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A Brief History of Lake City:
The Mining Era, 1874-1904

Commercial Development:
Carpenters & Contractors, Masons & Materials

At least a score of carpenters, contractors, and stone masons worked in Lake City during the 1875 - 1878 building boom.

Colorado Business Directories list: J. B. Lyons, Elisha Nye, Strasburg & Fusse, William B. Overfield, and John Shearer (1877); J. B. Baker, Davis & Smiley, J. B. Lyons, William B. Overfield, Seelye & Hill, and S. L. Watson (1878); A. J. Hill, David Watson, and S. L. Watson and (1879).

Seelye & Hill were contractors for the Lake City schoolhouse.  Turner & Lyons, advertised as "Architects, Builders and Contractors" specializing in "Mills and Reduction Works of all kinds." The firm constructed the Crooke Smelter, a few residences, and received the contract for building as many as 20 bridges across Henson Creek for the road into the Galena Mining District.  Turner & Lyons' workshop was on the northeast corner of Gunnison Avenue and Fifth Street, now used as the Episcopalian Church.

Stone masons included Henry Finley, George Gardner, H. C. Stuart, Bauer & Schultz and brick masons W. P. and J. A. Hunt.  George Bauer and Carl Schultz constructed the Finley Block and Bank Block.  The firm also built the Porter & Middaugh Building in Del Norte, Colorado (no longer extant) and the 1880 Sherwin & Houghton Store (Pickle Barrel) at 1304 Greene Street in Silverton, Colorado.

The names of Jack Wells, Samuel M. Tarkington, John J. Mayers, and John Moore appear in Lake City newspapers as builders of different properties in town.

After a lull in 1878 and 1879, construction commenced again from 1880 through 1883, consisting almost exclusively of masonry commercial buildings.  These included the 1880 Lake City School, Hough Block and Brockett Block, an 1882 addition to the Hough Block, and the Armory-Opera Hall completed in 1883.  Local brick manufacturers Finley & Richardson, S. C. Foote, George Starmm and Co., and the Hunt Bros. produced materials for these buildings.

After 1889 completion of the railroad and resultant flurry of mining activity, the town saw another small building boom.

Nearly all construction materials were produced locally.  Rough boards, dimensional lumber, clapboards, and decorative trim came from local mills.  The firm Echlin, Routt & Co. advertised in 1877 "Scroll Work, Wood Turning, Planing, Matching and Re-sawing…  a Variety of Mouldings Always on Hand."  Sandstone for the Finley Block and Bank Block and to trim brick buildings was cut from a quarry northwest of the townsite.  Several different companies manufactured brick from clay from the Slumgullion Earthflow.

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 Town of Lake City, PO Box 544, Lake City, CO  81235.  970-944-2333.  
Turner & Lyons Workshop (now Episcopal Church).  501 Gunnison Avenue.  Turner & Lyons also built the Crooke Smelter, some homes, and a lot of bridges over Henson Creek.  Click image for larger pop-up view.
George Bauer & Carl Schultz constructed the Finley Block, 130 Silver Street.  They also built the Sherwin & Houghton Store in Silverton at 1304 Greene Street (now the Pickle Barrel).  Click image for larger pop-up view.