WAY BACK WHEN: New cabs, Western Slope Auto

Photo courtesy of the family of Robert Grant.

Photo from the author’s collection.

Photo from the author’s collection



Fruita historians Steve and Denise Hight will conduct a downtown Fruita History Walk on Friday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. There is no charge, and the walk should last an hour to an hour and a half. Meet at the gazebo in Fruita’s downtown Circle Park.

Robert Grant takes us back to 1950 with a photo of a new fleet of taxi cabs, special-ordered for 57 Cab Service.

J. W. and Wesley E. Hayden were the proprietors of this modern taxi business that operated from 545 Colorado Ave. They also ran the Uintah Stage Line, a freight and passenger transportation business that serviced the Grand Junction area as well as Craig, Rangely and Vernal, Utah. Bill Wagner told me that the Grand Junction Police Department had these same Fords as their cruisers in 1950. Just like Mayberry.

The 1949 and 1950 Ford Coupes were nearly identical. The 1949 model had the letters F-O-R-D in an arc over the “bullet.” The 1950 sported a new shield-type Ford emblem.

Reed G. Miller was the owner of Western Slope Auto at 202 Main St. In the photo, looking west on the north side of the street, you can see The Macongan Lounge on the corner at 160 Main. New owners Mark and Ann Wagner would eventually transform the popular restaurant into Mark’s Cork n’ Embers, a five-star rated establishment.

Next is the A.W. Hammer Drug Co., Lee Ellis’ used car lot, and then at 118 Main, on the corner of First and Main streets, was the popular Hotel D’ Café with its Tic Toc Lounge and 24-hour drive-up service. The Hotel D’ Hamburger was owned by John and Marian Vogel. When it changed owners in the late ‘50s it became The Dream Restaurant with its “Dream Food” and cocktails served in the “Cloud 7 Bar.”


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