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Cisco Automotive Service, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]



cowger's_01.jpg: Cisco, UT Sep. 11, 2014
cowger's_02.jpg: Cisco, UT Sep. 11, 2014

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale.

There seem only a few businesses survived along US Hwy 50 & 6 at Cisco in the early 70's; 4 gas service stations, a mercantile/cafe and a motel. Some private houses also seem existed along the Second Street. The easternmost of the town sat this structure on Lot 1, 2 and 3 of Block 1, Cisco Townsite.


Cisco Automotive Service History

According to Kathy Jordan, this structure is the Cowger’s Garage Service Station[1].

According to Mary L. Cowger Hepperle, this is the Cisco Automotive Service built by Richard Elton(1906 - 1981) and Mary Cowger in 1950: they came to Cisco in 1944[2]. However, they sold the properties and moved to Grand Junction, CO. in 1953[2].

Ray and Althea M.(1910 - 1962) Scott operated the station at least from 1955 and to the 70's, at least to 1976[3, 4, 5]. After the demise of Althea, her sister Mable Goutierrez helped Ray[6]. But by 1978, Ray moved to Reno, NV and the property was offered for sale at public auction[7].

cowger's-ad_1955.jpg: Sep. 29, 1955 Times Independent


Cisco Automotive Service Structure

The structure of Cisco Automotive Service still exists, but in miserable appearance as you can see above. The appearance paradoxically induced many to take photos. As a result, we can find many photos on web pages[8]. Fortunately, the Cisco Automotive Service was mainly made of cinderblocks, I could count the joints on the wall in the photos to infer the dimensions.

Aerial photo of google map also helped me. Former Rio Grande tracks on the opposite side of the road brought me the approximate scale. The result of my survey is shown below as drawings: of course some imaginations (door styles and interior walls) are included.

[1] Jordan, Kathy. "‘Uranium King’ Charlie Steen started out in Cisco tar­paper shack", Mar. 24, 2011 Grand Junction Daily Sentinel;
[2] Hepperle, Mary L. Cowger. "Memories of Cisco", Canyon Legacy, Vol. 51, Dan O'Laurie Canyon County Museum, 2004
[3] Sep. 29, 1955 Times Independent;
[4] Jul. 12, 1962 Times independent;
[5] Apr. 1, 1976 Times Independent;
[6] Miller, Patti "Comment for 'The Streets of Cisco, Utah'", Ghost Town: Cisco, Utah;
[7] Apr. 27, 1978 Times Independent;
[8] for example, Laura Beth Drilling photo at flickr;
revised Sep. 22, 2014
revised Dec. 22, 2014
revised Feb. 4, 2015
revised Jul. 27, 2016
revised Dec. 27, 2016


zephyr-station_drawing.jpg: Cisco Automotive Service drawings

zephyr_elv_n.jpg: North elevation

zephyr_elv_w.jpg: East elevation

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Cisco Automotive Service, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

cowger's_model_plan.jpg: model drawings for Cisco Automotive Service

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Cowger’s Cisco Automotive Service.

Modeling using printer or cutter may become major in N scale because of product’s relatively limited size. Printing/cutting would be adequate to model industrial products such as railroad equipments because of its precise performance.

Blocks, doors and other components are precisely manufactured at factories, but the architecture itself is a unique piece constructed at the site by hands. Thus, I think printed model structures are too stuffy. So I tried to make Cisco Automotive Service by hands using styrene and wood (I don’t have 3D printer nor cutter, though).

Of course I used available model parts for manufactured components like windows. So, I adjusted some prototype openings to fit and drew plans of the model structure. Result is shown above.

cowger's_model_01.jpg: cinder block wall

Cisco Automotive Service is made of cinder blocks. So I laid series of blocks made of styrene level by level. My modeling ability causes unevennesses and roughnesses. But they produce the massiveness and texture of the cinder block wall, I think.

cowger's_model_02.jpg: roof trusses

Beams and roof trusses are made of wood, alike the prototoype. Tar paper roof is made of sand paper. Doors and windows are Tichy and Grandt Line products. Some window parts are cut to fit. Numbers in the drawing above shows the numbers of parts I used.
revised、Feb. 4, 2015

cowger's_model_03.jpg: half way to completion
cowger's_model_04.jpg: gas pump and sign ready to paint

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Cisco Automotive Service, part 3 [Works_Town of Cisco]

cowger's_model_06.jpg: North elevation facing the highway

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Cowger’s Cisco Automotive Service.

I first painted walls dark green to prevent optical transmission. Next, I painted gray to represent cinder block. Finally, exterior and living quarter interior walls became white because I had no information for the prototype color. After painting I filled the block joints up with modeling compound.

cowger's_model_07.jpg: looking from Northwest

There were Shell and Phillips 66 gas stations along with Cowger’s in 1970. There is no gas station marking in my 1969 Texaco road map. According to UtahRails web page, UTOCO, a subsidiary of Standard, Chevron, Husky, Phillips 66 and Beeline had refineries in Utah*.

cowger's_model_05.jpg: garage, pump and the sign

Cowger’s sign barely seen in the movie “Vanishing Point” looks roundish but not round. That leaves UTOCO as the only candidate if I ignore the torch flame of UTOCO logo. 1955 ad in the news paper by Ray Scott writes he sells UTOCO. Thus, I added the UTOCO sign.
Tokheim 1250 Gas pump, shown in the photo found at Flickr site, will be also decorated in Standard scheme**.

cowger's_model_08.jpg: lonesome Tokheim pump

Roof and roof trusses are kept removable for the future lighting, interior works and weathering. Co-starring pick up truck in the pictures is a Woodland Scenics product.

50's photo of similar UTOCO gas station at Willard, Utah;
* articles on Utah refineries;
** photo of the gas pump;
revised、Feb. 4, 2015


cowger's_model_09.jpg

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Capansky’s Bar, Restaurant and Phillips 66 Gas Station, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]



capansky's_02.jpg: Cisco, UT. Sep. 11, 2014
capansky's_01.jpg: Cisco, UT. Sep. 11, 2014

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my survey.

Next to the Cisco Automotive Service on the west side sits this structure on Block 2, Cisco Townsite.


Capansky’s Bar, Restaurant and Phillips 66 Gas Station History

Kathy Jordan describes this structure as the Capansky’s Bar, Restaurant and Conoco Gas Station[1].

Mary L. Cowger Hepperle, describes this structure as the Capansky's Cafe Beer Joint[2].

Capansky's name first appears in the newspaper Times independent in Feb. 1926. William Boston(1887 - 1951) and Eppie(Effie) Fanning(1892 - 1976) Capansky might established the business no later than in 1927[3, 4]. According to Kathy, Eppie succeeded the business since 1951 as William passed away that year[3].

Richard Bevens of Gunnison, CO. must have succeeded the business later same year; Duke's appears in the ad shown below is maybe his trade name[5].

capansky's_ad.jpg: July 21, 1955 Green River Journal

In 1970, Eppie's son Robert Ted Capansky(1920 ー 2006) came back from California to take care of his mother's holdings including a home and a place of business at Cisco[6]. Beer license was approved for him in 1971[7].

