Little Flower Hemp Company, New Store,  428 Main St.,  Montrose, Colo.

By Linda White

[December 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage]

“We hold these truths to be self-evident…” written on hemp paper. Colonial law required farmers to grow hemp for production of paper, fuel, and rope. Evidence of growing hemp dates to 2800 CE (Common Era) and was used as biodiesel in the early 20th century.

Peggie Baker, owner of Little Flower Hemp Company, knew those facts when she started growing hemp on her farm more than four years ago. From weekly testing at a regional lab to reassuring clients and the curious about hemp, the highly trained team at Little Flower takes pride in meeting and the exceeding guidelines and requirements of growing hemp. That level of expertise going forward will improve quality of life and promote healthy living at their new storefront location at 428 East Main Street.

“We are delighted to be on this street with its rich history. Our shop is part of the 1908 Nye Building. Samuel Nye had one of the first farms and orchards in the Olathe area, ordering his trees through the Uncompahgre Post Office before the Montrose Post Office was established.

There’s a little magic in that, don’t you think? We will offer hemp lotion and face products, as well as cannabidiol, or CBD oil.”

In 2020, in addition to a variety of products available, Little Flower will grow industrial hemp for fiber and hempcrete, which gets stronger as it ages and is the “new concrete”. Why is this new iteration so good? “Hemp fabric is antifungal, antimicrobial, and absorbent. With the extraction of isolates from the hemp—the element that alters mood—the prospects for more uses are global. It’s bug-resistant and drought-resistant. I wish it was grown everywhere because it improves soil, water, and air.”

Ms. Baker hopes the familiar Main Street location, with ongoing roundtable education offered, will promote positive discussion and assuage any lingering doubts wrought from old stigmas about growing hemp. Hemp, a crop grown in the earth, is harvested for a variety of uses vital to a strong economy. That seems appropriate in the community of Montrose, a town unafraid of change with a history born of diversity. *

Historic Downtown Main Street

By Linda White

Main Street looking east. Nye building, last tall building on south side of street. Image © Montrose Historical Society.

From an adobe hovel on the north echoing the native peoples’ habitation that became T.B. Townsend’s Hardware Store at Number 337 to the Bell & Catlin Building on the south that housed Frank D. Catlin’s law office at Number 434, the narrow two blocks of Main Street honor a varied and progressive past. Townsend supplied buggies and equipment to farmers and ranchers, while Catlin hosted President Taft, who was dedicating the Gunnison Tunnel. Both men—and maybe the President—would have visited the “Leader of Fashion” at R.C. Diehl’s Dry Goods for boots, shoes, and hats in the first brick structure ca.1886 at Number 345. Across the street the town’s first druggist, Charles J Getz, constructed a cast-iron front building in 1885. At the same time, J.V Lathrop carried bicycles and cookstoves at Number 439, and Andrew Noble Humphries, who trained at Marshall, Fields & Co in Chicago, opened his second Colorado store at Number 307. Humphries Mercantile carried the latest fashions. The Central Hotel on the second floor housed sheepherders in winter. A bread-baking Sheriff J.C. Taylor hung up his badge to occupy Number 303 which later became a hotel featuring electric lights, a restaurant, and billiard hall. The 1906 Thomas Building at Number 448 was strictly cash for W.A. Thomas groceries, and that same nickel bought miniature golf 15 years later when kids could play all day. In 1910, the Central Business College provided education at the Nye Building at Number 428. Historic downtown Main Street supplied hardware and legal rights, shiny new transportation and education, lodging and refreshment, fashion and fun.