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April 21, 2022

Saw Pit Store, Colorado, 1940

This photo was taken by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in September 1940, and titled “Store, the one and only, Saw Pit, Colorado.”

Sawpit, in San Miguel County, is located about 12 miles northwest of Telluride. Originally named Seymour, the town of Sawpit was founded in 1892 as a stop on the Rio Grande Southern Railroad. Lumber was needed to fuel the growth of mining in the region and a sawpit was built where logs were rolled over the pit and sawed into lumber by two men, one positioned on top and one below in the pit.

The town was incorporated as Sawpit in 1897. The original Sawpit Store, seen here in the photo above, was built in the 1920s. There is still a general store, Sawpit Mercantile, there today. The town population was 40 at the 2010 census, making Sawpit the fourth least populous incorporated town in the state of Colorado.


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