However, the Annual Financial Statement For the Year Ended December 31, 1972 appeared in Mar. 1, 1973 Times Independent is the latest evidence of the survival of Ted's business to this day[8]. Even so, 2015 Grand County Tax Delinquent List still has Ted's name on it[9].


Capansky’s Bar, Restaurant and Phillips 66 Gas Station Structure

1970 movie Vanishing Point barely shows this structure hanging out Phillips 66 sign. In the movie, this structure painted white with red band is barely seen. This structure also appears in the 1990 movie Thelma and Louise as a tired service station/beauty saloon.

The structure of Capansky’s Station still exists, but in rather swayed appearance as you can see above. It took some time to figure out the shape of planed corner because of the structure’s distortion.

Worthy of note is that the convex facade of the structure does not face the street. The annex next to this structure on the south was moved from Green River, Utah[10]. Accordingly, this structure was also must have been moved from somewhere. Its planed corner seems a later modification.

Aerial photo of the google map helped me to infer the dimensions. Former Rio Grande tracks on the opposite side of the road brought me the approximate scale. We can find many photos of this structure on web pages too. The result of my survey is shown below as drawings: of course some imaginations are included.
revised Sep. 22, 2014
revised Jan. 7, 2015
revised Feb. 4, 2015
revised Dec. 28, 2016

[1] Jordan, Kathy. "‘Uranium King’ Charlie Steen started out in Cisco tar­paper shack", Mar. 24, 2011 Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
[2] Hepperle, Mary L. Cowger. "Memories of Cisco", Canyon Legacy, Vol. 51, Dan O'Laurie Canyon County Museum, 2004
[3] Jul. 21, 1927 Times Independent;
[4] April 5, 1951 Times independent;
[5] Nov. 15, 1951 Times Independent;
[6] Mar 19, 1970 Times independent;
[7] Apr. 22, 1971 Times Independent;
[8] Mar. 1, 1973 Times Independent;
[9] 2015 Grand County Tax Delinquent List
[10] Apr. 2, 1970 Times Independent;

phillips_drawing.jpg: Capansky’s Station drawings

phillips_elevation.jpg: North and West elevation

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Capansky’s Bar, Restaurant and Phillips 66 Gas Station, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

phillips_modeldrawing.jpg: model drawings for Capansky’s Station

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Capansky’s Bar, Restaurant and Phillips 66 Gas Station.

Capansky’s Station is made of wood; horizontal siding wall and shingle roof covered with sheet. I used Evergreen styrene sheet #4037 for the wall. I also used 0.1mm Tamiya Plastic Paper for architraves. Doors and windows are Tichy and Grandt Line products. I drew model plans to adjust some prototype openings to fit. Result is shown above. Numbers in the drawings above shows the numbers of parts I used.

phillips_model_01.jpg: wood siding walls

I wanted to make eave of the roof as thin as possible to avoid toy-like appearance. but thin materials like styrene, wood and paper apt to warp. To avoid warping, I used 0.3mm brass plate for the roof. The weight of the brass plate also steadies the distortion of the handmade wood roof trusses. I applied Tamiya Plastic Paper on the brass plate to represent the sheet.

phillips_model_02.jpg: roof trusses

Some pictures barely shows L-shaped counter inside the structure*. But I couldn’t find out the interior layout. So, the interior of the model was left vacant.

* Picture showing the counter;

phillips_model_03.jpg: half way to completion
phillips_model_04.jpg: pumps ready to paint

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Capansky’s Bar, Restaurant and Phillips 66 Gas Station, part 3 [Works_Town of Cisco]

phillips_model_06.jpg: looking from Northwest

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Capansky’s Station.

I first painted walls dark green to prevent optical transmission. Next, I painted the wall white. Finally, I painted the red band and added light weathering with compound.

phillips_model_05.jpg: looking from Northeast

Some pictures show 50's style gas pumps torn down in front of the structure[1]. The picture used in Kathy Jordan’s article barely shows the sign pole standing between two pumps along US Hwy 6. Accordingly, I made two 50's style pumps and painted in Phillips 66 scheme. Added is the Phillips sign on the pole. All the graphics were done with self-made decals.

phillips_model_09.jpg: 50's style gas pumps

Roof, roof trusses and interior walls are kept removable for the future lighting, interior works and weathering. Co-starring pick up truck in the pictures is a Woodland Scenics product.

phillips_model_07.jpg: oblique rays of the sun lits

phillips_model_08.jpg: the end of the day

As I mentioned before, the purpose of “Cisco Project” is to bring the “landscape” to my N scale world. Photographer Stephan Shore says that the architectures are the parameter of the essence landscape has[2].

I received his thought as vast space is unnecessary if I could successfully model the structure. But I found, when I was taking the photos, that it needs a kind of space between objects to achieve the purpose; space between structure and structure, or structure and accessories. The evidences are shown above.

[1] One of the pictures showing the gas pump base (middle right);
[2] My review for Uncommon Spaces by Stephan Shore;

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Ruth’s 66 Cafe, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]

: estimated site of Ruth’s 66 Cafe


I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my survey.

There used to be a structure with the sign “Ruth’s 66 Cafe”, next to the Capansky’s Station on the west side on Block 6, Cisco Townsite. But, as you can see above, the structure is completely vanished today.


Ruth’s 66 Cafe History

Block 6 of Cisco Townsite, consisted of 21 lots, was the "downtown" of Cisco. In 1912, Bill's Pool Room owned by William Andrew Shidler(1872 - 1939) occupied Lots 1 to 5 of Block 6[1, 2]. Later, in 1917, Cisco Hotel was added to the property.

Same year, Eugene Montgomery "Monte"(1858 - 1931) and Harriett H. Moreland acquired Lots 16 and 17 from Cisco Land Company, the principal owner of Cisco townsite by that time managed by Robert Morton(1869 - 1923) and Dora Ellen(1863 - 1933) Handy, and opened up the Pastime Restaurant[3, 4]. Monte was a well known prospector, trapper and bootlegger in this region.

pastime_ad_1913.jpg: Aug. 1, 1913 Grand Valley Times

The fact worthy of note is that we can see the mark of garage door on sides in the images I represented below. As such, an assumption can be established that the structure was, one time, a garage.

According to Grand Valley Times, Ernest Edward Stone(1889 - 1970) went to Rahe's Auto and Tractor School at Kansas City in 1917 and established the Studebaker agency at Cisco[5, 6]. However, there is no evidence that this structure is the Stone's garage.

According to Times Independent, Henry Hansen(1860 – 1932), who owned Lots 16 and 17 from 1927 to 1932, opened up a cafe in connection with his other work the postmaster, in 1921[7].

Kathy Jordan describes the structure as a saloon than a cafe[8]. The photo used in her article shows the north elevation of the structure facing the highway.

Lee A. Bennett describes the structure as Vic’s Cafe verified between 1944 and 1953[9]. Mary L. Hepperle describes that Victor Murray(1893 - 1962) owned the property between Cisco Mercantile and the Capansky's[10]. Accordingly, the structure might have been owned by Victor, and Vic’s may means Victor's.

According to Jan. 8, 1948 Times independent, John William(1898 – 1964) and Edgar Malcolm(1893 – 1954) Burke bought all the Block 6 from Victor Murray that year[11]. However, whether Burkes ran the cafe is uncertain.

