” The image below shows an advertisement for Bowman’s Musee and Saloon, circa 1900.
This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at aspenhistory.org.
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