KEMMERER — It’s been 40 years since the Kemmerer Senior Center began its long history of community service, and it celebrated that anniversary with a special luncheon for center clients and community members.
Over a lunch that included chili, cornbread, salad and — of course — cake, center director Terri Cartwright provided guests with information about the center’s history, including answers to a “1972 Kemmerer Trivia” quiz prepared for the occasion.
The center was registered with the Secretary of State’s office on Oct. 25, 1972 and met at both the Eagle’s Hall and at St. James before the building was completed. The land upon which the building was constructed had been donated to the city by the Union Pacific Railroad; the county built the building using local contractor Bud Atwood.
The layout of the original building changed over time as more rooms were added, including medical rooms, a pool room, office space and the bus garage. Major improvements have also been made to the facility’s kitchen.
The first center director was Jill Grubbs. Subsequent directors included Kathy Streeter, Betty Mowry, Martha Bertot, Sue Giorgis, Trudy Skinner, Rosie Birgenheir, Linda Wood and Roxanne Rudy. Giorgis was instrumental in getting the center’s first bus and incorporating home-delivered meals, in addition to securing state grants for the facility.
Perhaps more fun than visiting with center clients and community members was looking at the pictures the center staff had gathered to commemorate the event and finding out the answers to the trivia questions the staff had come up with.
According to Cartwright’s trivia answer key, what follows are some interesting facts you might not have known about Kemmerer in 1972, or might have forgotten if you were here at that time:
•The coldest temperature in 1972 was recorded on Jan. 6 and was 34 degrees below zero.
•The 911 emergency system was implemented on March 31, 1972.
•The mayor of Diamondville in 1972 was Douglas Horsbourgh; Diamondville’s clerk was Thorma Harris.
•Pork chops were selling at Qual-Mart for 69 cents a pound.
•John J. O’Connor was the priest at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
•Diane Avery was the dance teacher at the “School of Dance” located at 1006 Cedar Ave.
•William Waid was the fire chief with the Kemmerer Volunteer Fire Department and Jerry Floyd was the assistant chief.
•Sylvia and Umpie Carrota ran the Frontier Bar.
•The City of Kemmerer, Kemmerer Coal Company and Frontier Supply Company all celebrated their 75th anniversaries in 1972.
•Pharmacist Rick Somers was the salutatorian of the Kemmerer High School class of 1972.
•Governor Hathaway visited the city on April 13 and designated Kemmerer as “Wyoming’s Capital for a Day.”
•Mine employees were brought in to help remove snow in town after four days of continuous blizzards blew into the area on Jan. 9, resulting in snowdrifts that measured 12 to 20 feet in height.
•The mayor of Kemmerer in 1972 was Dave Nelson.
•The Fraternal Order of Eagles was founded on June 15, 1972.
•The postmistress at the Frontier Post office was Caroline Nicholls.
•The Lincoln County treasurer’s annual salary was $29,000.
•A monument displaying the Ten Commandments was placed in Triangle Park on June 15, 1972.