According to Dec. 9, 1954 and Jan. 6, 1955 Times independent, it might have been Taylor Cafe managed by Newell Arthur(1911 - 1967) and Lila Agnes(1912 - 1994) Taylor in those days[12, 13].

And then, here comes Ruth.
J. Lowell(1912 - 1968) and Ruth Maxine(1918 - 1999) Mealey came to Cisco in 1956[14]. They started running the J&M CAFE & SERVICE, selling diesel, gas, oil, beer and food.
According to their advertisement on Oct. 27, 1960 Times Independent, the business was worth eighty-thousand dollars a year, when they tried to sell the business[15].

j&mservice_ad.jpg: Mar. 29, 1962 Times Independent

Teddy D.(1935 – 1961) and Jeannie(1938 - ?) Johnson succeeded the business in 1961[16]. Mealeys moved to Moab and began operating the Holiday Haven Mobile Home Resorts owned by Holiday Mobile Homes resort Inc., of Phoenix, Arizona[17]. However, Ted died accidentally by electrocution same year[18].

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson of Mack, CO bought all the Block 6 in 1963[19]. However, whether Nelsons succeeded the business is uncertain.

And then, here comes another Ruth.
Ernest Eugene(1923 - 1989) and Ruth Lorene Endicott(1922 - 1986) McCoy of Moab seem bought all the Block 6 same year. Beer license was approved to Ernest of Cisco Cafe 66 in 1963[20].
Grand County Receipt and Disbursements Year Ended December 31, 1964 appeared in Apr. 4, 1965 Times Independent lists Ruth 66 Cafe[21]. Melvin Jack Mills(1936 - 1973) might have been the operator in 1967[22].
However, the Annual Financial Statement For the Year Ending December 31, 1971 appeared in Feb. 25, 1971 Times Independent seems the latest evidence of the survival of McCoy's business to this day[23].


Ruth’s 66 Cafe Structure

According to the 1919 ICC Valuation Map for Cisco, the structure measures 25' x 43'.

We can barely see the structure in 1944 aerial photo provided by U.S. Geological Survey. In the 1969 USGS photo, we clearly see the structure still standing at the site; opposite the Rio Grande depot on US Hwy 50 & 6.

This structure appears in the 1970 movie Vanishing Point as a vacant space[24]. We can also see the upraised “RUTH’S 66 CAFE, OPEN 24 HOURS” sign on the wall in the movie.

In the book Helldorados, Ghosts and Camps of the Old Southwest, author Norman D. Weis represents a photo taken in the mid 70's showing both the closed storefront and the west elevation[25].


The aerial photo helped me to infer the dimensions. I also captured the movie and traced the elevation. The interior appeared in the movie Vanishing Point also helped me drawing the plans. The result is shown below: of course some imaginations are included.
revised Dec. 24, 2013
revised Sep. 22, 2014
revised Dec. 22, 2014
revised Jan. 9, 2015
revised Feb. 4, 2015
revised Jul. 30, 2015
revised Oct. 26, 2015
revised Nov. 10, 2015
revised Jul. 26, 2016
revised Aug. 23, 2016
revised Oct. 23, 2016
revised Dec. 28, 2016
revised Jan. 8, 2017
revised Jan. 30, 2017

[1] May 24, 1912 Times Independent;
[2] Dec. 8, 1921 Times Independent;
[3] Nov. 29, 1912 Grand Valley Times;
[4] Jan. 14, 1913 Grand Valley Times;
[5] Dec. 7, 1917 Grand Valley Times;
[6] May 31, 1918 Grand Valley Times;
[7] Jan. 20, 1921 Times Independent;
[8] Jordan, Kathy. "‘Uranium King’ Charlie Steen started out in Cisco tar­paper shack", Mar. 24, 2011 Grand Junction Daily Sentinel;
[9] Bennett, Lee A. A History of Selected Ranches on the Colorado River, Bennett Management Services, LLC, 2009;
[10] Hepperle, Mary L. "Memories of Cisco", Canyon Legacy, vol. 51, Dan O'Laurie Canyon County Museum, 2004
[11] Jan. 8, 1948 Times independent;
[12] Dec. 9, 1954 Times independent;
[13] Jan. 6, 1955 Times independent;
[14] Feb. 20, 1999 Deseret News;
[15] Oct. 27, 1960 Times Independent;
[16] May 18, 1961 Steamboat Pilot;
[17] Nov. 12, 1964 Times Independent;
[18] May 4, 1961 Times Independent;
[19] May 23, 1963 Times independent;
[20] Oct. 10, 1963 Times Independent;
[21] Apr. 8, 1965 Times Independent;
[22] Jun. 8, 1967 Times Independent;
[23] Feb. 25, 1971 Times independent;
[24] Ruth’s 66 Cafe still from the movie Vanishing Point at flickr;
[25] Weis, Norman D. Helldorados, Ghosts and Camps of the Old Southwest, Caxton Printers, 1977

ruth's-66-cafe_drawing.jpg: references and drawings of Ruth’s 66 Cafe

ruth's_elv.jpg: North and West elevation

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Ruth’s 66 Cafe, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

ruth's_model_01_plan.jpg: model drawings of Ruth’s 66 Cafe.

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Ruth’s 66 Cafe”.

Ruth’s 66 Cafe was made of wood; horizontal siding wall and tarpaper (maybe) roof. I used Evergreen styrene sheet #4037 for the wall. I also used 0.1mm Tamiya Plastic Paper for architraves. Doors and windows are Tichy products. I drew model plans to adjust some prototype openings to fit. Result is shown above. Numbers in the drawing above shows the numbers of parts I used.

ruth's_model_02.jpg: wood siding walls

Thin wood is used for the roof trusses, flooring and retaining wall. I used 0.3mm brass plate for the roof. I applied sand paper on the brass plate to represent the tarpaper.

The one and only attractive feature of this structure would be the sign sticking out from the facade. I don’t know whether it was a neon sign or not. But I decided to make the neon tube using 0.2mm brass rod to represent the attraction.

ruth's_model_03.jpg: neon tubes

ruth's_model_04.jpg: interior under construction

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Ruth’s 66 Cafe, part 3 [Works_Town of Cisco]

ruth's_model_05.jpg: North elevation facing US Hwy 6

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Ruth’s 66 Cafe.

I first painted walls with grey primer. Next, I painted the wall white. Windows, doors, floor and retaining wall were painted brown. Interior wall color in the movie “Vanishing point” seemed yellow/ocher. So I painted the wall yellow with Tamiya TS-34. Finally, I added light weathering with sand paper. Applied graphics are the homemade decals.

ruth's_model_06.jpg: West elevation appeared in the movie “Vanishing Point”

Roof, roof trusses and interior walls are kept removable for the future interior works. Glazing is lost, the same to prototype.

