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.
E.J. Mathews Mercantile (circa 1886)
346 E. Main
Constructed between 1886 and 1893, this building housed the E.J. Mathews Mercantile and later the Callaway Bros. Grocery store. The structure displays the most elaborate example of the use of decorative brickwork in the downtown area, with its diamond motifs on the east and north facades. The many chimneys of the early days have been replaced with a modern solar-powered heat system and a central furnace.
J.W. Page Meat Market (1893)
330-336 E. Main
J.W. Page located in Montrose during the 1893 silver panic to furnish one of the most-used food articles, fresh meat, from his up-to-date butcher shop. Page not only did a general retail business of all kinds of meat, he also had an extensive wholesale business, shipping 25 to 30 carloads of cattle a year from his own feedlot. Page's butchering skills included using the "odds and ends" to
make palatable and temping varieties of sundries, such as sausage and head cheese. In 1905, Page installed a new "refrigerator" that was 14 feet wide and held 4 tons of ice.
Although the lower portio of the building has been altered, the pressed metal cornice with a shell, rosette, and floral motif is one of the least damaged in the area. Note also the end brackets topped with urn ornaments.
Redding Furniture (and Mortuary),
established 1902) 324-328 E. Main
Established in 1902 by J.C. and W.O. Redding, this popular furniture company also carried an extensive line of "Queensware", a fine-glazed, cream-colored English earthenware. A "full service" establishment, the Reddings also dealt in carpets and wallpaper and advertised a "perfectly equipped" undertaking service by employing an experienced embalmer as the general manager of their operations.
The Pastime, (established 1902) 320 Main
"One of the main resorts for the lovers of recreation and healthful sport" was the Pastime, with W.S. Callaway as proprietor. Established in 1892, it was a strictly gentlemen's resort, "positively prohibiting any profane or improper language." It contained billiard and pool tables and "the very best up-to-date bowling alleys on the Western Slope". It also carried a fine line of cigars, tobacco, confectionary items, and a complete line of A.G. Spaulding's sporting goods. Callaway arrived in Montrose in 1883, and in time, became actively involved in all local sports, including the Montrose baseball club.