Famous Fur-Bearing Trout.

Famous Fur-Bearing Trout

Field review by the editors.

Salida, Colorado

Wilbur Burton Foshay was a super-salesman millionaire who built a skyscraper in Minneapolis, then lost everything in the Great Depression. Three years later he was sent to Leavenworth Penitentiary for mail fraud. Three years after that he was pardoned by FDR, and then found himself in Salida, Colorado, earning a modest living as the secretary of the town's Chamber of Commerce.

But the super-salesman fire still burned, and Foshay decided to promote Salida with the help of a Wild West legend: the fur-bearing trout. In 1939 Foshay mailed out hundreds of press notices, claiming that Salida's local trout grew fur in the winter because its water was so refreshingly cold. Reporters who trekked to Salida would have the privilege of seeing the rare creature, stuffed and hanging on Foshay's office wall. Many did, and although some of them dismissed it as just a regular trout covered in muskrat fur, the creature transformed Salida into a tourist destination.

The fur-bearing trout became a popular image on novelty postcards, and similar specimens of the species can now be found in scattered museums across the West.

Famous Fur-Bearing Trout

Salida Museum

Address:
406 W. Rainbow Blvd, Salida, CO
Directions:
Salida Museum. West edge of town. On the west side of I St. just north of its intersection with US Hwy 50/W. Rainbow Blvd. The museum shares a building with the Chamber of Commerce visitor center.
Hours:
Days and hours vary by season. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Phone:
719-539-7483
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Boy and the BootBoy and the Boot, Salida, CO - 1 mi.
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In the region:
"In God We Trust" in Vietnam War Dead Pennies, Penrose, CO - 49 mi.

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August 3, 2020

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