The Mancos Common Press is a newly formed organization under the umbrella of Mancos Valley Resources (MVR). Its goal is to restore and preserve the Mancos Times Tribune building, the historic Cranston Press and other artifacts in the building.
Its current membership includes: Richard Ballantine, owner; Betsy Harrison and Tami Graham (MVR); Suzy Meyer, retired editor at Cortez Journal; Jim and Dian Law; from the Mancos Valley Arts Council; and Marianne Griffin, from the Mancos Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The Mancos Times Tribune has been an important piece of Mancos history. The Mancos Times was founded in 1873. Then, 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, change is about to happen at the old newspaper, which most recently was designated an historic landmark by the Town of Mancos because of the efforts of the MCP.
Come learn more about these exciting changes at the open house scheduled for Thursday, June 19 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center, 130 W. Grand Ave. Important preservation and restoration work of the Cranston Press begins the week of June 9, when Mr. Matt Neff will arrive from the University of Pennsylvania to begin the work needed to put the Cranston Press in working order. Neff is a mixed-media artist and printmaker, the manager of the Common Press and Print Shop at the University as well as a teacher of printmaking. He will be the featured speaker during the open house and will explain the importance of the press to the Mancos community. There will also be tours of the Mancos Times Tribune building, and light refreshments will be served.
Neff said he's looking forward to meeting with the Mancos Common Press steering committee and the community. He plans to discuss how the community can use the space at the building and how to make the press a destination for artists and writers.
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. Once the press at the Mancos Times Tribune is working, it offers the potential to educate us all through newsprint and the art of printmaking.