Craig Chevrolet Building

Join Weston County Historical Society & Weston County Historic Preservation Board on May 15th at 1:30 pm for a presentation and tour at the Craig Chevrolet building in Newcastle, Wyoming.

History of the Craig Chevrolet Building written by Bri Brasher & Leonard Cash for the Weston County News Letter Journal on August 10, 2017.

The automotive industry provided a boost for the Newcastle economy in the early 1900s as cars began to fade out the use of the horse and buggy. Prior to the establishment of Craig Chevrolet, the lot housed a livery stable originally owned by the Kilpatrick Brothers and Collins Construction Company.

The livery stable was rented by Fred Howell in 1917 who offered a car rental company where customers could either rent a horse and buggy or an automobile. He ran the business until 1920 when the building became West Motor Company, which was a Ford dealership. West Motor Company advertised itself as “The most complete service station in the northwest.” The company brought an important development to the city of Newcastle as a leading commercial center. The success of the company would be limited due to the fact in 1921 a fire swept through the business section of the city.

In 1926, the building was purchased by Tom E. Shoemaker of Upton who devoted his time to selling Chevrolet cars. So he bought the property that once was West Motor Company to open up a new garage named Craig Chevrolet, who was Craig? The meaning behind the name is still unknown. The new building was to be one story, 50 by 140 feet, with a basement. A basement that would later become a bowling alley, the perfect combination, while your car gets fixed you can bowl a couple of rounds. 

The building would be a part of the community up to the 1960s when another fire started in the basement body shop. The fire resulted in $50,000 worth of damages to car parts, paint, and painting equipment. The damage was too much causing Craig Chevrolet to go out of business in the early 1960s. The property was passed from hand to hand and business to business for the next couple of decades until recently when it was purchased by Daren Downs.

To learn more about the future of this property, join the Weston County Historical Society and Historic Preservation Board for a presentation of Mr. Downs’s future plans for the building and a tour of the building on May 15th at 1:30 pm in Newcastle, Wyoming.