In relative recent times Lake City was blessed with some really special people who contributed greatly to what Lake City is today. There was a span of twenty five or thirty years or so that we were so fortunate to have these incredible people as a part of our community. We miss them all and in the next few weeks we will remember some of these special people.
Edie Swanson was one of the sweetest, most helpful and opinionated older ladies you would ever know. She was a real treasure and contributed to Lake City in many ways. Probably her greatest claim to fame was the Swanson House Restaurant where it was, “CHRISTMAS EVERY DAY”. The restaurant was fully decorated with a Christmas tree and all the trimmings every day. This came about one September day when Lake City had an early snow fall and locals came into the restaurant complaining that it was like Christmas already. Edie got the idea and decorated the place like Christmas as a joke and to her surprise it was so well accepted she kept it that way. The little restaurant became well known and an article appeared in READERS DIGEST about the restaurant in a little community in the remote Colorado Rockies where it was Christmas every day. If you were around Edie any time at all she would tell you about her restaurant that had been, “Written Up”.
Then there was the time Mayor Bob had purchased vintage street lights for the town and they were being installed on the street corners around town. Edie disagreed with the proposed placement of the light in front of her business. After much discussion and explanation that with the wiring in place the proposed site was the only possible site, she still was unhappy. So unhappy that when the crew and backhoe arrived she lay down on the proposed site and refused to move. After much diplomatic negotiations by Mayor Bob while laying in the street with Edie the matter was resolved and the light was installed.
In those days radios and communication was not very good in Lake City and when a fire occurred Edie’s husband,Lowell, would receive the call and activate the loud siren that alerted the fire fighters of a fire. Fires almost always happened on cold winter nights but Edie would always stand on the corner of 2nd and Silver in her robe and house shoes and tell the fire fighters where the fire was. She was tough.
Edie was an accomplished pianist and she played at the Community Presbyterian Church for years. She would always play at the Community Christmas Dinner but the only problem being there was no piano in the Armory where the dinner was held. She would always enlist 5 or 6 of the strongest young men in town to carry her piano from her house across the street to the Armory. She would lead the Christmas singing and every one would sing or Edie would know the reason why not. After the Christmas dinner was over she would take the turkey bones home and create an incredible soup and take it around town to the less fortunate.
Edie was always there to help when she felt she could be useful. When our store burned and we bought the old Broad Ax building we found ourselves with a beautiful well equipped restaurant and not a lot of experience. Edie stepped in and saved the day. Our opening day in the restaurant was Mothers Day in 1981 and it turned out to be a roaring success thanks to an old lady named Edie.
As Edie aged, as we all must, she would drive her old car around town with her friends. The only problem was she would only drive about ten miles an hour and that would really cause backups with summer traffic. Edie died in her home that was a part of the restaurant with her friends nearby. The old building has been removed and a nice park has taken its place but all of us that knew her would rather have her back.