Chuck Mack: Railroad days in Craig

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Compiled by Chuck Mack

Articles appeared in Steamboat Pilot Nov. 12 and 19, 1913.

Nov. 12, 1913

Craig's big celebration to show its appreciation of the arrival of steel rails will be held Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20 and 21.

A special train will go from Steamboat Springs on the first morning and return the next evening, giving really only two half days and a night for the celebration, but this time will be made good use of. Half-fare rates will be in effect from Denver and all points along the line.

The rails will reach Craig the last of this week, but some tamping and ballasting will be necessary in places before a train is run over them. A mixed train service will begin about Dec. 1.

Craig is going to jubilate in such style that the coming of the first train will be a memorial occasion. All of Moffat County will be there and many will go from Routt County to join in the festivities.

Baseball games, football games, basketball games, races, athletic sports, band concert, dances, etc., will be the order of the occasion. Nothing will be left undone to make the jubilation a big one - one that will linger pleasantly in the memories of the visitors and make them want to go back again.

Moffat County hospitality will be everywhere evident. The town will be thrown wide open and every effort will be made to make each visitor feel that he is particularly welcome.

All of this was decided upon at an enthusiastic mass meeting of Craig citizens last week. It was unanimously decided to have a celebration and the entire matter was left in the hands of an executive committee consisting of Mayor C.S. Merrill, C.E. Herrick, E.C. Howard, F.M. Pleasant and George Kimball.

Wednesday afternoon, a meeting of the executive committee was held, at which the following subcommittees were appointed: finance - Lewis Yost, R.S. Hamilton, S.H. Mosier, N.N. Chapman and George H. Welch.

Decoration - Willis Green, Dr. J. G. Clayton and Edward Cook.

Dinner - Mrs. R. W. Finley, Mrs. W. H. Tucker, Mrs. O.L. Biggs, Mrs. Frank Humphrey, Mrs. Matt Johnson.

Sports - George A. Pugh, C.A. Van Dorn and Ralph L. White.

In addition to the sports, efforts will be made to have an agricultural exhibit in which all of Northwestern Colorado will be asked to participate. As a number of Denver and Eastern slope people have signified their intention of visiting the celebration, this exhibit will be made as exhaustive as possible.

There will be a big feed, probably taking the shape of a barbecue of deer and elk meat with a side dish of cottontail rabbits. It is going to be a big time and Routt County people should turn out in force for the people of the two counties will now be enabled to be more neighborly than in former years.

Nov. 19, 1913

Craig all ready for celebration

Many Steamboat people are planning to go to Craig on Friday to help celebrate Railroad Day. These affairs are occasions of general rejoicing, and the neighborly and kindly feeling is so general that when one town is connected with the rails, all the people of Northwestern Colorado are glad to show their good will by joining in. The train will go down Friday morning and return Saturday evening. Regarding the event the Empire says:

Moffat County will greet the iron horse and its cargo of visitors with a cowboy band and many other forms of noise. A parade will be formed and a march taken up to the center of town where there will be an address of welcome by the mayor, reply by one of the railroad officials, a fancy dress drill by 16 ladies of the Royal Neighbors of America, other short talks and other entertaining features. Prizes are offered for the best decorated vehicles and floats, and a number of pleasant surprises are promised in this line.

After the opening ceremonies, the big feed will be served in the new Williams building near the depot site, and the ladies in charge of this important feature are planning to give the visitors a sample of Moffat County cooking and genuine hospitality. As beef production is one of the main local industries, juicy roast beef will have a leading place on the menu, while a thousand fried rabbits will also be relished. There are to be other meats and all the trimmings, and 2000 people can be fed all they can hold.

Friday afternoon, Hayden and Craig, who tied at football at the Hayden Railroad Day, will settle the dispute in what promises to be the hardest-fought game ever played in this section. Other sporting events are to be pulled off during Friday and Saturday, including a potato race on horseback, something doing every minute, and all visitors will find that Craig and Moffat County know how to entertain.

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