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Steamboat icon celebrates a century

Ty Lockhart, left, and Del Lockhart sit with their mother, Annabeth Light Lockhart, who will turn 100 years old on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

No one is looking forward to the party on Saturday, Feb. 12, more than the guest of honor, Annabeth Lockhart, who will be celebrating her 100th birthday.

“We are going to have a party,” she said from a lounge chair in the front room of her downtown Steamboat Springs home this week. “Of course, I’m excited. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

There were no traffic lights on Lincoln Avenue when Clarence and Anna Light welcomed their baby girl, Annabeth Light, into the world on Feb. 15, 1922.



Growing up in Steamboat Springs, Lockhart remembers a time when horses could still be found tied up in front of downtown stores, the school in Steamboat was on Seventh Street and everyone knew everyone else.

“There are times when I miss the closeness,” Lockhart said. “We used to know who would be in the next Diamond Hitch (Parade at the Winter Carnival) or we would know who was in the band. You just knew everybody.”



And it would seem that everybody in Steamboat at that time knew her family.

Lockhart’s grandfather F.M. Light traveled from Ohio, making the last leg of his journey on the stagecoach in 1905. That same year, he started F.M. Light & Sons, a downtown men’s clothing store with his sons Olin and Clarence. The store still holds its place on Lincoln Avenue today.

Family members can't identify Annabeth Light Lockhart in this photo taken in downtown Steamboat Springs during a Winter celebration, but they know that she is one of the skiers in it.
Lockhart family / Courtesy photo

“It’s gotten twice as big as it was when I was a little girl, ”Lockhart said. “We used to have a pot stove for heat, but that was a long time ago.”

Lockhart grew up in Steamboat Springs, where she started working at a local candy shop when she was age 10. At times, she worked for her father at F.M. Light & Sons, but she said she never really felt comfortable working in a men’s clothing store.

Lockhart also remembers the good times she had with her mom, dad and five brothers and sisters, including Bruce, Frances, Margaret, Audrey and Marian.

“In the spring, we walked up on the crust and pulled our sled,” Lockhart said. “We lived on Logan, so we walked up to the top of the hill and coasted down on the sled. We would usually get as far as Crawford (Street).”

She said her father was often along for those rides, enjoying his time with his family while putting food on the table and making sure the downtown store was serving the community through good times and bad.

“There were times when we didn’t have a pot to pee in, “ Lockhart said of the Great Depression. “I just remember that we didn’t have everything we wanted. We just didn’t have it, and we didn’t ask for it.”

But her father was a good provider, and today most of her memories are centered around the good times when she hiked along the trail that led to Spring Creek Reservoir, or when she was a member of one of the first marching bands to perform on skis, as part of the high school program where she played the clarinet.

She takes pride in the fact that she joined Gloria Gossard, Catherine Campbell, and Doris Harwig as one of the initial groups to take part in the Diamond Hitch Parade. The girls wore identical ski costumes with balloons fastened to their clothes when the event was added to the Winter Carnival’s lineup in 1931, thanks to the Ladies Recreation Club of Steamboat Springs.

Lockhart also remembers family picnics along the Elk River and fishing trips with her father at Hahns Peak Lake.

“We almost always went up the Elk River,” Lockhart recalled. “If we went to Hahns Peak, that would be the ultimate.”

She still remembers when her mother let her attend Saturday night dances at the Legionnaire’s Hall, which was on the southeast corner of Fourth Street and Lincoln Avenue.

“My mother thought it was OK for me to go because the Legionnaire guys were running it,” Lockhart said. “She had high hopes that the gentlemen would run a good place.”

She met her husband, Lloyd, in high school, and the two were married for 74 years until his death in 2015.

The couple actually married just eight days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and when Lloyd joined the war effort, his new wife would move from place to place just to stay close.

After the war, the pair moved to Denver for a short time before returning to Steamboat in 1953. In 1964, Lloyd purchased F.M. Light & Sons from his father-in-law. Lockhart said a lot has changed over her lifetime, but the store is one of the things that stands out.

“F.M. Light & Sons is still there, and I think that is a pretty important thing,” she said.

Lockhart has always remained physically active hiking and skiing, and she was a regular at the Old Town Hot Springs pool, often showing up at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays until just a few years ago.

Asked why she has enjoyed such a long life, Lockhart just shrugs.

“She always mentions being connected to family and friends,” her son Ty Lockhart said. “She was also very involved in politics, and that kept her very busy and around people. She also said growing up in this beautiful place and being at peace for the Lord has led to a happy life.”

If you go

What: Annabeth Light Lockhart’s 100th birthday party

When: 4-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center

Info: Attendees are asked to wear masks and RSVP by emailing annabeths100@gmail.com. Birthday cards can be mailed to 830 Lincoln Ave., Steamboat Springs, CO 80487.

Ty Lockhart, left, and Del Lockhart sit with their mother, Annabeth Light Lockhart, who will turn 100 on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 


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