Museum of Northwest Colorado: Nuts and bolts, and house wares too
July 3, 2015
Weather related moves are common for Craig residents who often head south to seek a milder climate. The opposite was true for the Siebott family who left balmier Grand Junction to buy Craig's Furlong Hardware Store in 1941. Henry Siebott purchased the decades old business just about the time his son Fred joined the U.S. Air Force. Fred served in World War II in the Mediterranean, returning to Craig shortly after his discharge in 1946, to work with his father at the store.
In 1952, Fred married Avis Engleman Hamilton, daughter of Moffat County homesteaders, Lulu and Ed Engleman. Avis had been widowed the year before and had two active young sons, Greg and Jeff. The family-owned Siebott hardware store catered not only to the handyman and contractor, but women enjoyed browsing the aisles for house wares and small household appliances. Henry Siebott retired from the business in 1958, and sold out to Fred. Located in the heart of the small rural town at 550 Yampa Ave., the business thrived for another 20 years before Fred sold out to Dave and Judy Samuelson in 1977. After selling the store, Fred worked for a few years at the power plant south of Craig. He and his son Greg also worked together to build the brick office building at 555 Breeze St.
The renamed Samuelson's Hardware Store on Yampa Avenue, housed in what was known as the Furlong Building, burned in January of 1978, forcing the Samuelsons to move their hardware business to the present location on Breeze Street. The Alice Pleasant Park now serves the community where that historic building once stood.
Fred Siebott and his family lived at 795 Steele St. for many years. Fred enjoyed golfing, fishing and hunting, and was a regular on the softball fields in local games. He was a president for the Kiwanis Club, sat on the Chamber of Commerce board, and was active in the Masons, the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. More important to Craig's younger set, he was instrumental in the building of the Craig Municipal Swimming Pool, which today remains a jewel of a complex for such a small town. Avis Siebott died in 1999, and Fred died in 2007 in Craig. Their son Greg Hamilton, a retired Certified Public Accountant, still lives in Craig.
Chet Klock, national cartoonist, featured Fred Siebott in 1956, in his column "Familiar Faces" which ran for six months in The Craig Empire Courier. He described Fred as an affable fellow, which indeed he was. The Museum of Northwest Colorado in downtown Craig has a small display, featuring many items from Fred Siebott's hardware store. Be sure to stop by for a cool visit to the museum on a hot summer day. The museum is open Monday through Saturday and as always, admission is free.
Mary Pat Dunn is the registrar at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.