August 3, 2011
Now, there is a classic canvas movie poster hanging in The Loft; our 3rd floor meeting room. It is a canvas painting of Tom Mix. He came to Glenwood Springs to film “The Great K & A Train Robbery” in 1926. Tom Mix’s horse, also in the painting was known as, “Tony the Wonder Horse.”
The hotels’ owners were attending a antique auction in Denver where most of the hotel room furniture was acquired. It was an impulse buy that has gone on to spark many a lively conversation about the colorful early cinema star.
The story goes… in July 1926, Tom Mix, star of silent film, arrived by train at Glenwood Springs, Colorado, for the shooting of his latest movie. He was accompanied by his family, 55 cast and crew members as well as 22 horses, including Tony the Horse, who happened to be as popular as his human counterpart with moviegoers. Two passenger cars and two special baggage cars were needed to bring all of his company and equipment.
The event provided much amusement for the locals. Each day, spectators lined the Glenwood Canyon road to watch the movie cowboy, Tony the Horse and all the rest complete all the outdoor action shots for the movie. Of course, Mr. Mix performed all of his own stunts, including rappelling down the vertical rock walls of Glenwood Canyon. Mix and his horse also galloped the length of Shoshone Dam in one of the western movie’s most famous chase scenes.
During his stay, Mix did some local performances next door at the Odeon theater, which is still standing and is the Eagles Lodge now. Of the 300 plus films that Mix made, The Great K & A Train Robbery was one of his last silent films. By the 1930’s “talkies” were all the rage. He died in 1940 at the age of 60 in a car accident near Tucson, AZ.