Craig Railroad Depot

Year Listed: 2008
County: Moffat County
Construction Date: 1917
Threat When Listed: Demolition by Neglect – Vacant
Status: ALERT
 
 

The Craig Depot is an example of architectural style of the early 1900s.  The Moffat Line and the Craig Depot served as the hub of activity for transportation of livestock, coal, supplies, and people to and from an isolated area.  The railroad depot was the end of the Moffat rail line, which was initially planned to run from Denver to Salt Lake City. A loss of financial backing forced David Moffat to scale back his original plans and end the line in Craig. With the harsh winter months and impassable roads, the train served as the main connection to the Yampa Valley, and the line was dubbed the “Moffat Road.” Initially, potatoes and head lettuce filled the trains, but by the 1950s, more wool was shipped by rail from Craig than from any other place in the world. The depot served both Utah and Wyoming in addition to residents of northwest Colorado.

In 1985, the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad shut down the depot, its functions taken over by a computer in Denver. In 2001, the Union Pacific Corporation, the current owners, delayed demolition of the depot and negotiated with the Museum of Northwest Colorado and the Community Foundation of Northwest Colorado to donate the building. However, in 2004, Union Pacific decided against donating the depot, and the building continues to deteriorate. The re-activation of both rail lines surrounding the depot adds to this preservation challenge.

The Union Pacific Railroad had initially entered in negotiations with the Wyman Museum to have the building purchased and moved. However, the costs associated with relocating the depot were too great for the Wyman Museum to justify taking the building. In order to ensure the depot is a save, the building has to be moved.  The Rocky Mountain Railroad Heritage Society has been in the process of coming up with a way to finance moving the depot.

 Additional Links:

“An Open Letter to Mr. Boettcher,” The Craig Empire, August 30, 1916

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4 Bar 4 Ranch

Homesteaded in 1895 by Dick McQueary to provide a stop for the Georgetown Stage Line, the 320-acre 4 Bar 4 Ranch has strong ties to Grand County and Colorado's heritage. The Georgetown Stage Line traveled on the road through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch from Idaho Springs to Hot Sulphur Springs over Berthoud Pass. In 1895 a roadhouse and stage stop were constructed on the ranch. The hotel and barn were constructed using trees from the Ranch property, and the hotel remained open for travelers coming over Berthoud Pass by horseback and wagon until 1913. With the coming of the automobile, the roadway over Berthoud Pass and through the 4 Bar 4 Ranch was considered an integral part of the Trans-Continental “Midland Trail” highway. Following the closing of the stage line, the ranch continued to host travelers until 1912 or 1913 when it was purchased and converted into a Ford Motor Company . Ford vehicles were sold here until 1917, when Harry Larkin purchased the ranch site. Today emergency efforts are underway to ensure it survives through the winter. Donations are in need. To learn more, contact Jennifer Orrigo Charles at jorrigocharlges@coloradopreservation.org.

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