Museum of Northwest Colorado: Do you know how Rose Street in Craig got its name?
Museum launches new stories highlighting how street in Moffat County were named
April 8, 2016
If asked, most residents of Moffat County could probably name at least 10 pioneer families of Craig without even realizing they could do it. Of the more than 120 street names in the city of Craig, many represent the pioneering efforts of early settlers from more than 100 years ago. The Museum of Northwest Colorado is introducing a new series in Craig Daily Press, which will highlight the lives of those whose names are stamped on the blue signs at intersections across town. While a handful of those early residents have histories that are lost in obscurity, many of them left an impact on the town that resounds decades later.
The first settlers started drifting into the area in the early 1880s. Previously, the only inhabitants of the valley were small roaming bands of local Utes and itinerant cowboys who worked for large cattle outfits that summered stock on the river bottoms. Near the spring of 1882, the first settler arrived at what would later be the town of Craig. William H. Rose filed on land bordering Fortification Creek, above the Yampa River. Rose, a Civil War veteran, was a surveyor, and his land would later include part of the Rosedale subdivision and some of today's City Park. Rose built his cabin of cottonwood logs and mud daubing south of present day Victory Way near the creek.
Enthusiastic about the land he had chosen to settle in, Rose shared his excitement with acquaintances in the mid-1880s when he made a trip to Glenwood Springs for supplies. That exuberance would later expand to create further developments leading to the founding of the town of Craig.
On one of his trips to Glenwood Springs, Rose met his future bride, Julia La Reaux, daughter of a basket importer from France. Intrigued by Rose's descriptions of the wildly beautiful Yampa River valley, Julia made the arduous trek to the small cabin on the banks of the Fortification. Appalled at the squalid little structure, Julia and her sister, who had accompanied her, erected a tent to stay in for the duration of their visit.
When the two sisters departed, Rose commenced work on a suitable, two-story home that would meet the expectations of his fiancée. That home, located on what would later be named Washington Street, would be the Roses' home for the duration of their lives. After completion of the house, Rose married Julia in December 1891, and the couple settled into their new 10-room home
By the close of the century, Rose's little cabin on the creek sat abandoned in the dusty shade of the native cottonwood trees that surrounded it. To the west, the frontier town was bustling with about 100 residents. Rose had sold off sections of his ranch land to the town site developers, who had come in as a result of his glowing reports on the area.
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Rose served as surveyor for the town site, raised cattle on his land and was a director the First National Bank of Craig. Rose also surveyed much of Routt and Moffat coutnies and served as a mineral surveyor for the U.S. government. He and Julia were intensely involved in the tiny burg they had chosen to call home. Rose bought more acreage, selling it to newcomers as they arrived. The original 160 acres he had settled was plotted out and named "Rosedale" at the east boundary of town.
William Rose died at the age of 86 in Craig in 1930. His legacy of community commitment lives on in the street named in his honor. It is interesting to note that none of Rose's descendants live in the area today. That is true of many of the pioneer families who first settled here.
The Museum of Northwest Colorado, located in downtown Craig, is committed to preserving and sharing the region's history. It is open Monday through Saturday with free admission. Call for more information, visit museumnwco.org or Facebook to learn more about the history of this special corner of Colorado.The Museum of Northwest Colorado, located in downtown Craig, is committed to preserving and sharing the region’s history. It is open Monday through Saturday with free admission. Call for more information, visit museumnwco.org or Facebook to learn more about the history of this special corner of Colorado.The Museum of Northwest Colorado, located in downtown Craig, is committed to preserving and sharing the region's history. It is open Monday through Saturday with free admission. Call for more information, visit museumnwco.org or Facebook to learn more about the history of this special corner of Colorado.