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Comanche Crossing Museum

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1970s. 56060 E. Colfax Ave., I-70 exit 310 (NR)

Oil and ranching tycoon Philip Anschutz gave this two-acre tract to the local historical society, which has constructed an ambitious museum complex. All seven buildings, including the wooden windmill (c. 1890) with adjustable wooden slats, have been moved to the grounds. Two steel storage buildings house a large collection of antiques, including architectural pieces such as Strasburg's first post office and the back bar and soda fountain from Doc Taylor's drugstore.

The Living Springs School ( AH60.1; 1891) is a one-room, lap-sided schoolhouse built for $750 by local cabinetmaker E. J. Smith. The porch shows some Victorian frills with its machine-turned posts, curvilinear brackets, and fishscale gable shingles. Moved to the museum grounds from the now vanished stage stop 12 miles north, it has been restored for interpretive programs. It shares the site with Wolf Creek School ( AH60.2; 1904), a tiny, one-room clapboard structure.

Strasburg Depot ( AH60.3; 1917) replaced the original boxcar depot of the Union Pacific Railroad. This one-story frame building has a hipped roof with intersecting gables and wide eaves supported by heavy open brackets. Decorative roof cresting is about the only ornament. The 41-foot caboose was donated by the Union Pacific, which has made a policy of donating old equipment and depots to local museums.

The Weaver Store ( AH60.4; 1907), 1407 Main Street (northeast corner of Railroad Avenue), a two-story frame, false-fronted landmark that was once the town hub, epitomizes the multifunctional role of the country store. The owners, Mr. and Mrs. D. H. Weaver, according to Emma Mitchell's Our Side of the Mountain (1968), “would gladly serve meals, since there was no restaurant for a time. If they didn't have what was wanted, they would get it.… Mr. Weaver installed a telephone switchboard in his store which consisted of a series of knife switches. Rural lines were built using the barbed wire fences. At a gate or crossing, two by fours were nailed to the fence post to raise the wire for crossing below.… The second floor was used for parties, box socials, dances, meetings, and elections.”

Writing Credits

Author: 
Thomas J. Noel
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Citation

Thomas J. Noel, "Comanche Crossing Museum", [Strasburg, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/CO-01-AH60.

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