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Midwest Cafe: 1941

Midwest Cafe: 1941

September 1941. "Main street of Craig, Colorado. A new and thriving boom town in the Yampa River Valley." Photo by Marion Post Wolcott for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.


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Interesting how brand names take on a generic item identification. Kodaks refer to Kodak cameras specifically, but could have been used for all cameras?
Similarly in the UK 'Hoover' became used as a generic term for vacuum cleaning: "I"m going to Hoover the carpets"

AAA approval

Bet it was good back then.

Oh yes ...

Yes please, three over easy, hash browns, whole wheat and gravy, coffee for sure.

Straight 8, V-12, Straight 6

The Zephyr, with its aerodynamic lines and V-12, was a marketing coup for Ford Motor Company in the depths of the Great Depression. It came back for 1946, then was gone.

+81 Years

The Midwest Cafe was located at 520 Yampa Avenue, now the Spicy Basil.


Unlike in Canada, where we say Kodak and Lego (which are the actual names), in the US people say Kodaks and Legos. Why?

["Kodaks" = Kodak cameras. - Dave]

This Boomer Boomed From Craig

Just a bit after this photo was made, I was conceived in this place. My mother said there were reasons I was NOT born there. Mostly, she said it had to do with exiting the family house from the second floor in winter. Also, leaving the family car running all night in winter. Then, there was the unpleasant task of hanging laundry that froze nearly instantly, including my sister's diapers.

Mom said people were neighborly. If you were starving in winter, they'd bring you a deer carcass to gnaw on and trade eggs for a cup of coffee. Also, Mom did say there were decent cafes & bars, but that they absorbed too much of my old man's time.

So one blistering cold winter morning Mom packed her bags, determined to get the Hell out of there. My old man said, "If you'll wait a day, I'll go with you."

Over the months ahead, there were reasons I was not born in Alaska, Washington, California nor Texas.

There's a whole armoire of inherited family photos in the next room, some of which almost certainly were processed by those folks at Irwin's.

The cars are the Stars!

The partial car on the left is a 1940 Buick Special coupe. The middle car is a 1940 Lincoln Zephyr, and the car on the right is a 1937 Chevrolet Master Business Coupe, which came with only ONE (the left one) taillight!

Air Conditioning

I enjoyed seeing the "air conditioned" sign. It reminds me of the old Kool cigarette ad on many a restaurant door: "Come in, it's KOOL inside."

Out of state

Interesting that none of the cars shown are from Colorado. The left car has California plates, the center is from Montana, and the right from Wyoming. Craig seems like an unlikely tourist destination, but perhaps the food at the Midwest Cafe was worth the detour.

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