Book Review
Montrose: Take a Closer Look

by Cathleen M. Norman & Marilyn S. Cox

Reviewed by Sara Rinne

[January 2020 | San Juan Silver Stage | Reviewed By Sara Rinne]

Walking down Main Street in Montrose can be a joy! There are fun stores to shop in, great eateries for a quick bite or a nice evening out, colorful festive lights in the winter, and beautiful flowers and trees in the summer. But have you ever stopped to examine the architecture? Montrose is home to some amazing historic buildings.

If you’re curious about the stories behind some of these buildings, well, there’s a book about that! Montrose: Take a Closer Look by Cathleen M. Norman and Marilyn S. Cox is a wonderful little book that begins with a brief history of our town, including histories of early industries, railroads, schools, and town founders. It goes on to include maps marked with historic sites as well as photographs of notable buildings accompanied by an entry for each site detailing the history of each building.

The Missouri/Diehl building at 345 Main Street, where Maggie’s Books is located today, was built in 1886 by R.C. Diehl for his dry goods store. Read more about it on pages 34 and 36. It was the first brick building on the block Author Jon Horne is profiling this building for the February issue of the Silver Stage.

The Lathrop Building at 439 Main Street is another fascinating edifice. Erected by J.V. Lathrop in 1889, it served as the towns first, and longest-lasting, hardware store until 1962. The building’s early history is further described on page 34 of Montrose: Take a Closer Look. Its more recent history is described in our story in this issue. (The book’s co-author, Marilyn Cox, also consulted on this story.)

Main Street isn’t the only area detailed in Montrose: Take a Closer Look. Both the North side and South side neighborhoods are included as well so the reader can learn the stories behind historic homes in Montrose. One of my favorite houses when I was a little girl was always “The Castle” at 701 North 4th Street. It was built in 1908! You can read all about the original owners, as well as the unique architectural attributes of this special dwelling on page 92.

Montrose: Take a Closer Look also includes entries for the downtown Fox movie theater, as well as the Knights of Pythias building and civic buildings. For instance, our current City Hall building was initiated by a progressive Women’s club in 1925 in response to the need for city leaders to have a place to meet. The original building housed not only city hall, but the municipal library as well!

This book is truly a treasure and so much fun to read in order to gain a deeper understanding of our town’s foundation. You can purchase Montrose: Take a Closer Look at Maggie’s Books!