Historical site could reopen | CraigDailyPress.com

Historical site could reopen

Train depot to be refurbished and added to historic district

Ryan Sheridan

The history of Moffat County is the stuff of legends. Shoot-outs and determined homesteaders and ranchers, led to the creation of the West and western ideals. And a piece of that storied past is soon to be recovered.

Craig’s train depot, 304 Yampa Ave., is due for an overhaul, and the Museum of Northwest Colorado Foundation received the money to begin examining what renovations are needed.

The Foundation received a $2,500 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to conduct an assessment of what the station needs to have done to be structurally recovered and properly refurbished from a historical standpoint.

“We’re looking for specifics as to what needs to be done,” said Dona Shue, executive director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado Foundation. This assessment will dictate what work is needed and what grants need to be applied for to fund the actual construction and reclamation, Shue said.

Once completed, the station is seen as housing a self-supporting business to offset future costs and upkeep. A retail store or restaurant are both possibilities, Shue said. Part of the refurbished building would house a train memorabilia shop to directly capitalize on the historical aspects of the site.

According to Dan Davidson, director of the Museum of Northwest Colorado, the depot was built around 1917, and was last used for passenger trains in 1966. The last time the depot was used at all was in the mid-80s, when coal trains passed through.

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“Certainly the railroad was one of the main reasons for the development of Craig, and should be recognized as a major part of the local history,” Davidson said. “It is definitely an icon for that part of the town’s past.”

“The city also just labeled the station with a historic designation, and now has a two-block historic district that stretches from The Center of Craig to the depot,” Shue said.

“We hope to get the evaluation completed during the summer,” said Shue. As part of that evaluation, Shue and the Foundation are looking for volunteers to help clean up the area in June.

“Once we know the specifics, we can act to get the grants [to rebuild the depot],” Shue said.

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