Within a few years, one generation passes and another comes on the scene. If those who follow are to have any notion of what it was that went before, it must fall to those who possess a tie to the past to preserve what may be known. In that spirit, the people of Montrose, Colorado, endeavored in 1997 to document and record the history of the region and town.
Dave Wood's Magnolia Line Freighting
Business, (1881) N. First and Rio Grande
It was in this vicinity in 1881 that Dave Wood began his famous Magnolia Line freighting business, transporting supplies to the mines and mining towns of Ouray and Telluride and hauling ore back to the railroad in Montrose. Wood's teams of twenty mules were all matched, and a huge barn located near here accommodated 100 head of stock. Just imagine how different the sounds and smells were on this corner in the 1880s.
Rio Grande Eating House,(1908)
N. First and Rio Grande
In 1908, Celia Dempsey, the mother of future heavyweight boxing champion of the world, Jack Dempsey, ran the Rio Grande Eating House, a simple, white-frame building adjoining the railroad. As a boy, Jack worked in his mother's cafe, mopping floors and washing dishes. Perhaps he formulated his dream of becoming a champion boxer while devouring
late-night meals of steaks, chops, and eggs in the Eating House.
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad Depot,
(1912) 21 N. Rio Grande
Build in 1912, this building represents the Mission style of architecture with its arched arcades, stucco finish, and tile roof. This style was functional because the broad, covered arcades provided protection from the elements to the passengers.
The train depot was a favorite gathering place for the locals who enjoyed watching and hearing the trains come in and depart. There were two waiting rooms, one on either side of the ticket office. Designated as the ladies waiting room and the men's waiting room, the distinction was essentially between "smoking" and "non-smoking" areas.
Located nearby was Montrose's "Red Light District." Legend has it that an underground tunnel connected the newly constructed depot to the hotel across the street, allowing patrons of the saloon and brothel to enter the depot, a respectable, local hang-out, and virtually disappear for a while.
Original Coors Building, (1908) 132 N. First
The Coors Building was built in 1908 as a saloon and rooming house by the famed Adolph Coors of Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado. When Montrose was voted dry, the building was used as a hotel and eventually closed for several years. The building
and five lots were purchased by James Bonade in 1917 for the taxes of $2,000 on a property valuation of $12,000. In 1941, the building became Caslas Pool Hall, an enterprise that provided entertainment for the local Mexican men who endured discrimination in other establishments. No liquor was served, but card games, pool, and snooker were available.
Note the Italianate architectural elements in the arched windows and the course of bricks forming the second story window sills. The identification panel bears the famous Coors name above the pressed metal (illegible). the porch has been added to the original building.