The Salida club was sponsored by Pueblo 43 and came into being March 11, l936. Sponsorship by Pueblo was to be expected since Salida, a thriving railroad town where the narrow gauge and main line of the D&RG met, was closely tied to Pueblo. With several passenger trains daily to choose from, the citizens of Salida made Pueblo their shopping center.
Early membership rolls and list of presidents indicate that Salida was typical of service clubs in the thirties with bankers, retailers and utility managers playing a major part in club activities. While we still have representation from those areas, in 2001 our membership tends toward professionals and entrepreneurs.
The first home of Salida Rotary was The Indian Grill, a storefront cafe in downtown Salida which disappeared many years ago. After several other locations including the corner cafe of the Sherman Hotel, the club found its way to the basement meeting room of the Methodist Church. It was there that the club gained its reputation for some of the finest cuisine in District 5470. The Methodist ladies spoiled our members for many years before reluctantly giving up due to a shortage of volunteers. After the church our club tried a number of restaurants both downtown and on the edge of town (Highway 50) before settling on the Senior Citizens Center in downtown Salida where we had the same outstanding caterer for the past four years. We then moved to the Salida Golf Course and now we are back at the Salida Community Center. We are told we have our reputation for excellent cuisine in the district back again!
Over the years our club has boasted three district governors --- not bad for a club with less than 50 members. The first one, Harold Koster, first and foremost a politician, served several terms as State Representative. When he decided he should be a Rotary DG, he promoted himself without the support of his own club and succeeded in becoming DG without ever having been a club president. Our other two DGs, Clyde Edmonds and Jack Leighton of more recent vintage, followed the accepted procedure of being president first.