New book showcases Craig’s start as a city |

New book showcases Craig’s start as a city

Nate Waggenspack
This photo, with three cowboys from Craig posing for a 'They went thata' way!' picture in the early 1900s, is one of thousands in a new book compiled by the Museum of Northwest Colorado. The book, which went on sale Monday, is titled 'Images of America: Early Craig.'
Courtesy Photo

— With its upcoming railroad exhibit, the Museum of Northwest Colorado will tell one of Craig’s great stories throughout the past century.

A new book assembled during the past year by museum staff tell countless other stories about Craig while painting a poignant picture of the city in its early years.

The book, which went on sale Monday, is titled “Images of America: Early Craig” and consists of photos, illustrations and descriptions of Craig from before it was a town until the late 1920s.

Museum Director Dan Davidson said museum staff had started on a similar project four years ago, but it fell apart. Last year, staff members were encouraged to pick the project back up, and it came together nicely this time around.

Making the book “was sort of encouraged,” Davidson said. “Arcadia (Publishing) wanted one for Craig because they have books for Steamboat and others around here.”

Davidson said it was an exhaustive effort throughout several months from the entire museum staff to find their best photos, scan them and write captions. But the end result is something he and the rest of the staff are extremely proud of.

“The photos here are really good,” Davidson said. “There are thousands of people who have given us photos over the years, and this is kind of the cream of the crop. Some (photos) are extremely rare. This is the best way to let people see all these photos we have, which is what we wan to do.”

The book will highlight the “people and progress of the community,” Davidson said. It covers the time period when power first came to Craig, among other things. Assistant Director Jan Gerber, who handled most of the image scanning and editing, was thrilled with how the book turned out.

“I think it’s beautiful,” Gerber said. “It turned out really nice, and I like that it’s a pictorial history. You get that snapshot as opposed to a bunch of reading, and I think pictures really do tell a story.”

The book will be a strong resource on Craig in its early years for the reader looking to flip through it quickly and the person who wants to spend more time getting to know about the community that led to Craig today. While it consists of thousands of pictures for a quick viewing experience, they are all accompanied by caption information, similar to a museum exhibit, for those who want to read further for a sense of the history.

Davidson is proud of the book and hopes it will be especially enjoyable for those familiar with some of Craig’s history, because they will recognize some of the things they read and see.

“That’s the best part about doing it in a place like Craig,” he said. “You know some of the faces and personalities from back then. That’s the fun part of communities like this. In bigger cities, that wouldn’t be the case.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or

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