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The History of Tony’s Conoco

The Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum is located in the historic building affectionately called Tony's Conoco. Here's a timeline of the building's journey.

 

  • 1883: John McCosker builds a blacksmith on the corner lot of 4th and Elk.
  • By 1904: An addition to the building is added for the hardware store.
  • Tony fills a tank by hand

    1911: Crested Butte's first retail gas pumps are installed in front of the building.

  • 1922: John McCosker retires and sells the business to John Campbell and former Gunnison County Commissioner Bill Whalen.
  • 1939: Bill Whalen's son-in-law, Tony Mihelich, starts working in the hardware store.
  • 1940: Tony becomes a partner in the business.
  • 1952: Tony becomes sole owner of the business. Martha Sporchich, Tony's step-daughter, helps him run the business.
  • 1990: Tony is recognized for being the longest sole owner of a Conoco in the world. The company gives Tony a plaque and gold watch as a thank you for 50 years of service.
  • 1996: Tony passes away on Christmas Day, resulting in the business to close.
  • 2001: Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum raises over 1 million dollars to acquire the building and complete the first renovations.
  • 2003: Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum opens to the public.
  • 2015/2016: A historic structure assessment of the building is performed thanks to a grant from the History Colorado-State Historical Fund.
  • 2017: Phase I of a two-phase building rehabilitation begins.
  • 2018: Phase I completes and Phase II of the two-phase building rehabilitation begins.
  • 2019: Phase II will be completed for Tony's Conoco to continue in serving the community!
The CB Museum has been lucky to call this wonderful building home and we look forward to continuing in caring for and sharing it for years to come. If you'd like to be a part of continuing Tony's legacy CLICK HERE.

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