Colorado Street home a testament to city history
September 2, 2008
The house at 595 Colorado St. stands as an example of the faith and determination possessed by two of Craig’s early residents.
The first is William H. Rose, who came to the area early in the 1880s to take up a homestead that would later join the new town site of Craig in 1889.
Rose, seeing an opportunity, began offering house lots to potential home builders soon after Craig’s founding. This eight-block area from East Victory Way to Seventh Street and Rose Street to Legion Street would become known as Rosedale, the city of Craig’s first addition. Today, the Rosedale area is the location of some of the city’s most historical homes.
The builder of 595 Colorado St. was attracted to Northwest Colorado because of gold mining in the Hahn’s Peak area in 1892.
Edward A. (E.A.) Aiken was an excellent carpenter and had moved around a number of times before making Craig his family’s home in 1903. In his early years, he built a number of homes in the surrounding area as well as in Craig. He also worked with Alex Robinson and William Taylor, very well-known builders in early Craig.
In July 1904, Aiken bought five lots in block 8 of Rose’s addition for $125. He began “getting lumber on the ground” to build his house in January 1905.
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The April 6, 1905, Routt County Courier announced the following: “E.A. Aiken is now the proud possessor of a home in Craig, having moved into his new residence in Rosedale last Saturday.”
The Aiken family would only own the home until August 1909, when E.A. sold the home to D. Kirk Shaw for $1,000 and a $500 mortgage.
Shaw married Verda Taylor, a young lady from the Axial area in May 1910. They only lived there a few years before Kirk, who had gotten a job with the Forest Service, was transferred to the Lost Creek Ranger Station on White River.
The house became the home of Ed and Effie Haughey in about 1915. The Haugheys had owned the house to the south for a number of years, but they needed more room as their family grew.
Ed Haughey was best known as the long-term Moffat County Assessor during the 1920s and 1930s. Apparently they moved back to the South house in later years and rented this home until Effie sold it in 1948 after Ed’s death in 1947.
From July 1948 to August of 1961 it was the home to several members of the St Louis family from the Little Snake River Valley, our neighbors to the north. It again was owned by several individuals and one company until it was purchased in July 1974 by Wade and Judith Johnson.
The Johnsons began a major remodel soon after their purchase of the house which involved moving the house off its old foundation and setting it to the side while pouring a new foundation that included a full basement.
The Johnsons were transferred from the area in 1978, so the remodel was completed after the purchase by Ray Beck in November 1978.
At this time, the Beck family is closing in on being the longest term owners on this 103-year-old house.
The home at 595 Colorado St., along with several dozen more structures in the community, continue to give shelter to our current generation of residents, while bearing testimony to the faith Craig’s founders had in the future of their dream.