“Before printing was discovered, a century was equal to a thousand years.”
– Henry David Thoreau –
The Mancos Common Press is a restored historic letterpress design and print studio located in Mancos, Colorado.
The Town of Mancos is located in Southwest Colorado in the shadow of Mesa Verde National Park. The town itself is a small ranching community with a population of about 1400. Cattle drives still commonly move through town during the spring and fall. At the same time a thriving artists’ community has developed.
The local newspaper – the Mancos Times – had been boarded up since 1970 when its production was relocated to a neighboring town. The storefront stood empty until 2013 when a discovery was made that all the original print materials from 1911 were still inside the building.
With encouragement from a visiting preservation professor from the University of Pennsylvania a local citizens group was formed to explore the restoration and revival of the building and its contents. In 2014 the Mancos Common Press was officially organized and efforts began in earnest. A two-step process was envisioned, first to preserve and restore the building and then to create a graphic arts studio with emphasis on the historic place of letterpress and newspapers in the Old West.
Currently the Mancos Common Press operates with an all-volunteer Board. We offer tours, community workshops, host events and collaborate with local businesses and organizations to enhance the economy of the town. We are, however, most committed to preserving and showcasing the craft of traditional letterpress printing.
The Town of Mancos is located in Southwest Colorado in the shadow of Mesa Verde National Park. The town itself is a small ranching community with a population of about 1300. Cattle drives still commonly move through downtown during the spring and fall. At the same time a thriving artists’ community has developed.
PRESERVING OUR HISTORIC PAST
• This project is paid for in part by a History Colorado – State Historical Fund grant. •