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.
Thomas Hotel (1906)
448 E. Main
Built in 1906, the Thomas Hotel building is representative of the type and method of construction that was prevalent on Main Street in Montrose from the 1890s through the first two decades of the twentieth century. What appears to be rock-faced stone between the second-story windows are framed with pressed metal pilasters. Take special note of the cornice which features a scroll, shell, and urn motif. The original brick has been refaced with stucco.
W.A. Thomas came to Montrose in 1883 and was engaged in the grocery business from 1896 to 1902. He is said to have operated on a strictly cash basis, doing so very successfully. He was one of the directors of the First National Bank.
Bryant Building (circa 1890)
434-436 E. Main
One of the first buildings on Main Street, the Bryant Building was built about 1890. This building originally housed
law offices of Frank D Catlin, a prominent water attorney and a county judge. Catlin entertained President Taft in his home when Taft traveled to Montrose in 1909 to dedicate the Gunnison Tunnel. The local trout served to the President were so long that they required special platters.
John C. Bell was a law partner of Catlin and a Colorado jurist, U.S. Congressman, and a powerful figure in the Democratic Party for half a century. During the ten years he served in the U.S. House of Representatives, he earned the title "Father of Reclamation", in part because of he influenced the government to build the Gunnison water diversion tunnel.
The Bryant Building derived its name from attorney Earle Bryant, who also practiced law with Judge Bell.
In later years, owners of the building told of a resident ghost who seemed to delight in spinning spools of ribbon in the back room, as well as other little tricks. Could this be the ghost of one of the distinguished attorneys who burned the midnight oil in this building?
S.H. Nye Building (1908)
428 E. Main
This building is historically significant because of Samuel H. Nye, an early settler who had one of the first farms and orchards in Olathe. He ordered his apple trees by mail, and they arrived at the Uncomaphgre Post Office before Montrose was even established. He
was appointed one of the first County Commissioners in 1883.
Constructed in 1908 of the vernacular commercial design, the building was used as a general store. It uses the familiar combination of brick and stone, with stone serving as the material for the decorative elements, string courses, flat window heads with keystones, bracket, cornice, and the identification panel. Note the decorative brickwork to form two bays on the second story level. The lower portion of the building has been changed by the addition of wood siding, contemporary brick, and new entrances which alter the original appearance.