The Glenwood building that wasn’t
Glenwood Railroad Museum
Of interest to local historians, the following acknowledges misinformation in a letter we submitted to the Post Independent regarding the location of the Colorado Midland Railway’s city ticket office back in the day. Our faces are red, but here’s the real story:
Back in 2000 when we were starting the Glenwood Railroad Museum, we went in search of photos related to the seven railroads, large and small, that served our valleys.
At the Colorado Historical Society in Denver, we found many interesting images in the Denver Public Library/History Colorado collections, including the accompanying street scene taken by Harry Buckwalter and captioned “Men and a young boy pose outside of the Colorado Midland Railroad ticket office in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.”
The building is single story and brick with lettering in the windows that reads: “Colorado Midland R.R.” (History Colorado Call #CHS-B11). That photo has been on our Colorado Midland photo boards since we opened.
Recently I became interested in locating that office in our fair city. Using a high-resolution image, the street number over the door appears to be 136, but that number doesn’t fit into the Glenwood scheme of things and couldn’t be found on the Sanborn Fire Insurance maps from that era. To the left of the door, a poster can be seen in the window advertising harness races in Glenwood Springs. I asked help from Carlton Hubbard, Glenwood historian, who opined the photo was not from our city.
Well, then, where the heck was it? That railroad had city ticket offices in Denver, Colorado Springs, Glenwood, Buena Vista, Leadville and Grand Junction. Thanks to the Colorado Midland Internet group, I believe the answer is on an L.C. McClure photo taken between 1898 and 1910 (Denver Public Library Western History Collection Call #MCC-905).
Here we have First National Bank at 802 and 804 Grand, the CM office at 806A then a barber shop at 806B Grand. Enlarging the wonderful image (from an 8×10 glass negative) we can read the signage on the false front building: next to the Midland Route logo we see “BEST LINE East & West, PULLMAN OBSERVATION CARS” and “DINING CARS.”
The townsfolk are dressed to the nines and flags and bunting may indicate that it is the Fourth of July. The location agrees with a November 1912 Sanborn map from Frontier Historical Society.
So, where was that substantial brick CM office? The search goes on and your input is welcomed.
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In a fraction of a second I went from a full sprint to skidding across the ground — pea-sized gravel gashing my knees and elbows, turning them into strawberry crisp.