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Loads of History

Cañon City has been home to a few different laundries over the years. Three laundries were functioning in 1908: Cañon Steam Laundry, New Method Laundry, and Lee Sing Laundry. Cañon Steam Laundry and New Method Laundry were across from one another on the 200 block of Main Street, while Lee Sing Laundry was on River Street (now Royal Gorge Boulevard). Based on directories of the time, Lee Sing Laundry closed sometime between 1918 and 1923. Cañon Steam Laundry operated until 1931, but due to financial problems it closed in February of that year. This left New Method Laundry as the only laundry in the city by 1934, according to the Cañon City Daily Record on August 27, 1934. Cañon Steam Laundry makes a brief reappearance at 116 S. 7th Street under Russell Steely in the 1937 city directory. However, in the 1940 directory, Cañon Steam Laundry is with New Method Laundry at 315 Main Street, likely having been purchased.

New Method Laundry began business at 228 Main Street across from Cañon Steam Laundry at 231 Main Street. Harry Roach appears to be the earliest owner of the laundry and was well praised for his business in an article in the Cañon City Record on October 7, 1909. The business was commended for their handling of delicate fabric, lace curtains, and ladies’ shirt waists. The laundry was leased to Mr. H. Seeley of Pueblo in 1913 and moved to 315 Main Street sometime around 1918. Since that time, New Method Laundry has been at 315 Main Street. Despite going through different owners through the years, the name has stayed the same.

Cañon Steam Laundry, ca. 1900. Object ID: 2010.061.004; Copyright Royal Gorge Regional Museum & History Center

The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.   

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