Crawford is located well up in the foothills of the Gunnison range, one of the rugged ranges of the Rockies. Crawford is situated in one of the most beautiful spots on the western slope. The valleys between these hills reach far up into the mountains and each valley resents its own special charm and attractions for homes and ranches. Crawford is located on the Smith fork of the Gunnison River along CO Highway 92. Crawford is the home of Saddle Mountain, Needle Rock, Sleeping Indian, Castle Rock, Cathedral Peak, Lands’ End, and several other scenic points including the Crawford State Park. Crawford is the home of many quaint locally owned businesses that you will want to visit. Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, hardware stores, gift shops, coffee shops, and restaurants. Legendary singer Joe Cocker was laid to rest in the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Crawford. When you leave town don’t forget to spend the day or camp at the North Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The North Rim campground is remote and has 13 sites dispersed among pinyon and juniper trees. While at the North Rim, you will see some of the most spectacular views imaginable. The greatest depth is 2722 feet and the narrowest width is 40 feet.
Crawford State Park
Young's Peak Trail:
This trail begins at the firehouse(1 ½, blocks east of the Crawford Community Church). The trail takes you to the top of Young's Peak (known locally as C Hill) on the east side of town. This expedition is worth the 45 minutes you will spend climbing. The trail is somewhat steep and not always well marked, but rest your legs and lungs often and you will be handsomely rewarded for your effort. The view from the top is fantastic. Excellent vistas of Needle Rock and the West Elks to the east, the Crawford Reservoir and jagged San Juan Mountains to the South, and Utah to the West. Views are up to 75 miles! Three recommendations: 1) Go early before it gets too hot! 2) Take water - you'll need it! 3) Take a camera, you'll want it! Enjoy the views - not many like this. If you are not up to the hike and have a hardy 4-wheel drive vehicle, you can take the four wheeler road to the top of the hill. One mile one way. 1000-foot elevation change.
Needle Rock & the Needle Rock Trail:
Needle Rock is the eroded plug of an extinct volcano that rises 700 feet above Missouri Flats about 4 miles east of Crawford. Needle Rock is the unofficial symbol of Crawford Country, and it is worth the trip to see it up close. From the parking area on the south side of the spire, a trail leads up as far as one might want to venture on foot. Beautiful views, but again, take good shoes and water. Unless you are part mountain goat, don't even think of going all the way to the top! ¼, mile one way. 600-foot elev. change.
History of the Town Hall Building
History of the School
By Nancy G. Lynch
Today our strongest interests are weaving themselves about the school where we have spent a large share of our youthful days—the school that has played a great part in shaping our lives and molding our ideals so that soon when we, as a class, depart from these halls, we shall be able to look above the clouds into the infinitude of the future and behold a life worth living—a life of joy and service to others.
The first public school in this community was built near the ranch where Mr. Everett Porter now lives in 1885. It was a one-room log cabin and was very meagerly equipped. During the six years that school was held in this cabin, there was an average of thirty or forty pupils who came from all over the community. The first term of school was taught by Mr. Grand. The five successive teachers were Mr. Morrow, Mr. Jacques, Mr. Craig, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Thomas.
In 1891, this part of the country had been more densely settled. The need for more schools was imperative, and it was voted to establish three schools, one in the Clear Fork District, one near the Oscar Sanderson ranch where Mr. Ted Austin now lives, and one near the McIntyre ranch where Mr. John Buckey lives.
It was not until 1906 that a school was built on the present site. The building was of stone and had three stories. At first it was merely elementary grade school, but in 1907, the ninth grade was added. A grade was added at a time, and the first class graduated in 1911.
On December 12, 1912, the school building caught fire from a defective flue. The building was greatly damaged and for that year school was continued in various buildings in Crawford.
The next year the school building which we now have was completed at the cost of sixteen thousand dollars. The building remained unchanged until 1923, when a more convenient arrangement was established for the recitation rooms.
The rank of the school and the number of graduates quickly advanced. Our school has always taken an active part in the county fair work.
We now have about fifty pupils in high school and a graduation class of eleven students. This is the largest graduation class in the history of the Crawford school.
We know that there is a great future ahead for our school. When we get our gymnasium, a greater opportunity will be given to the students here. They will be better able to cope with neighboring schools in sports and other activities.
If from this review of our school’s history, a greater interest in the school and its young folks has been aroused, and the sincere feeling of good will to all the supporters of our Alma Mater has been increased, , then our object, as a class has been fulfilled and we gladly leave the future of our school, where we have strived to learn life’s rules, in the care of them who follow in our footsteps.