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Craig resident’s cups runneth over

Jeanne Smith's cup collection gets national notoriety

Liz King

Jeanne Smith of Craig collects cups — more than 1,100 of them.

She even had a special room constructed just for her collection.

The room, which was constructed a couple of years ago when Smith remodeled her kitchen, is 12 feet long and six feet wide with a cathedral ceiling.



“My friend here in town calls me the ‘cup junkie,'” Smith said who has been collecting cups for 30 years.

Smith will be featured in the August/September issue of “A Taste of Home” magazine for her collection.



The magazine’s interest started out, Smith said, when her daughter-in-law, Trisha Smith, sent a letter and two pictures of the collection to the magazine, which shows different collections amassed by women. The publication then wrote back and requested Smith to write a letter and send more pictures. She did so and then waited. Finally the magazine contacted her and decided to run a story about her collection.

“Lately I find them at garage sales,” Smith said of where she finds her growing collection of cups. “I would say I buy two or three of

them a month.”

But friends and family also bring Smith her many cups when they go on vacations, including one from Panama and one from the Virgin Islands.

Smith started collecting cups when she went to her friend’s house and saw a cup holder, which held ten cups.

“I kind of liked it,” Smith said.

She went out and bought one rack and soon she had four holders. By the time Smith moved back to Craig from Rifle in 1975, she had more than 250 cups.

A cowboy hat cup, which was given to her from her mother before she died, is one of her favorites.

“It is special, especially after she passed away,” Smith said.

The cups, which are mostly coffee mugs and teacups, are not worth much monetarily. But there is a vast array of shapes, colors and even materials that make them. Smith has cup clocks, cup earrings and even three crochet cups.

“Some people collect salt and pepper shakers, I collect cups,” Smith said.

“She is constantly collecting more cups,” Trisha Smith said. “I told her she should enter the collection as part of “A Taste of Home” magazine. There are always people entering that have smaller collections than she does. She has dedicated so many years to her collection”

There are many memories for Smith in her cups, especially memories of her parents.

“I know my dad would be in here (the cup room) counting the cups,” Smith said. “That is just the kind of person he was.”

Sidebar information:

  • Smiths smallest cup is 1/2 an inch high
  • her tallest is 17 1/2 inches
  • her oldest cup is from 1915, it was given to her father when he was a baby

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