I previously mentioned that it needs a kind of space between objects, between structure and structure or structure and accessories, to bring the landscape. In other words, this space brings the essence of place. To make space fulfill its function, I think objects must have crisp edges. Crisp edges activate the function of space because dull edges don’t particularly bring us the recognition of the space between the objects.

ruth's_model_08.jpg: neon sign hung high up

ruth's_model_09.jpg: but only desolation fills the vacant room

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1950 Ford F-1 for Town of Cisco [Works_Town of Cisco]

fordf-1_01.jpg: 1950 Ford F-1 by GHQ

I made this car for a refreshing; slightly got tired of making Cisco structures. Chose is a 1950 Ford F-1 kit produced by GHQ.

GHQ kit is made of pewter and manufactured accurately with no burr, no mold shift. As front wheels can be fixed in steered position, I made a steering wheel in the cab and fixed the wheels as so. I also fit glazing and polished the molds after painting to represent the chrome plated molds.

fordf-1_03.jpg: parts ready to assemble

The bonnet of this Ford reminded me of EMD GP30 cab while I was polishing the parts. They resemble to each other. Both front-halves retain two-piece housing, have cowl with edge on horizontal plane, and have cowl widen toward the end.

The characteristic design of this Ford pickup was produced between 1948 and 1952. EMD parent GM also produced pickups similar to Ford’s in these days. Sedans of these days already had their bonnet and fender integrated. And in the ’60s, pickups also had one-piece housing.

It is said that the design of GP30 was inspired from a car design. GP30 was first produced in 1961. So, I may say that, if GP30 design was inspired from a car design, it was inspired not from the latest car design of those days, but from a decade old pickups.

fordf-1_02.jpg: 1950 Ford F-1 by GHQ and 1956 Chevy pickup by Woodland Scenics

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Cisco Mercantile, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]

: site of Cisco Mercantile


I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my survey.

There used to be a structure named Cisco Mercantile next to the Ruth’s 66 Cafe on the west side at Lots 1 to 7, Block 5, Cisco Townsite. However, as you can see above, the only ruins of sidewalk remain today.


Cisco Mercantile History

Victor P. Hanson(1841 - 1920) opened up the general store at Cisco in no later than 1902[1]. In 1911, he sold the business to James Guyn(1879 - 1968) and Douglas Morton(1886 - 1977) McBride. They sold the business to the Pace Brothers Company in 1925[2].

The store burned to the ground on New Year's eve same year[3]. The Company rebuilt and reopened the store in 1926[4]. This structure The Pace Brothers built survived well into the 70’s.

According to Mary L. Hepperle, State Highway Department foreman Victor Murray(1893 - 1962) bought the business from The Pace Brothers Company and resold it to William Richard(1889 - 1971) and Mattie Gertrude(1877 - 1961) Cowger in 1944[5]. Bill and Mattie later became the “Mom and Pop” of Cisco.

According to the caption added to the 1959 photo by Magnum Photos cameraman Erich Hartmann, “Mom and Pop” ran the motel, bar, restaurant and a local museum[6]. According to the book Grand Memories, the bar and matching whiskey cabinet appear in Hartmann's photo was made by a famous cabinetmaker, J. C. Poulson, of Denver, CO. in 1848[7].

According to 1972 Delinquent Tax List, Rilla Cowger, Jacob "Jake" Oliver(1907 - 1991) and Evelyn Boyles seem succeeded the property after the demise of Bill Cowger[8]. However, the Annual Financial Statement For the Year Ending December 31, 1971 appears in Feb. 25, 1971 Times Independent is the latest evidence of survival of the business to this day[9]. Accordingly, whether the successors succeeded the business is uncertain: they put the properties up for final tax sale in 1973[10].

1978 Delinquent Tax List has names of SLC contractor Alexander Louis, Jr(1931 - 1990) and Betty Louise(1934 - 2008) Quigley as the owner of the property[11].

merc_ad.jpg
: 1915 advertisement of Cisco Mercantile Co., from "God’s Country via Automobile, Scenic Trancontinental Route through the Playground of America" by Colorado-Utah Log book Co.


Cisco Mercantile Structure

According to Jun. 24, 1926 Times Independent, the Mercantile was "the most modern establishment".
"It has a full basement with a heating plant refrigeration system and private electric lighting system".
"A massive vault of fireproof construction had also been provided. The building had hardwood floors throughout and the shelving and storage bins follow a style used in the most modern stores throughout the country".
"A plate glass front and cement sidewalk added to the attractiveness of the store. The interior of the building was finished in white"[4].

The form of the structure can be seen in the 1970 movie Vanishing Point. You can find the upraised “Cisco MOTEL”, “CAFE” sign and the “SANDWICHES and COLD DRINKS” advertisement on the wall.

In the photo of John Barriger III taken in no later than 1940, we can see west and north elevation of the structure[12].

In the photo appeared in Kathy Jordan’s article, we can barely see the north and east elevation of the structure[13].

In the 1946 photo appeared in Mary L. Hepperle's article, we can see part of south elevation[14].

In the photo of Gravity Base Station Network in Utah-1967, we can also barely see the Mercantile[15].

In the book Helldorados, Ghosts and Camps of the Old Southwest, author Norman D. Weis represents a photo taken in the early 70's showing both the closed storefront and the east elevation[16].

We can clearly see the closed storefront in the 1978 photo by David at flickr site[17].

merc_gravitybasestation.jpg: exterior photo at Gravity Base Station Network in Utah-1967


Cisco Mercantile Material

The structure was made of concrete block. Concrete blocks were come to produce in early 1900s in Utah[18]. Some might have self made it[19].

The size of the block used here seemed nonstandard. I synthesized the documents and estimated the size of the block used here as 12” x 8” x 5” “Stretcher” type.

I visited the site in 2014 to confirm the decision. I found that the structure was made of pink colored concrete block called “Pink Brick” with pin-ribbed surface[20]. The estimated size of the block was correct as you can see below.

I referred to these photos I introduced above, 1969 aerial photo provided by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and screen shots of the movie Vanishing Point to draw the plans. I also counted the block joints in the photos to infer the dimensions. The result is shown below. Of course some imaginations, especially the interior walls, are included.

merc_block_01.jpg: 12” width
merc_block_03.jpg: 8” depth
cinder-block_01.jpg: 5” height

revised Dec. 24, 2013
revised Sep. 22, 2014
revised Jan. 7, 2015
revised Feb. 4, 2015
revised Mar. 2, 2015
revised Oct. 10, 2015
revised Dec. 11, 2015
revised Oct. 23, 2016
revised Dec. 26, 2016

