The Mancos Common Press is a newly formed nonprofit under the umbrella of Mancos Valley Resources.
Its current membership includes: Richard Ballantine, Frank Matero, Betsy Harrison, Tami Graham, Suzy Meyer, Jim and Dian Law, and Marianne Griffin.
Its goal is to restore and preserve the Mancos Times Tribune building, the historic Cranston Press and other artifacts within the building. To do a thorough job of restoring the Times Tribune building, more information is needed. MCP is asking for people to contact the Chamber of Commerce if they have knowledge regarding the history of the building, old photographs or other related artifacts. You can stop by the Visitor Center at 101 E. Bauer, call 970-533-7434 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mancos Times Tribune has been an important piece of Mancos history. The Mancos Times was founded in 1873. In 1902, George Blakely started up a new paper, the Mancos Tribune. In 1904, the Freeman brothers purchased the Mancos Times, and in 1906 merged the two newspapers to become the Mancos Times Tribune. Currently, Mancos does not have an editor working from the Mancos Times Tribune building, and it has looked empty and unused for quite some time. But that is going to change soon.
Dr. Frank Matero, a part-time resident of Webber Canyon, is an architect from the University of Pennsylvania who has taken a serious interest in the newspaper and the building. He has worked for many years with Mesa Verde National Park on restoration projects. Over the past several months, Matero connected, through the Chamber of Commerce, with people who are interested in preserving the Mancos Times Tribune. He also connected with Richard Ballantine, whose family owns the Times Building and other regional newspapers in Cortez, Dolores, and Durango. Matero gained permission to bring a team of graduate students and staff from the university to help him assess the structure and its contents, including the Cranston Press in the back of the building.
From their exploration of the building, they learned that the building needs some minor repairs, despite the large crack that runs from roof to foundation. Some of you in the community may have noticed that the large tree growing against the west wall of the building has been removed. This will allow for repairs on the foundation. The Cranston Press is an important representation of the collective history and heritage of the Mancos Valley and worth keeping and restoring. There are few of these old presses in existence today, perhaps only three that are in working condition. According to Matero, the press at the Mancos Times Tribune could be put in working order once again and offer the potential to educate us all through newsprint and the art of printmaking.
Marianne Griffin is the executive director of the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, 101 E. Bauer Ave. Visit www.mancosvalley.com or contact her at 533-7434. You can also visit email@example.com for more information.