Black and white photos of Grand Junction and the surrounding area have continued to resurface over the last few years. These images come from late Daily Sentinel photographer Robert Grant. Who was Bob Grant?
You've probably seen photo galleries from Grand Junction of the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and in a few cases the 80s, featuring images of parades, law enforcement, extreme Colorado weather, sports, or people simply enjoying their lives. Here's a little background info about the photographer.
Who Was Grand Junction Photographer Robert Grant?
From the late 1930s to the mid-1980s, Robert Grant, or simply Bob, was the photographer at the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. He took a four-year hiatus from the Daily Sentinel from 1941 to 1945 to serve in the United States Army during World War II. In addition to serving as a soldier, Bob also photographed for the Army and worked with a group of cartographers in India and China (and for a little while Australia.)
Where was Bob Grant Born?
This is a bit tricky. Robert Eugene Grant was born in May 1923 in what was at that time referred to as Bridges Switch, Colorado. His birth certificate specifies a house in Bridges Switch as his birthplace. There's a reason why you've never heard of that town. Depending on how you look at it, the community never officially existed.
Bridges Switch refers to the part of the Grand Valley just east of Clifton, right off the old highway between Clifton and Palisade. You are probably familiar with the overpass just east of Clifton. The house where Bob was born was off to the side of that overpass.
When Bob Grant died in November 2000, the funeral home encountered difficulties tracking down the existence of a community known as Bridges Switch. When writing up Bob's death certificate, they changed his birthplace to Clifton, Colorado.
Bob Grant's Personal Life
Bob's parents were James and Kathryn Grant of Clifton. Both served with the United States Postal Service.
As a child, Bob contracted a childhood disease leaving him with severely compromised eyesight. From his time as a little boy until his death, he wore Coke-bottle glasses with the thickest lenses you could imagine.
Eventually, he landed a job with the Daily Sentinel as an engraver. Ultimately, before leaving for World War II, he worked his way up to the photographer. Upon being discharged from the Army he came straight back to Grand Junction and went back to work at the Sentinel the very next day.
He later met and married Dorothy M. Clark, whom he remained married to until his death on November 15, 2000. Shortly after marrying Dorothy, Bob adopted her two-year-old daughter, Gloria.
Bob Grant would remain with the Daily Sentinel until his retirement in the mid-1980s. He rarely took photographs after his retirement.
Why Are These Photographs Resurfacing Now?
Bob Grant passed away at his home on Little Park Road in Grand Junction from a heart attack on November 15, 2000. Bob had only two grandchildren, Happy Jordan of Grand Junction and myself. His collection of photographs and negatives, enough to fill a room top to bottom, along with his cameras and equipment, went to me.
For the next 19 years Bob's son-in-law and my dad, Arlie, worked endlessly to digitize and catalog the images. When my dad passed away two years ago, I continued the effort.
Something of an Agenda
More than anything, I want to get the images out there. They do no good sitting in boxes and file cabinets. As you can imagine, though, this takes a tremendous amount of time. Regrettably, most of the prints are accompanied by little or no information. Where negatives are concerned, if I'm really lucky, there might be a year written down on the negative's sleeve. That's more of an exception than the norm.
My guess is I'll be spending the rest of my life digitizing and circulating the photos. It's fun and very rewarding. With that in mind, in no particular order and with no particular topic, here are a few hundred Robert Grant photos, almost all of which were taken in the Grand Junction area, for you to enjoy. Like always with Bob's photos, keep a sharp lookout for someone you may recognize.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Downtown Grand Junction Businesses of Yesterday
If you stop and think about it, several of the business pictured above are still up and running. Most of these photos were taken in the 1950s. Almost 70 years later, many are still going strong. Sure, some have moved to new locations, but others, Quincy's for example, are right where they've always been.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Western Colorado Winters of the Past
Here's a short gallery of Robert Grant photos showcasing Grand Junction and Western Colorado winters. They sure are fun. Then again, sometimes the snow and cold temperatures result in trouble.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Grand Junction Christmas Light Displays of the 1940s
These decorations don't compare to the magnificent blue light display you'll see in the neighborhood in the northwest part of town. It was a different time. Even at that, there's something heartwarming about these 1948 decorations.