[1] Sep. 12, 1902 Grand Valley times;
[2] May 21, 1925 Times Independent;
[3] Jan. 7, 1926 Times Independent;
[4] Jun. 24, 1926 Times Independent;
[5] May 11, 1944 Times independent;
[6] Erich Hartmann photo, Magnum Photos;
[7] Pogue, Mary., Stocks, Verona. "Cisco", Grand Memories, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1972
[8] Dec. 28, 1972 Times Independent;
[9] Feb. 25, 1971 Times Independent;
[10] Apr. 26, 1973 Times Independent;
[11] Dec. 28, 1978 Times Independent;
[12] John Barriger III photo;
[13] Jordan, Kathy. "‘Uranium King’ Charlie Steen started out in Cisco tar­paper shack", Mar. 24, 2011 Grand Junction Daily Sentinel;
[14] Hepperle, Mary L. "Memories of Cisco", Canyon Legacy, vol. 51, Dan O'Laurie Canyon County Museum, 2004
[15] Weis, Norman D. Helldorados, Ghosts and Camps of the Old Southwest, Caxton Printers, Ltd. 1977
[16] Cook, Kenneth L. "Gravity Base Station Network in Utah-1967", Bulletin 92, Utah Geological and Mineralogical Survey, 1971;
[17] David photo, flickr;
[18] Oct. 30, 1905 Salt Lake Mining Review;
[19] May 4, 1906 Grand Valley Times;
[20] Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal;

merc_photoshop.jpg: Photoshop processed David’s photo representing the estimated elevation

merc_drawing.jpg: references and the drawings of Cisco Mercantile

merc_elv_n.jpg: Cisco Mercantile, north elevation

merc_elv_w.jpg: Cisco Mercantile, west elevation

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Cisco Mercantile, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

merc_model_01.jpg: model drawings of Cisco Mercantile

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Cisco Mercantile”

merc_model_02.jpg: brick/block walls

Cisco Mercantile was made of brick/block wall and tarpaper (maybe) roof. I tried to lay series of blocks, made from strip of styrene, level by level. The height of the series of blocks is about 0.8mm. Thanks to its irregular (large) block size, I could make it. Result is shown above.

merc_model_03.jpg: windows

Windows are homemade. After applying painted strips of styrene on clear styrene sheet, I cut to exact size and applied the painted frame. Interior doors came from Tichy.

merc_model_04.jpg: applying the parquet

Thin wood is used for the roof trusses and floor. In Erich Hartmann’s photo, the floor seemed finished not with flooring but with sheet like linoleum. Model floor without texture and joints lacks charm. So I decided to finish with parquet flooring. I applied 18 scale inches square wood checkered. After the adhesive is dried, I leveled them using sandpaper. The parquets were dyed with thinned dark brown paint. Finally, walkways are again filed to represent the aging.

merc_model_05.jpg: finished parquet floor

I, first, painted the brick wall with brown primer. Next, I painted the wall dark brown using Tamiya TS-1. When paints were dried, I rubbed the compound into the joints. After all, I lightly filed the wall with sandpaper. The powder from the paint and the compound mingle in block joints to create the exact block wall.
Facade is spray painted with Tamiya TS-46. Cafe interior walls are painted with Tamiya AS-6.

merc_model_16.jpg: finished block wall

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Cisco Mercantile, part 3 [Works_Town of Cisco]

merc_model_06.jpg: interior parts for the cafe

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Cisco Mercantile”

In one scene of the movie “Vanishing Point”, we can barely see the interior of the cafe. There seem a counter, round stools and box seats. I scratchbuilt the counter and stools referring to the movie. Box seats came from MTL heavyweight paired window coach car, which are the remnants of making GN X187.

merc_model_08.jpg: interior parts and roof trusses applied

I, this time, tried to light the structure with LED as Cowgers seemed still running the business in 1970. The attractive signs sticking out from the structure were made from clear plastic; exactly, from an Atlas plastic box. I thought homemade decal printed on white decal sheet would gently light the sign, as if lit by neon tubes.

merc_model_09.jpg: parts for the neon signs

I tried white 3.3V 20mA square LEDs for the signs. I sliced one end of the clear plastic to slip in the LED. After the clear adhesive is dried, I roughly filed the surface. I first painted the edge of the parts with silver, later black before applying the homemade decals. Finally, the neon tubes made from brass rod were glued to them. Advertisements on the brick wall next to the signs are also homemade decals.

merc_model_17.jpg: applied neon signs and advertisements

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Cisco Mercantile, part 4 [Works_Town of Cisco]

merc_model_10.jpg: looking from northeast

merc_model_11.jpg: looking from northwest

merc_model_12.jpg: the north elevation

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Cisco Mercantile”.

Here are the results of my work. I finally added the canopy to prevent demolishing during the work. The prototype canopy must also be a later addition, as it covers the vintage ice cream advertisement on the brick wall. Faded red and blue paints on window panels, might be also a later addition, are of homemade decals.

There seemed the letters “GENERAL MERCHANDISING” on the large billboard above. But the letters were almost faded out in the 1978 photo and couldn’t find the fonts used. So, I left it blank.

merc_model_14.jpg: looking through the facade window

merc_model_13.jpg: cafe interior

Mr. Cowger and his customer in the cafe are the Woodland Scenic products. They were placed meeting their gazes to make a lively conversation. I added two coffee urns referring Edward Hopper’s painting “Nighthawks” to show this is a cafe.
Chair in front of the cafe is a Gold Medal Models product. Coors neon sign on the window is a homemade decal applied from the inside. Mosquito net on the door is made of clear decal sheet.

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Cisco Mercantile, part 5 [Works_Town of Cisco]

merc_model_18.jpg: At last, night had fallen to Cisco.

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Cisco Mercantile”

Here are the night scenes. I thought fluorescent light would be suitable for this 70’s cafe. So, I used single 3.2V 20mA round diffusion white LED for the cafe interior. Single LED in the space would make sharp and clear shades too.

I installed the LED on the bottom of roof trusses, not to light the other rooms. Also is that the LED is placed a little near the back wall to let the light draw long shadow on the street. As there was few streetlight at Cisco, streets were dark enough to show shadows from the windows. I wanted that because long shadows on streets are also appeared in the Edward Hopper’s painting “Nighthawks”.

merc_model_19.jpg: Thanks to the sticky customer,

merc_model_20.jpg: shadows grew long on the street,

merc_model_21.jpg: in the darkness of the night.

Thanks to the LED, clear and long shade grew on the street. To catch this image, I put off the base light to take the picture. The result resembles the painting “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper.

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Cisco Motel, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]

: site of Cisco Motel


I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my survey.

Next to the Cisco Mercantile on the west side was a motel at Lots 1 to 7, Block 5, Cisco Townsite.


Cisco Motel History

There used to be the Cisco Hotel/Hotel Cisco/Hotel de Cisco next to the Ruth's 66 Cafe structure on the west side at Block 6, Cisco Townsite[1, 2].

The Hotel was erected no later than 1905[3]. William Andrew Shideler(1872 - 1939) was the proprietor of the hotel between 1911 and 1912[4]. Dean L. Edwards was the proprietor in 1920, according to the Census. Patrick Franklin Dyer(1861 - 1936) succeeded the business in 1922[5, 6].

According to April 18, 1940 Times independent, the hotel structure moved to nearby Moab and became Moab Hotel[7]. It is said that the structure was carried by float on Colorado River. Furthermore, the structure moved again several blocks in 2008. It still remains today as a private residence.

cisco-hotel_ad.jpg: Dec. 4, 1919 Times Independent


The motel must have been constructed after the removal of the Hotel.

According to Lee A. Bennett, a motel is verified between 1944 and 1953 as Cowger’s Motel[8]: Cisco Mercantile owned by Mattie and William Cowger had "Cisco Motel" neon sign on its wall.

According to Mary Hepperle, the customers of the motel in the late 40's were gas well crews of such as Texaco Oil rather than tourists[9]. Norman D. Weis, who visited the town in the mid 70's, no later than 1975, reports that the Motel advertised "every room individually heated"[10].

