New museum exhibit to highlight historical business

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By Ben Wiebesiek

FORT LUPTON — The city’s museum is welcoming a new exhibit this month, “Doing Business in Fort Lupton” (A.& W. to Zadel’s, 150 years of businesses in Fort Lupton).
    Museum supervisor DebraRay Thompson said the museum is using photos in its possession and asking area businesses for contributions.

    “That plea was just to see if we could drum up some more from current businesses and or businesses that have been in business for quite a long time,” Thompson said. “We do have quite a bit of memorabilia and photographs here.”
    The business displays will be up through November.
    “Because we have a large amount of pictures, we’re going to do a pictorial spread of whatever we have for photographs of businesses from the early days — late 1800s into the present,” Thompson said. “There’s going to be a lot to do with the early canning company, creamery, black smith’s shop. Those pictures we do have are obviously going to be the ones that are highlighted.”
    Thompson said many of the businesses on display actually predate the incorporation of Fort Lupton itself.
    “The Winbourns, the Twomblys, St. John, the Vincent family, the Putnam family, Frank Ewing — many of these families, because they were also business owners, we’re going to use those photographs to tell the early story of Fort Lupton,” Thompson said. “And then the early families, there were several early families who basically were instrumental in building the town of Fort Lupton. The town was incorporated in 1889, but we had businesses and schools since the 1860s.”
    Thompson said the museum has newspapers going back to 1895, which will provide many of the early pictures of the city.
    “We also have photographs that are in the back of the school annual, because since 1953 we’ve had a school annual produced in Fort Lupton,” Thompson said. “You know it as Lucifer’s Log. And those businesses supported the production of the annual, and so there’s lots of wonderful photographs in there. And we’re just going to take them and blow them up.”
    Today, Fort Lupton is somewhat of a bedroom community, with residents commuting to jobs in other cities and counties. But in the history of Fort Lupton, Thompson said many residents lived where they worked.
    “The canning company was a huge part of the community because, of course, you needed laborers of all types — you needed migrant workers and then people who were versed on machinery,” Thompson said. “That took the entire town at the time to run the canning company.”
    The Fort Lupton Museum is also in need of gently used “legal size” four-drawer filing cabinets and/or legal-sized file folders and hanging style folders, for Cyclone, Fort Lupton Press / Blue and White Courier newspaper archives, of which they have thousands of copies as far back as 1895 and have run out of cabinets.
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.