Chuck Mack: Cowgill building in Craig


This article originally appeared in the June 16, 1915, Steamboat Pilot under the headline: "$10,000 Manufactory for Craig," "C.G. Cowgill Will Build Modern Plant for Leather Business"

C.G. Cowgill one of Craig's most consistent and best boosters this week let a contract for the erection of a $10,000 modern harness and shoe manufactory and office building on his lot north of the Manhattan hotel on Main Street says the Craig Empire. Work on the structure will be begun next Monday and it is planned to have it ready for occupancy Sept. 1.

(There was no Main Street so to speak, it was always Yampa Avenue; the Cowgill building sits at 469 Yampa Ave. The Manhattan hotel would have been in the location of the old Moffat County Lumber Co. In 1915 it would have been the nearest building south of the Cowgill building.)

Mr. Cowgill believes in Craig. He has wonderful faith in its future and predicts that within a few years it will be one of the biggest towns in Northwestern Colorado. With this faith in mind, he has decided to erect a building that will be a credit to the town.

The Cowgill building, as it will be known will be two stories in height, with full basement, the latter will be constructed entirely of stone and cement, will be equipped with modern heating plant and will be used in part as a storeroom. The building will be constructed entirely of native stone with a cut stone front. The stone walls will be eighteen inches thick.

The first floor will be used by Mr. Cowgill for his harness and shoe manufacturing and will be 25 feet by 100 feet in dimensions. The second floor will contain eight office rooms approximately 13 feet by 14 feet in dimensions, lavatory and bath, all rooms will be a steam heated.

The entire building will be wired for electricity. In the event the town installs an electric lighting system with the installation of the water plant, Mr. Cowgill will connect with the town system, but if the plant is not installed, he will put in his own generator to light the building.

Mr. Cowgill is no mail-order man. He believes in patronizing home industries and for that reason local material and local labor will be used for the construction of the building. The Dickinson's-Owings Lumber and Trading Company will furnish the lumber and J. H. Carter has a contract for the construction of the building and John Edmondson has the contract to do the plastering. Mr. Shinkle, formerly of Yampa, will be in charge of the stonework.

When Mr. Cowgill moves into his new building, he will expend about $1500 for additional harness and shoe manufacturing machinery. His present factory on Yampa Street is one of the finest equipped plants in the state; it is a credit to a town many times the size of Craig, and his business should be the pride of every citizen of town.

The Steamboat Pilot article, "Brick Making at Craig," appeared Aug. 9, 1916

"Made in Craig," is just as much of a slogan as, "Made in Colorado," and this pertains to the bricks that are being used in the construction of the Cowgill building on Yampa Avenue, says the Craig-Empire. Mr. Cowgill sometime ago awarded to John Edmondson the contract for the manufacture of brick to be used in the Cowgill building. Mr. Edmondson installed his brick yard just south of the depot and went to work. The result is that he has manufactured a brick that has been declared to be of excellent quality and good workmanship. The bricks are kiln burned and are hard and smooth. They will be used for the side walls and partitions for two stories of the building. Tom Frew has the masonry contract in charge and work is being pushed.

(Evidently from the dates of these two articles the Cowgill building wasn't built as quickly as Mr. Cowgill was hoping. It was built and still stands today as a momento of early-day Craig. The depot mentioned in the above article would have been the temporary boxcar depot. The boxcar depot wasn't in the same location as the brick depot that was built in 1917, the depot which still is sitting along the tracks today.)


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