Craig wasn’t the first community to develop in Northwest Colorado, nor was it the largest in the early years of development of the area. Lay has seen plenty of hustle and bustle in her past. Strategic military outposts, community gathering place, school and post office, they were all at the heart of this ranching community. Not all of the settlers in Lay were ranchers, world renown wildlife photographers A. G. & Augusta Wallihan called Lay home and their final resting places and historical cemetary overlook the Lay valley.

Remaining fragments of streets are quiet now and the few remaining original buildings have only a few contemporary homes scattered around them. Motorists speeding along the present Highway 40 aren’t likely to take more than a glancing take of what was once a bustling community.

Why some towns develop and grow while others fade back into the land is subject to the whims of fate more than the hard work of settlers.

exerpts from – Lay, Colorado by Shannan Koucherik for the Museum of NW Colorado

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