New Edition for Old Mancos Letterpress

02/13/2022

A 19th-century Cranston letterpress has inspired the creation of a community arts studio and musem. Learn about its history and how it will be used in the future to create works of art.

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FOR YEARS THE OLD TIMES-TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER
OFFICE ON GRAND AVENUE IN MANCOS, COLORADO,

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SAT BOARDED-UP AND ABANDONED.

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AND WHEN SOMEONE FINALLY LOOKED INSIDE, THE
BUILDING YIELDED A HIDDEN TREASURE THAT'S

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NOW THE CENTERPIECE OF A GROWING ARTS SCENE.[p]
. YOU'RE WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWS NETWORK.

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I'M WENDY GRHAM SETTLE.[p] . THAT TREASURE
TURNED OUT TO BE SEVERAL TREASURES.

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THE OFFICE HELD A 19TH-CENTURY CRANSTON LETTERPRESS,
A SMALLER CHANDLER AND PRICE TREADLE PRESS,

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DRAWERS OF LEAD TYPE OF DIFFERENT FONTS AND
SIZES, ENGRAVED ILLUSTRATIONS, AND NEARLY

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A CENTURY'S WORTH OF NEWSPAPERS THAT CHRONICLED
THE HISTORY OF THE REGION FROM 1893 UNTIL

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1970.[p] . TODAY, THE BUILDING HAS BEEN RESTORED,
SO HAVE THE PRESSES.

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AND NOW, THE OLD MANCO TIMES-TRIBUNE NEWSPAPER
OFFICE HAS BEEN SERVING AS AN ACTIVE COMMUNITY

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ARTS CENTER SINCE LAST YEAR.

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THE MANCOS COMMON PRESS STUDIO OFFERS ARTISTS
WORKSHOPS ON USING THE LETTERPRESSES, AND

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IT'S A LITTLE BIT OF A MUSEUM, TOO, WHERE
LONGTIME JOURNALISTS COME TO REMINISCE.

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SO IT'S KIND OF BEEN A MIXTURE OF FINISHING
UP THE SPACE AND DOING SOME CLASSES AT THE

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SAME TIME.

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SO WE'VE HAD ABOUT FOUR OR FIVE CLASSES, AND
IT'S, I THINK IT'S A TOSS BETWEEN A MUSEUM

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AND AN ART STUDIO.

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IT'S NOT REALLY ONE OR THE OTHER BECAUSE A
LOT OF PEOPLE JUST WANDER IN AND WANT TO ASK

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QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRESS AND KNOW A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT LETTERPRESS.

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THE MANCOS TIMES WAS FOUNDED IN 1893, A YEAR
BEFORE THE TOWN OF MANCOS WAS INCORPORATED.

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IT LATER MERGED WITH THE COMPETING MANCOS
TRIBUNE, MOVED INTO THE GRAND AVENUE OFFICE

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IN 1910 AND PURCHASED WHAT WAS THEN CALLED
A COUNTRY PRESS, BECAUSE THE NINE-THOSAND-POUND

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CONTRAPTION COULD BE SHIPPED RELATIVELY EASILY
TO RURAL AREAS.[p] . IT WAS USED UNTIL 1970,

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WHEN THE TIMES-TRIBUNE CONVERTED TO OFFSET
AND PRINTED ITS EDITIONS ON THE PRESSES AT

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THE CORTEZ JOURNAL.[p] . THE BALLANTINE FAMILY,
OWNERS OF THE DURANGO HERALD, PURCHASED THE

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NEWSPAPER, EVENTUALLY MERGED IT WITH THE CORTEZ
JOURNAL AND BOARDED UP THE OLD BUILDING.

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AFTER THE CRANSTON PRESS WAS DISCOVERED, THE
BALLANTINES DONATED THE BUILDING AND PRESS

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EQUIPMENT TO THE MANCOS COMMON PRESS AND HELPED
TO FUND ITS RESTORATION, INCLUDING A MURAL

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CALLED YESTERDAY'S NEWS THAT ARTIST WYATT
GOODELL PAINTED IN 2014.[p] . THE NON-PROFIT

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ALSO RECEIVED GRANTS FROM THE COLORADO HISTORICAL
SOCIETY AND EXPERTISE FROM UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA

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PRESS EXERTS.

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IT PLAYED AN ENORMOUS ROLE IN THE ORIGIN OF
THE TOWN AND THE GROWTH OF THE TOWN.

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AND ALONG WITH THE BUILDING WE INHERITED ABOUT
A HUNDRED YEARS OF THE ORIGINAL, THE OLD NEWSPAPERS.

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AND I JUST GOT A SMALL GRANT FROM THE MUSEUM
FOUNDATION IN DENVER SO THAT WE CAN AT LEAST

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START TO STORE THOSE NEWSPAPERS CORRECTLY.

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AND AT SOME POINT, WE'LL PROBABLY TRY AND
BRING THEM OUT AND USE THEM IN WHAT WE PRINT

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IN CLASSES.

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GET SOME OF THE OLD NEWS OF THE TOWN AND WHO
WENT TO DENVER FOR THEIR GRANDDAUGHTER, GRANDDAUGHTER'S

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BIRTH AND THAT KIND OF THING.

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THE MANCOS COMMON PRESS HOPES THE ARTS STUDIO
WILL BECOME AN ECONOMIC DRIVER THAT BUILDS

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UPON MANCOS'S RECENT DESIGNATION AS A CREATIVE
ARTS DISTRICT.

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MANCOS IS REALLY IN THE LAST FEW YEARS TO
DEVELOP ITSELF, ESTABLISH ITSELF AS AN ARTS

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COMMUNITY, SO MAKING USE OF THE PRESSES AND
COMBINING IT WITH CONTEMPORARY TYPES OF PRINTING

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IS KIND OF THE DIRECTION WE WANT TO GO ULTIMATELY.

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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CRANSTON PRESS AND
AARTISTS WORKSHOPS, VISIT MANCOS COMMON PRESS

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DOT COM.THANKS FOR WATCHING THIS EDITION OF
LOCAL NEWS NETWORK.IF YOU'D LIKE TO SEE THIS

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STORY AGAIN, VISIT OUR WEBSITE WHERE YOU CAN
SIGN UP TO HAVE US DELIVER YOUR NEWS DIRECTLY

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INTO YOUR INBOX.

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I'M WENDY GRAHAM SETTLE FOR THE LOCAL NEWS
NETWORK.

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