The Motel was also used as the polling place of Cisco between 1964 and 1970[11, 12].

William Cowger passed away in 1971 and the successors put the properties up for final tax sale in 1973[13]. 1978 Delinquent Tax List has names of SLC contractor Alexander Louis, Jr(1931 - 1990) and Betty Louise(1934 - 2008) Quigley as the owner of the property[14].

motel_01.jpg: Cisco, UT Sep. 11, 2014


Cisco Motel Structure

We can see the north and west elevation in the 1970 movie Vanishing Point. West elevation photo is also found in Weis' book.

The structure seems to have demolished in the late 70’s according to the 1979 USGS aerial photo. Today, there is nothing left but the curbstones as you can see above.


I used the screen shot of the movie to trace the facade. I also used 1969 and 1974 USGS aerial photo to infer the dimensions. The result is shown below. Of course some imaginations are included; particularly in the east elevation.
revised, Jan. 31, 2017

[1] Sep. 11, 1969 Times Independent;
[2] John Barriger III photo of the Hotel and the Mercantile;
[3] Jan. 21, 1905 Grand Valley Times;
[4] May 16, 1913 Grand Valley Times;
[5] Nov. 23, 1922 Times Independent;
[6] Oct. 22, 1936 Times Independent;
[7] Apr. 18, 1940 Times Independent;
[8] Bennett, Lee A. A History of Selected Ranches on the Colorado River, Bennett Management Services, LLC, 2009;
[9] Hepperle, Mary L. "Memories of Cisco", Canyon Legacy, vol. 51, Dan O'Laurie Canyon County Museum, 2004
[10] Norman D. Weis, Helldorados, Ghosts and camps of the old Southwest, Caxton Printers, 1977
[11] Apr. 8, 1965 Times independent;
[12] Oct. 29, 1970 Times independent;
[13] Apr. 26, 1973 Times Independent;
[14] Dec. 28, 1978 Times Independent;
revised Sep. 30, 2014
revised, Jan. 7, 2015
revised, Aug. 7, 2015
revised, Oct. 23, 2016
revised, Dec. 28, 2016

motel-annex_drawing.jpg: references and the drawings of Cisco Motel

motel_model_01.jpg: Cisco Motel, east, north and west elevation

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Cisco Motel, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

motel_model_02.jpg: model drawings of Cisco Motel

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Cisco Motel”.

Cisco Motel is consisted of metal siding wall and sheeting roof. Wall facing west is finished with corrugated steel sheets, while wall facing north are finished with more modern horizontal siding panels. I drew model plans and made the wall parts. Result is shown above.

motel_model_03.jpg: siding walls

Basic walls are made from 1.2mm styrene sheet. I applied 0.7mm corrugated styrene sheet on it as the corrugated steel wall. I tried to lay panels made from 0.1mm styrene sheet level by level for siding walls.

motel_model_04.jpg: windows

All the windows and doors are homemade. That’s the cheapest way. After applying painted strip of styrene on clear styrene sheet as window frames, I cut to exact size and applied the painted rim.

0.3mm brass plate is used for the roof. I applied 0.1mm styrene sheet on the brass plate to represent the sheeting. To use loft as a light box to illuminate the porch, there are no trusses this time. Space between ceiling and roof make space for LEDs.

motel_model_05.jpg: finished guestroom with some accessories

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Cisco Motel, part 3 [Works_Town of Cisco]

motel_model_06.jpg: looking from southeast

motel_model_07.jpg: looking from northwest

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Cisco Motel”.

Details were finally added to the structure.
Ventilating stack is made of 0.8mm brass rod. Vent cap is made of 1.2mm aluminum pipe. Some stacks lost vent caps and/or leaned as the prototype.

motel_model_08.jpg: porch of the motel

In the references, we can’t see any air conditioner on west side nor on the roof. But it seems so hot without it as the roof is shallow. So I added air conditioners at the windows on east side. Units are made of styrene and grill from Athearn boxcar roofwalk.

Horizontal shade is fixed on the large window of northernmost guest room as a blind: I didn’t make interiors this time. The shade is made of layered clear and white styrene strips.

I used 3.2V 2mA warm white LED to light the porch. I shove the LED tip to install in the shallow loft of the structure. To eliminate the light leakage was the most time-consuming work.

There used to be a lawn garden with a big tree between the motel and the Mercantile, surrounded by wooden fence painted white: an oasis in the desert. Accordingly, guests couldn't ride their cars up to the room. The car appears in photos, a Ford Fairmont produced by Atlas, is a fake.

motel_model_10.jpg: Fortunately, Cisco Motel has a guest tonight.

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Capansky House, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]



schoolhouse_01.jpg: Cisco, UT. Sep. 11, 2014
schoolhouse_02.jpg: Cisco, UT. Sep. 11, 2014

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my survey.

This structure next to the Capansky’s Station on the south at Block 2, Cisco Townsite is said to be the Schoolhouse. This testimony was found in the web page created by a relative of former Cisco resident.


Capansky House History

The Cisco school was originally opened in 1898 and was closed in 1959[1].

The photo, maybe shot no earlier than 1965, in Kathy Jordan’s article shows the Schoolhouse still stands on the hill at the south of the town[2]. 1952 aerial photo provided by U.S. Geological Survey shows both the Schoolhouse and this structure. Further more, the size of the Schoolhouse appeared in Oct. 23, 1919 Times Independent is much larger than it of this structure[3]. Accordingly, the testimony is doubtful.

Worthy of note is that facades of both Capansky’s Station and this structure don’t face the street. Therefore, both structures must have been brought from somewhere.

According to April 2, 1970 Times Independent, a little three room house Bill E. and Marj Howland bought at Green River in 1920 was later moved to Cisco, and became Texaco Service Station[4]. This story matches my guess as Capansky's Station once sold Texaco gas. The ruins of Capansky's Station show no room for the dwelling: they may lived in this structure.

capansky's_ad.jpg: July 21, 1955 Green River Journal


Capansky House Structure

This structure appears in the 1990 movie Thelma and Louise as an old man’s house. If you carefully watch the 1970 movie Vanishing Point, you can also find this structure. In this movie, it has red line painted on the wall at the same height to the next Capansky’s.

Aerial photo of the Google map helped me to infer the dimensions. Former Rio Grande tracks on the opposite side of the road brought me the approximate scale. We can find many photos of this structure on web pages too[5]. The result is shown below. Of course some imaginations are included.

revised, Sep. 29, 2014
revised, Dec. 15, 2014
revised, Jan. 7, 2015
revised, Dec. 29, 2016

[1] Aug. 13, 1959 Times Independent;
[2] Jordan, Kathy. "‘Uranium King’ Charlie Steen started out in Cisco tar­paper shack", Mar. 24, 2011 Grand Junction Daily Sentinel;
[3] Oct. 23, 1919 Times Independent;
[4] Apr. 2, 1970 Times Independent;
[5] Carolyn photo at flickr;

schoolhouse_drawing.jpg: references and the drawings of Capansky House


schoolhouse_elv.jpg: East, North and West elevation

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Capansky House, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

school_model_01.jpg: model drawings for Capansky House

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Capansky House.

