Great Western BankThe history of the building at 785 Cheeseman Street in Erie, CO

by James Sites, Branch Manager of Great Western

The building was built in 1957.  In “Erie Heights” neighborhood.

The building has had many different functions

  • Grocery Store/Gas Station/House
  • Anthony’s Corner Store/Butcher/Gas (mid-1960’s-1970)
  • Erie Corner Store/Convenience Store/Gas (approx. 1970-1974)
  • Corner Store – Durffs (Mr. Durfee) (Approx 1974-1976)
  • Mechanic/Auto Parts
  • Smitty’s Ice Cream Parlor 1986 (owned by Carol/Frank & Linda/Louie Silva, sisters who married brothers).
  • Dilly Deli, soup and sandwiches.
  • Mexican Restaurant – El Hornito
  • Bank

Alan Kobobel, lived in the building.  His Mother, Helen Kobobel bought it in the early 1960’s from Bill Carter.  The house was in the NW portion of the back.  It had 2 or 3 bedrooms plus kitchen and bathroom.  The store had a counter pretty close to the front door.  The East side had fruits and vegetables.  He said there was always at least a foot of water in the basement.  It had shelves with lots of radio tubes.  Also a set of nice tires that fit perfectly on his 1934 Chevy.  Helen sold the building to Hepp in the late 1960’s.

Owned by Anthony “Tony” & Josie Hepp late 60’s until 1970 – They would also rent to various businesses.

Bill Bromley was one of the Managers (Also owned by Gerald & George, Safeway Managers from Texas) of the ”The Corner Store”.  Picture of sign was above the 2 diagonal pull-through gas pumps.

Tracy Swen, who is Alan Kobobel’s, daughter worked in the building in 1986.  It was called Smitty’s Ice Cream.  There was a pool table in the east side.

Erie Corner StoreDaniel Stan, who grew up on CR 10 use to walk over from the High School (1970-1975).  Called “The Corner Store”.  Store had a wrap around counter.  Soft drink dispenser behind counter.  Row of coolers with pop/milk/beer on south or east wall?  $.75 for a school lunch.  Doritos/ice-cream sandwich/soda same price (and tasted better) at corner store.  8-tracks for sale $1 each.  The “Penny Pincher” was across the street (currently Conoco).  A hamburger stand “The Gladiator” was where car wash is.  Hamburgers 6 for $1.00.  Also had malts, etc.

Ricky Hulstrom, who grew up on CR 7, remembers coming when it was the corner store and getting a $0.15 RC Colas after school and then going across the street to the Penny Pincher (where Conoco) is now for a hot dog.  (Mr. Durfee Ran the store in the mid-70’s)

Don Haislip, who grew up in the house to the east of the bank shared some information.  He worked at the store in the 1970’s  He started working there when he was 12 years old.  He could sell beer to people but couldn’t touch it to give it to them, so they bagged it themselves.  There was a safe in the floor by where the bathroom is located.  It’s covered over location was found again during a 2007 remodel.  He said there was a cellar below the building.  It had access from inside and also behind the building.  The covered over access was located outside the teller line door during the 2007 remodel.  The outside access was “about the middle” of the back of the building has not been located.

Boulder Police Officer Lloyd Durfee leased from Venta Inc., Marvin Marrs, who made the store into a Gulf Station from 1974 to 1976 when his daughter was killed in an accident on County Line Road.  He said he was robbed a few times, including one night, his two female employees were held up at gunpoint and the robber got the cash and money orders from the floor safe.

“Smitty” had chicken place here in late 1970’s.

Garage in early 1980’s.

Then ice cream shop.

Soup and sandwich restaurant called the Dilly Deli around 1992 owned by Mr and Mrs Boudin until she got cancer.

Approx 1994 or 1995 Mexican food restaurant called El Hornito “The little pot” owned by Maclovio Martinez and his sons from San Luis valley.  They were also builders and built a lot of the houses on the Cul-de-Sacs on Kattell St.

The pizza shop called “The Pizza Parlor?”

In 1996 Jeff Booms, owner of County Line Lumber, who is friends with Bob Beauprez, told him about the opportunity to buy the building.  He convinced Bob of Erie’s desirability and potential.

The remodel for Lafayette State Bank - Erie Branch - was completed for a June 16, 1997 opening.

There were  several problems with power outages and brownish colored water in the bank building.  Also, the building’s sewage lines were too small and easily clogged.  All of which were eventually fixed.

It wasn’t uncommon for people to ride their horses through town or to the bank in the late nineties until the roads were paved in 1999/2000.

The bank originally had 3 employees, Managed by Linda Gibson.

The bank changed names to Heritage Bank in 1999.

The bank merged with First Community Bank - March 2007 and James Sites, who had been with the bank in Erie since 2001, became manager.

The bank merged with Great Western Bank - June 2009.