Thursday, October 14, 2010

201 East 45th Avenue




The building at 201 East 45th Avenue dates from 1882 and has been a grocery for most of its life. Lydia Heck remembers hearing that the structure was one of the company stores of the big Globe Smelter Company. The building was purchased by her father, Carl Gerhardt, in 1922 and operated as a one-stop shopping venue with everything from canned goods, freshly-made ethnic sausage, cleaning supplies, material for sewing, to toys and penny candy. Larry Summers remembers, "Grandpa would be near the door on the right, where they had a long counter like they had in dry goods stores, to measure yard goods. He would sit on a stool near the door, and, when people came in and out, he would visit with them and “dun” them for payment on their account. Right in the middle of the store was a post with a couple of phones on it, pads hanging on nails and clerks taking orders. Groceries would be gathered in a collapsible box and clerks would go all around and deliver the goods in company trucks." Carl Gerhardt sold the store in 1945, just as supermarkets were moving into the area and residents were moving to newer homes in the suburbs.
Today, the location seems to be a private residence.

Photo at top, Globe Mercantile in 1920. Andy Jackson is the middle fellow in the white apron. Photo used with written permission from June Jackson Egan
Middle photo, Gerhardt Mercantile in 1932. Photo used with written permission fromLarry Summers.
Bottom photo taken in 2009 by Mary Lou Egan.

8 comments:

james vogel said...

My grandfather, Henry J Vogel, ran a Merchantile store at 201 E. 45th Ave. from 1919 to 1921. The store was robbed in the spring of 1921 and due to Mrs. Vogel's health the family moved to Longmont later in 1921.

Mary Lou Egan said...

James,
The information about your grandfather is so interesting - I wonder if Carl Gerhardt purchased the store from him. My grandfather, Andy Jackson, is the fellow in the white apron in front of the building in the early photo, maybe when your grandfather was the owner.
Thank you for sharing the infromation.
Mary Lou

james vogel said...

Hi Mary Lou,

Thanks for your response to my post about my grandfather, Henry Vogel. I was wrong about the date of the robbery. It was on April 2, 1920 and according to an article in the Greeley Tribune, the safe was blown. Also the article said that the owner of the building was Henry Shafer, so he is the one that must have sold it to Mr. Gerhardt. My father, Jacob Vogel, was a young boy then and he, along with some other boys, climbed to the top of the Grant smokestack using a narrow stairway on the inside. One of the boys was afraid to walk back down so the fire dept had to come and rescue him. Dad drove us into Denver from our farm in Prospect Valley to watch the demolition in 1950.

Mary Lou Egan said...

James,
This just gets better and better - such excitement with a blown safe and young boys being rescued from the smelter stack (probably not the first time the fire department had to be called to retrieve adventuresome kids). I guess most of Denver watched that demolition - where did your family watch it? Was there a lot of dust? Was the explosion noisy?
Good to hear from you,
Mary Lou

james vogel said...

Store robbery at 201 E 45th -
I was surprised to read in the Greeley Tribune article that the owner living next door did not hear the safe being blown. Dad told us that the dial went thru the front window and ended up across the street. Also it was mentioned that $2000 in valuables were stolen which was a lot of money in those days.

As for the demolition of the Grant smokestack in 1950. We drove in on US 6 and took Valdez over to the stockyards area. I think that we were about 1/4 mile east of the site but had a good view. The dynamite blasts were a series of muffled booms, then a big roar and dust as the stack collapsed in on itself. Like Mary Lou mentioned it was supposed to topple over into a big hole on the west side, but because the crown was so big and heavy, it came straight down. On Mon. Feb. 27 the Greeley Tribune had a front page article with an aerial view of the site that afternoon. Unfortunately, the online version is very poor. It would be fun to get a copy of the original photo for the blog!

Mary Lou Egan said...

James,
I'll have to look in the Denver post and Rocky Mountain News for April 2, 1920 the next time I'm at the library and see what they have to say about the robbery in Globeville - Denver was a lot smaller then and that would certainly be big news. Maybe Mr Shafer was hard of hearing - that explosion would make quite a noise. (must have been someone who thought there would be a lot of money in there)

I have several snapshots people have given me (from different angles and different locations) of the smelter stack coming down (and partially coming down) I can only imagine all the dust and traffic. The smelter itself was enormous - no trace of it today.
Mary Lou

james vogel said...

Hi Mary Lou,

GenealogyBank.com has access to some of the archived Denver Post papers and yesterday I was able to find a front page article about the robbery on April 2, 1920. There is even a photo of the blown safe. The thieves used a small amount of nitroglycerin, so there was no loud bang! They even stole some shoes and overalls.

I was unable to find any articles in the Denver Newspapers about the smokestack demolition in 1950.

Mary Lou Egan said...

James,
Thanks for the information about the GenealogyBank.com site for newspapers - I love looking at old papers.
People have given me yellowed and brittle copies of both the News and Post with articles and photos of the demolition of the smokestack. Sunday, February 26, 1950 - it was big news! Denver was a much smaller town then. Hope you can find it.
Thanks again for the site!
Mary Lou