These are the best of the best of 1948. I regret I don't know which house placed first, second, etc. In the end, it doesn't matter. They're all great. Take a look at the gallery. Who knows? You might see a house you recognize. For that matter, you might see someone you recognize.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Growers and Farmers of Western Colorado
You'll definitely recognize the surroundings. Bob Grant loved capturing Western Colorado icons in the shot. Whenever possible, he'd get Mt. Garfield in the background. If Mt. Garfield weren't available, he'd get the Bookcliffs, Grand Mesa, or even the Colorado National Monument.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Colorado Cannery Workers from September 1947
Let's go back to Coloroado 1947 with these hard working Americans.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Grand Junction Horses of Yesteryear
Please enjoy a number of Bob Grant photos from the Grand Valley's past. These came from a box labeled "Horse." Yep, that's it, the box was called "Horses." These were selected at random, covering a number of decades.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Awesome Grand Junction Fashion of the Past
Here's a fashion flashback to Grand Junction, Colorado, of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Many of these photos appeared in Sunday inserts promoting new fashions from Downtown Grand Junction merchants.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Random Images of Grand Junction
These 16 photos were chosen strictly at random. All photos are by Robert Grant.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Western Colorado Winters of the 1940s and 50s
Enjoy these winter images captured from various sites around Western Colorado. All images are by Robert Grant. The majority of these shots were pulled at random from a drawer of negatives labelled "January 1949." A few others came from a neighboring file cabinet filled with thousands of Bob Grant prints.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Life Around Grand Junction
Bob Grand photos from Grand Junction's past. People enjoying their lives as they go about their daily routine.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Colorado's Kanarado Mine
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Beauty Pageant Contestants of Western Colorado
Behold Western Colorado's "Miss Atomic Energy" and her attendants, plopped down on a filthy pile of highly toxic uranium ore. Take a trip back in time to Grand Junction of the past with these Bob Grant photos of local beauty queens and pageant contestants.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Grand Junction Father & Son Photos of World War I & II
The photos below are from the personal collections of father and son, James and Robert Grant. James L. Grant of Clifton served in the United States Navy during World War I. Years later, his son, Robert Grant, would serve in the United States Army in World War II.
James L. Grant served as the Postmaster of Clifton. His son, Robert, was the photographer at the Daily Sentinel from the late 1930s until his retirement in 1985. James passed away in 1971, and Robert in 2000.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: JUCO World Series of the Past
Grand Junction has hosted the Junior College World Series for close to half a century. For approximately half of those years, Bob Grant was there with his camera. He continued capturing images of the tournament until his retirement in 1985.
My dad (Bob Grant's son-in-law) went through a ton of Bob Grant negatives to dig up a few memories. Baseball fans are sure to remember many of these shots.
One of Bob Grant's most prized photos would be the first image in the gallery, the shot of the hawks at Suplizio Field. That particular shot won him an award from the Press Photographers Association.
As a Grand Junction native, I really enjoy some of the nostalgia spotted on the signs in the background. Did you see the billboard for "Mr. Steak"? If you were around Grand Junction in the 1970s, you definitely knew about "Mr. Steak."
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Random Photos of Grand Junction Residents of the 1940s
All of these images were lifted from negatives from Bob Grant's career. I have Bob's old negative cabinet at my house. It's loaded with tens of thousands of negatives, most in sleeves, some of which include information as to the contents.
KEEP SCROLLING: Robert Grant Photos: Movies Filmed in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah
Did you know some of your favorite movies from the 1950s and '60s were filmed in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah? Grand Junction photographer Bob Grant had a chance to shoot a few photos from these movie sets.