Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

The OLD Ted's Place

So many years have passed since the corner of Highway 14 and US 287 looked like these pictures. Ted's Place, known as "The Gateway To The Poudre", seemed to me like it should be there forever. It was such a familiar sight when we went to Laramie on Highway 287 or turned west on Highway 14 to go up the Poudre Canyon. At one time it was known as the only place in America listed on maps and atlases that didn't have a Post Office.

It was an old building, a cafe, and a gas station, sold fishing gear, and stocked some essentials that campers or neighbors may need. John and I became most familiar with it when we would ride our Harleys out to the KOA across the road and set up our tent for the weekend. After getting settled, we would walk across the highway to Ted's Place to eat. John loved it because they made the best sourdough pancakes in the World, and I hadn't tackled learning to make them yet.

My favorite memory is the sound of the old wooden screen door as we entered, and as it slammed behind us. There is no sound like a screen door used to sound before they became sophisticated and modern. I doubt they are even called screen doors anymore.

When we stepped in we were in front of the counter that held the old fashioned cash register. To the left was the cafe. It had a counter with stools that swiveled. It had kitchen tables and chairs of various makes and models. The tables had "oil cloth" coverings of various patterns. The term "oil cloth" is a test. Probably not many people remember that term. You could see the cook thru the serving window as she was busy preparing things that travelers may stop to eat. The floors were old wooden floors and ---- that's another special sound. The atmosphere was very welcoming and cozy and warm.

On one of our visits I bought two glass mugs that have a picture of Ted's Gas Truck and the words "TED'S PLACE Gateway to the POUDRE CANYON Laporte, Colorado". I have moved several times since then, but, I can never bear to part with them. They are from a place that is gone now. They remind me of a happy time in my history.

The corner of Highway 14 & Highway 287 was sold to Conoco several years ago. There was an effort started to save the old building called Ted's Place. However, Conoco made a decision about its property and ---- one day it was there and the next day it was demolished. Work done during the night stopped all of the discussion. Now there is a shiny, very busy, modern, convenience store on that corner. I am sure to the thousands of people that stop there think it is nice and wonderful. As for me, I would love to step into the old Ted's Place and hear that screen door one more time.


janeenmieir said...

I remember it too. We had property in the Pingree Park area when I was growing up and we always stopped at Ted's Place on our way up. My brother pumped gas there, his first job in the late 60's. He had a lot of stories about the locals that would come in to the store. I too remember that screen door and the wood floors. I miss seeing it when I drive up the canyon.

janeenmieir said...

I too remember Ted's Place. We used to stop there on our way up the canyon. My brother used to pump gas there in the late 60's. He had stories to tell of the locals; canyon folk, that used to frequent the place. I do remember that screen door and the wooden floors. Sad to see it go. Should have been on the historical society's list.

john said...

I remember going into Ted's place in the early seventies on our way up the canyon to hunt deer. I remember seeing a large non-typical mule deer mount in the store. Does anyone have a picture of this deer? I would love to see it again.

GenPatty said...

John, your comment reminded me of that same scene in Ted's Place. I had forgotten how much like a little amateur museum it was. More a collection of things dear to the owners. I have no ix of the inside, thought it would be there forever (g). What a nice memory it is for so many of us in Colorado. Patj