Capansky House is made of wood: horizontal, partially vertical siding walls on stone foundation, mounted with shingle roof. I first drew model plans. Results are shown above.

school_model_02.jpg: wood siding walls

I used 1.2mm plain styrene sheet for the stone foundation, Evergreen styrene sheets #4037 and #4542 for walls. Doors are Tichy products, accompanied with self-made windows.

school_model_03.jpg: floor under construction

I used wood stripe for the floor. I dyed with brown acrylic paint and polished the interior floor. The porch floor was dyed with grey acrylic paint.

Roofs are 0.3mm brass plates with Rusty Stumps Scale Models random shake shingles. Material of this shingles seems rather thin Homasote than paper. Their textures are great but they seem a little bulky for N scale. I dyed them with mixture of beige and black acrylic paints after applying them.

school_model_04.jpg: roof under construction

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Capansky House, part 3 [Works_Town of Cisco]

school_model_06.jpg: looking from southwest
school_model_05.jpg: looking from northeast

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Capansky House.

I first painted walls and eaves with grey primer. Next, I painted them white. Red line is my constant concern. Ribs of the wall prevent me from painting crisp line. Maybe I go decals next time. Roof is kept removable for the future interior works and lighting. Chimney is a Tichy product.

school_model_07.jpg: looking from northwest
school_model_08.jpg: looking from southeast
school_model_09.jpg: bay window details

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Capansky House, part 4 [Works_Town of Cisco]

school_model_11.jpg: overall view of Capansky’s Complex

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Capansky House.

As I wrote before, Capansky’s Station structure and this Capansky House structure form the Complex. The photo above shows the overall view of it.
revised Dec 15, 2014
revised Feb 4, 2015

school_model_12.jpg: looking from northwest
school_model_13.jpg: looking from southwest
school_model_14.jpg: While the pleasant breeze plays over the polished floor,
school_model_15.jpg: Robert seems lost in thought.

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Tie House & Barn, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]



loghouse_01.jpg: Cisco, UT. Sep. 11, 2014

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my survey.

There still exists a house and a barn, walls made of lumber and roof made of dirt, next to the Capansky’s Station on the eastside at Block 2, Cisco Townsite. We can identify this structure in 1944 USGS aerial photo.

According to Vonna Foy Dalton, people at Cisco, including Vonna herself who moved to Cisco in 1938, went out on the desert and gathered old narrow gauge railroad ties to build houses[1].

Indeed, some structures at Cisco are made of not logs but rectangular lumbers no longer than 7 feet. Thus, these structures are maybe made of old ties. "Tie House" is a word I coined which means "House Made of Ties".

According to Delinquent Tax Lists, the lots which this structure occupies is long owned by William Boston(1887 - 1951) and Eppie(Effie) Fanning(1892 - 1976) Capansky, at least from 1929. They may lived in this house before they purchased the annex.

The structure exists in rather obsolete style, as you see above. I used Google map to infer the dimensions of the structure to draw plans. I also referred to the photos found on web. The result is shown below: of course some imaginations are included.
revised, Jan. 31, 2017

[1] Dalton, Vonna Foy. “Some Remembrances of Picture Gallery and Cisco”, #51, Canyon Regacy, Dan O'Laurie Canyon County Museum, 2004

tie-houses.jpg: some other structures made of old ties at Cisco
loghouse_plan.jpg: references and the drawings of Tie House & Barn
loghouse_elv.jpg: north and west elevations of Tie House & Barn

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Tie House & Barn, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

log_model_01.jpg: stacking the ties

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Tie House & Barn”.

Tie House & Barn is made of ties with earth on roof. I stacked ties one by one. I duplicated the joints referring to the photos. Windows and doors are made from thin wood strip. Earth on roof is made of patty.

I dye/washed the whole structure with the mixture of black, white and brown thin acrylic paints.

log_model_02.jpg: completed walls
log_model_03.jpg: dye/washing the roof

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Tie House & Barn, part 3 [Works_Town of Cisco]

log_model_04.jpg: Tie House looking from US Hwy 6

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco in N scale. Here, I represent the making of “Tie House & Barn”.

Here are the results of my work.

log_model_05.jpg: looking from northwest
log_model_07.jpg: details
log_model_08.jpg: looking through the doorway

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Maynard House, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]



steenhouse_01.jpg: looking from northwest
steenhouse_02.jpg: looking from southeast

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my survey.

There still remains a log/tie house up the hill along US Hwy 50 & 6, between Capansky’s Station and remnant of Cisco Mercantile at Lots 21 and 22, Block 7, Cisco Townsite. We can barely see the structure in 1944 USGS aerial photo.

Kathy Jordan describes this house as it was built by D&RGW section crew Manuel O.(1881 – 1951) and Maria Martinez(Marie, 1893 – 1943) Vigil[1], and their children Joe C. Vigil(Johnny, 1932 – ) and Lila Garcia(Candelaria, 1924 – 2007) rented the house for $15 a month to Charles Augustus(1919 – 2006) and Minnie Lee(1920 – 1997) Steen in 1951[2].

Steen family came to Cisco to discover uranium deposit. Charles found it at Big Indian Wash of Lisbon Valley, southeast of Moab in 1952. Charles since became to be known as the Uranium King. The family moved to Moab shortly thereafter with their fortune.

steen_ad.jpg: Jul. 21, 1955 Green River Journal

However, a photo in the book Charlie Steen’s MI VIDA by Maxine Newell shows different structure as Steen's house at Cisco. Furthermore, according to Delinquent Tax Lists, the lots Vigils owned were at Block 8; next block to the east. Accordingly, Steens seem never lived in this house.


According to 1959 Delinquent Tax List, the plats was owned by John Aubrey Maynard(1895 - 1972) at that time[3]. Aubrey was a sheepman and later D&RGW hand treating water at Cisco[4, 5].

Frank Meaker(1884 – 1972) or his son Frank Benjamin Meaker(1922 – 2012), both of Motrose, CO., may have built the house as Frank was the previous owner of the plats at least from 1944 to 1957 according to the Delinquent Tax Lists[6].

Victor Kirby Murray(1893 – 1962) is the another possibility of the founder as Aubrey was the administrator of the estate of Victor[7]. According to the Delinquent Tax List, plats Aubrey owned was doubled in 1963.

According to the note attached to Aubrey's Find a Grave web page, his niece Sandra and Jay A. Williams keeps the house to this day[8]. Therefore, I decided to call this structure as Maynard House.


The structure exists in rather obsolete style, as you can see above. I used Google map to infer the dimensions of the structure to draw plans. I also referred to the photos found on web. The result is shown below: of course some imaginations are included.

All photos taken on Sep. 11, 2014
revised, Feb. 4, 2016
revised, Jan. 26, 2017

[1] Jordan, Kathy. "‘Uranium King’ Charlie Steen started out in Cisco tar­paper shack", Mar. 24, 2011 Grand Junction Daily Sentinel;
[2] Steen, Mark. "'My Old Man:' The Uranium King", Canyon County Zephyr, 2002;
[3] Dec. 17, 1959 Times Independent;
[4] Oct. 31, 1940 Times Independent;
[5] Hepperle, Mary L. Cowger. "Memories of Cisco", Canyon Legacy, Vol. 51, Dan O'Laurie Canyon County Museum, 2004
[6] Feb. 8, 2012 Motrose Press;
[7] Mar. 28, 1963 Times Independent;
[8] Williams, Sandra (2013) "Notes", J Aubrey Maynard, Find a Grave;

steenhouse_plan.jpg: references and the drawings of Maynard House
steenhouse_elv.jpg: north, west and south elevation of Maynard House

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Maynard House, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

steenhouse_model_plan.jpg: model drawings of Maynard House

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Maynard House.

