Craig, Colorado

A wooden sculpture in a park in downtown Craig

The economic center of northwest Colorado, Craig is located in a high-desert landscape that also offers world-class big game hunting opportunities. For folks traveling US Highway 40, Craig is just about the mid-point between Denver and Salt Lake City. Craig is also home to Colorado Northwest Community College, a junior college that offers associate's degrees and licenses in nursing and cosmetology.

The first Europeans to travel through the area came with Jim Bridger and the Ashley Expedition in 1825. A mountain man named Batiste Brown came and settled with his Indian wife in the Brown's Park area from 1827 to 1845. During the 1870's is when the first settlers and ranchers came into the area, although the Brown's Park area had been frequently visited by folks like Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and the Wild Bunch for several years already. Near the current site of Craig, a settlement known as Windsor sprang up in 1880. Windsor became Yampa in 1883.

Close to the site of Yampa, Craig was founded in 1889 by William Tucker and named for the Reverend William Bayard Craig, one of the town's early financial backers. Craig was incorporated as a city on 24 April, 1908. When Moffat County was created out of the western part of Routt County in 1911, Craig became Moffat's county seat.

The Museum of Northwest Colorado is located in Craig, in the former Colorado State Armory building on Yampa Avenue. The State Armory building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992 and, at this point, has been almost entirely renovated and restored. Housed within the Museum of Northwest Colorado is the Cowboy and Gunfighter Museum, a personal collection of about 1,000 "working cowboy" artifacts assembled over 50 years by Mr. Bill Mackin. When I walked in the door late on a Saturday afternoon in August, the Museum was about to close. An older woman who volunteered there asked me if I'd like to see the outlaw gun collection before they closed the doors for the day. She looked so disappointed when I declined her offer...

Some scenes from around downtown Craig:
A packing center and other shops in downtown Craig
Retail shops in the downtown area
One of Craig's churches
One of the churches in town
The West Theater in downtown Craig
The old West Theater
Photos are courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer, CCA-by-SA 4.0 License