Crawford History

According to the much told story, in 1882, a year after the North Fork and Crawford Country areas were opened to immigrant settlement, Captain George A. Crawford passed through the future Crawford area and suggested that a site along the Smith Fork Valley might be a good place to establish a town.

The locals supposedly appreciated the suggestion so much that when the post office was established the following year (April 13, 1883), it was given the name Crawford.

George Crawford went on to be credited with the founding of Delta and Grand Junction, Colorado, albeit in a much more active fashion.

A few facts about the Crawford Area

  • The post office was in a granary closer to the main part of town.  It remained there for 36 years.
  • The Crawford Methodist Church (officially the John Finney Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church of Crawford) was built in 1900 at the behest of Rev. Henry "Poppy" Harpst for the sum of $164 on land donated by Mrs. Ong, a settler from Illinois, who was considered the Town Mother, she also ran a nearby store. She gave the land for both the church and the adjacent Garden of Memories cemetery.
  • The first Crawford school was built in 1906.  It burned in 1912 and was re-built in 1913 using some of the same rocks.
  • The old school house is now known as the Crawford Town Hall. It has been restored and remodeled and is on the National Historical Society list.
  • The Crawford reservoir was finished in 1963. It was built for irrigation water, but is also used for recreation and is now part of Crawford State Park.
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison (South-west of Crawford) is 2,722 feet deep and has the tallest vertical wall in the state of Colorado at 2,250 feet!  In 1933 president Herbert Hoover proclaimed it a National Monument, and in 1999 it became a National Park.