1429 Larimer Street, Looms Building
Here is a bird’s eye view of 1429 Larimer (Small yellow building with three windows and awning). Before this building there was single story building that was home to Mrs. M.A. Shaw Millinery. The old address system marks this as 345 Larimer Street.
By 1905 the new building was built and housed the Schwartz Brothers furniture store. The brothers, Benjamin and Meyer disappeared from the furniture business by 1907. By then, a Benjamin Schwartz was working as a clerk at the Golden Eagle Department Store and a Meyer Schwartz was working in saloon at 1651 Larimer. I suppose the brothers gave up on furniture.
Skipping ahead a few years, the 1924 city directory shows nothing at 1429 Larimer. I assume the building was vacant. Then in 1928 a business appears at the address, a gun shop.
Denver had four premier gunsmiths in 1886. Accuracy was desired in a fire arm. Accurate guns were build from scratch. The barrel was the key, it had to machined properly. Charles Gove, gunsmith, came to Denver in June of 1860. In 1873 he took on two other gunsmiths into his business, John Plower and George C. Schoyen. Plower specialized in Sharps rifles and Colt pistols. Schoven’s niche was match rifles. These gunsmiths eventually parted ways.
Axel W. Peterson was from Sweden. In 1881 he had a gun shop at 1315 15th Street. By 1911, Axel W. Peterson and George C. Schoyen combined talent and were in business together at 1335 Lawrence. Axel’s son, Roy was listed as a gunsmith with the firm. In 1915 the address changed to, rear 1415 Lawrence, and a new gunsmith joined the business, Henry T. Simmons. Roy’s name was absent. In 1915, George C. Schoyen was living in Golden, Colorado and passed away in 1916. 1923 shows Axel living at 4869 Osceola with his son, Ron, then the house changes owners in 1927. I suspect Axel passed around this time. In 1928 the directory lists Peterson A.W. & Son, Gunsmiths at 1429 Larimer Street. By 1937 Roy Peterson and his wife, Ida M., are living above the store at 1431 Larimer.
Roy Peterson died in 1947 and his shop was sold to Leighton L. Baker who moved the operation to Florida. There is rumors some of the shop equipment and tools may still be in Colorado, perhaps in Englewood and Leadville. Baker donated two papers about Axel W. Peterson to the Colorado Historical Society (History Colorado) in the 1960’s. He also asked if they wanted to buy some of Peterson’s items. Peterson’s match guns are still highly desirable.
Above is a National Park Service brochure on awnings using DPL photo X-22058. The one story building, mid-block, is 1429-1435 Larimer Street. The lower photo shows the building at 1429 after it was built. It is the three window building on the left. The lot next door is still empty. Automobiles are present in the photo as are horses, bicycles and trolley tracks. It is DPL photo X-22416.
In the late 1970’s and 1980’s the building held the dinning room for Josephina’s. Now the building holds Rioja Restaurant, run by Jennifer Jasinski. A. W. Peterson was considered a master of the trade, I suppose that accolated now follows the new occupant in a different trade.
Additions, comments and corrections are welcomed, Thanks, JOE S
Sources: City Directories from DPL, Forgotten Weapons website, AW Peterson, FL., website., History Colorado—Colorado Subject Collection CSC.B10