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Portland

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This company town (1899, 5,100 feet), named for its cement plant, has a D&RG railroad spur to ship Portland cement to construction projects across the state. Portland cement has been manufactured here since 1898, using local deposits of lime, silica, and gypsum. In 1901 James McCandless of Florence, Lyman Robison of Cañon City, and other local businessmen incorporated the Portland Cement Company, later purchased by Charles Boettcher. Boettcher's Ideal Cement built a $10 million plant here in 1948 and a third plant in the 1970s. Small concrete-block dwellings built by the company cluster around a shady town park with concrete benches and tables made to demonstrate how attractive and durable the material can be. Concrete was also used to build the stylish three-story corporate headquarters, with its curvilinear parapeted gables, and the giant cylindrical and rectangular components of this dormant plant.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Thomas J. Noel

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