Maynard House is made of wood: stacked lumber, maybe old tie, walls with tarpaper roof. Some walls were finished with tarpaper or stucco. I first drew model plans. Results are shown above.

steen_model_01.jpg: stacking the lumber

I used 1.0mm wood sheets. I cut them to stripes and stacked for the walls. Flooring, windows and mosquito screens are also made from wood stripes. Wall plaster is of putty. I missed the tarpaper wall; I couldn’t think of the material. Doors are Tichy products. Roofs are 0.3mm brass plates with 0.1mm styrene sheet for the tarpaper.

steen_model_02.jpg: finished walls ready to paint

I only painted the doors, windows and mosquito screens green and roof grey. Other parts are dye/washed with thin mixture of beige and black acrylic paints.

steen_model_03.jpg: painted and assembled walls

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Maynard House, part 3 [Works_Town of Cisco]

steen_model_04.jpg: looking from northwest
steen_model_05.jpg: looking from southeast

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of Maynard House.

I added smokestacks and a pole with cut power line. Rusts on stacks seem too vivid though. I didn’t apply glazing, as I decided this house as vacant.

It seems that there used to be a false front or a billboard on the gable of the plaster wall. Some photos on web show the remnant on the roof, but I couldn’t find the figure of it. So I left it for the future.

steen_model_06.jpg: looking from US Hwy 6
steen_model_08.jpg: stucco wall details
steen_model_09.jpg: looking inside from the window
steen_model_10.jpg: light from the window lights up the rusty floor

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McCoy’s Service Station, part 1 [Works_Town of Cisco]

: estimated site of McCoy's Station

mealey's_01.jpg: Cisco, UT. Sep. 11, 2014
mealey's_02.jpg: Cisco, UT. Sep. 11, 2014

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the results of my survey.

There used to be a gas service station between Ruth’s Cafe and Cisco Mercantile at Block 6, Cisco Townsite. As you see above, nothing but bases of gas pumps are left today.

We can see a little box-type structure in 1969 USGS aerial photo. In the 1970 movie Vanishing Point, we can see this structure along with three red shining gas pumps. A string of colorful but rather faded flags stretch from the Ruth’s Cafe to this adjacent structure represents the partnership between the cafe and this structure. However, the windows seem freshly boarded up: looks it went out of business recently.


McCoy’s Service Station History

The construction of the Midland Trail within Grand County was completed in 1913[1]. The Trail became US Hwy 50 in 1926.

Garages/service stations maybe opened up at Cisco in those days. 1919 ICC Valuation Map for Cisco shows one and only Garage next to the later Ruth's 66 Cafe structure on the south. In 1919, William Andrew Shideler(1872 - 1939) put his business up for sale including this garage[2].

In 1924, an article found in the newspaper says carpenter M. R. Walker is working on a service station at Cisco[3].

In 1927, Mrs W. C. Davis sold the Cisco Service Station to Patrick Franklin Dyer(1861 - 1936), one time owner of Cisco Hotel[4, 5].

Ralph Edwin(1902 - 1982) and Winnafred Evelyn(1902 - 1974) Cato might succeeded the business no later than 1928. The facilities are consisted of the station, dwelling room attached to the back of station and the bungalow in those days[6]. The facilities can be seen in the photo taken by John Barriger III[7].

letter_postmarked,cisco.jpg: Cisco Service Station envelope

Ruth. J. Lowell(1912 - 1968) and Ruth Maxine(1918 - 1999) Mealey came to Cisco in 1956[8]. They started running the J&M CAFE & SERVICE, selling diesel, gas, oil, beer and food. According to their advertisement on Oct. 27, 1960 Times Independent and Nov. 20, 1960 The Salt Lake Tribune, the business was worth eighty-thousand dollars a year when they placed their business on sale[9].

Teddy D.(1935 – 1961) and Jeanie Johnson succeeded the business in 1961[10]. Mealeys moved to Moab and began managing the Holiday Haven Mobile Home Resorts owned by Holiday Mobile Homes resort Inc. of Phoenix, Arizona[11]. However, Ted died accidentally by electrocution same year[12].

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson of Mack, CO. bought the business in 1963[13]. However, whether Nelsons succeeded the business is uncertain. Ernest Eugene(1923 - 1989) and Ruth Lorene Endicott(1922 - 1986) McCoy of Moab seem bought the business same year(see Ruth’s 66 Cafe, part 1 for the sequels).

Ernest did operate the gas service station[14]. Accordingly, I decided to call this structure as McCoy’s Service Station. However, the Annual Financial Statement For the Year Ending December 31, 1971 appeared in Feb. 25, 1971 Times Independent is the latest evidence of the survival of McCoy's business to this day[15].


I referred to the movie Vanishing Point and 1969 USGS aerial photo to draw plans. The result is shown below: of course some imaginations are included.

revised Jul. 26, 2016
revised Dec. 29, 2016
revised Jan. 31, 2017

[1] Jul. 11, 1913 Grand Valley Times;
[2] Dec. 4, 1919 Times Independent;
[3] Dec. 11, 1924 Times Independent;
[4] Apr. 28, 1927 Times Independent;
[5] Jan. 4, 1923 Times Independent;
[6] Feb. 23, 1928 Times Independent;
[7] John Barriger III photo;
[8] Feb. 20, 1999 Deseret News;
[9] Nov. 20, 1960 Salt lake Tribune;
[10] May 18, 1961 Steamboat Pilot;
[11] Nov. 12, 1964 Times Independent;
[12] May 4, 1961 Times Independent;
[13] May 23, 1963 Times Independent;
[14] May 26, 2016 Times Independent;
[15] Feb. 25, 1971 Times Independent;

mealey's_plan.jpg: references and the drawings of McCoy’s Service Station
mealey's_elv.jpg: north and west elevations of McCoy’s Service Station

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McCoy’s Service Station, part 2 [Works_Town of Cisco]

mealey's_model_plan.jpg: model drawings of McCoy’s Service Station

I’m trying to duplicate the whole town of Cisco, Utah in N scale. Here, I represent the making of McCoy’s Service Station.

McCoy’s Service Station is consisted of wood siding wall and sheeting (maybe) roof. I drew model plans and made the wall parts. I had no information on west and north elevation. So, I left them blank. Result is shown above.

Walls are made from 1.2mm styrene sheet. I applied 0.1mm styrene sheet level by level to represent the sidings. All the windows and doors seem boarded up; I traced the prototype with thin wood sheet after the painting.

0.3mm brass plate is used for the roof. I applied sandpaper on the brass plate to represent the roofing. Gas pumps and their base are scratchbuilt from styrene sheet.

mealey's_model_01.jpg: finished walls ready to paint

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