The building housing Mrs. Phyllis Rodgers’ New Leaf Tea Room and Gift Shop at 606 Main marked its 100th anniversary in 2010.
Previous uses of the structure include a meat market for Ezra Perkins, a drug store, and a furniture store before Phyllis turned it into the highly regarded tea room that it is today. Seen below, the day after Christmas, the store looked like an icy confection, and the beribboned gaslight completed a picture which just as well might have been taken a several decades ago.
Probably few people realize that it is HSR member Paul Daly who has so faithfully hung the red bows on Riverton’s gas streetlights for so many years.
I emailed him to tell him how much I appreciate it. I also asked how it was that he started to decorate the posts. He wrote back:
I think it was …when I started (with the HSR) in 1988. Betty Hahle was our president and the Christmas (House) Tour was being held. She suggested that it would be nice if all of the gas lights were decorated. Somewhere along the way my hand went up and I said I would do my side of the tracks. …I got Harry Richman to help me… since he is tall he volunteered to put up the bows.
You should also know that Paul is our HSR treasurer and has been the go-to guy for so many essential tasks over the years. Despite setbacks caused by a serious operation in 2004, or a wrestling match with a ladder in which the ladder won, Paul has always returned to see that this tradition continues. A number of helpers over time have included Cathy, his wife, and various other persons whom could be persuaded to help. For the past several years, Paul’s neighbor, Grant Cole has shared the task. Paul continues:
This year I asked for a dozen new bows to replace ones that were ripped off the posts and others that are worn. This did not happen and we were short six bows. Apparently, the other side of the tracks was not done at all. Is this one of the traditions that is going by the wayside? Thanks for asking.—PAUL
A sincere Thank You to Paul and to all who have helped preserve this uniquely Riverton holiday tradition. – John McCormick, Gaslight News Editor
P.S. There are more vintage images of 606 Main as well as many other places in and around Riverton. Click on the IMAGES tab near the top of the HOMEPAGE.