Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

BHS scores barn find

May 04, 2023 | Community News

Courtesy photo
Clyde Hodge photographing a 1909 Maxwell automobile stored for years in a Loveland barn.

Special to the Surveyor

The Berthoud Historical Society (BHS) has located a 1909 Maxwell automobile, the same make and model that “Kid Agent” Floyd Clymer sold from his Berthoud Auto Company which was located on the east side of the 400 block of Mountain Avenue.

Clyde Hodge, a local car enthusiast and admirer of Clymer, stumbled upon the car when a Loveland collector called him and said he had some very early “brass era” cars for sale. The cars were in a large barn and included one in a restored condition that was of particular interest — a 1909 Maxwell. Months of research have convinced Hodge that the Maxwell in the collection is likely one of the three Maxwell runabouts (two-seaters) sold by Clymer to Berthoud area customers in 1909.

“Kid Agent” Floyd Clymer is one of Berthoud’s few national claims to fame. He was recognized as the youngest automobile agent or salesman in the nation in the early 1900s. Clymer was recognized by both Henry Ford and President Teddy Roosevelt for his youthful business enterprise. He went on to become a nationally recognized automotive expert, motorcycle racer, inventor, businessman and publisher of automotive books.

The BHS has long wanted to recognize Floyd Clymer with a museum exhibit describing his early Berthoud years. To date, his only local recognition has been the wall art on the east side of the Mountain Avenue building now housing the Berthoud Athletic Club. This mural depicts an attempt by 14-year-old Clymer and his younger brother to drive a Flanders automobile from Denver to Spokane, Wash. The Clymers’ attempt ultimately proved unsuccessful.

A fundraising effort totaling $18,000 has been initiated by the BHS board of directors to acquire the Maxwell and design and construct a Clymer exhibit at the Little Thompson Valley Pioneer Museum in Berthoud. This exhibit will showcase the Maxwell automobile along with early Clymer history and numerous Clymer artifacts currently owned by the museum.

Donations may be made to the Berthoud Historical Society, PO Box 25, Berthoud, CO 80513. Please note Maxwell project on the memo line.
Berthoud Historical Society President Mark French has authored a book on Floyd Clymer’s early Berthoud years that is set for publication later this year. All proceeds from the sale of his book will benefit the historical society. Donors to the Maxwell project of $100 or more will receive a complimentary copy.

related Community News
Latest Senior Wise
More Senior Wise