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Barrett’s modern living

Craig home sets standard in 1956

Dan Olsen

— Photographs from the Chuck Stoddard collection recently donated to the Museum of Northwest Colorado have brought to life a glimpse of daily life in Craig’s past.

The museum’s Jan Gerber compiled information on a photograph that shows a very modern home in Craig in the 1950s, the work of a well-known businessman.

Miles W. Barrett III was the owner of Barrett’s Men’s Store in Downtown Craig.

Born March 10, 1924, in Glenwood Springs, he was the son of Miles and Juno. He moved from Rifle to Craig and attended local schools.

A World War II veteran, Miles married Suzanne Long in June 1947 in Oklahoma.

The Barrett home on the northeast corner of Green and Ninth streets in Craig was under construction in 1956 and completed sometime the following year. It is believed J.E Johnson, a well-known local contractor, built the home.

The kitchen featured stainless-steel counters and a refrigerator mounted above the counters. Modern light fixtures grace the vaulted ceiling in the home.

The house broke many architectural trends in Northwest Colorado and reportedly had many small rooms.

Tragedy struck the Barrett family at 2 p.m. on Oct. 18, 1959, when an airplane crash fatally injured Miles. He died in the Pioneer Hospital in Meeker the next morning.

Pilot Arthur Cordell Smith, owner of Mountain Air Spray in Craig, was at the controls of the Piper Cub 20 miles east of Meeker when the crash occurred. He was seriously injured.

It is believed the pair were possibly scouting wildlife, or perhaps checking on neighbor Pat Mantle, who had started a hunting guide business on the property next to the Barrett cabin on Beaver Creek at the time of the crash.

Barrett’s wife and children stayed in the home until February 1962 when they moved to Denver.

The house in Craig would be sold to John and Connie Winder, and years later to Dr. Ray Witham and family. Gary Loyd, of Loyd’s Cleaners fame also owned the house.

Sue Barrett never remarried and passed away in 2003. Barrett’s Men’s Store remained a Craig landmark into the 1980s.

Two trees were planted at Moffat County High School on May 20, 1992, in memory of Miles Barrett, Craig businessman.

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext.207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com


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