Summerfest 2024 at the Emma Malaby Grocery Store

The Emma Malaby Grocery Store, 313 N. Meldrum Street, Fort Collins CO. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

BY Richard Gonet | North Forty News

The little neighborhood grocery store that stands at 313 N. Meldrum Street in Fort Collins has a 143-year history that stretches back to Fort Collins’ earliest days.

On June 22nd, from 10 am – 2 pm, you’ll be able to step back in time and tour this historic gem at Summerfest 2024. Join Historic Larimer County, the new owner of the building, for free tours, a vintage car show, food, music from the porch, old-timey games, and tours of Malaby Grocery. 

Chris Ericksen and Sharon Danhauer give the interior of the Emma Malaby Grocery Store a new coat of paint to get it ready for opening day. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

The Emma Malaby Grocery began its life on N. College Avenue as a photography studio. Later it was a millinery and home for six years before being hauled from N. College to N. Meldrum in 1906 by Frank Collamer to be turned into a grocery.

Frank’s daughter, Emma, took over the store in 1921, operating it until her retirement in 1943. The building was then boarded up and remained unused for many years.  

Display cases full of actual articles that would have been for sale in the Emma Malaby Grocery Store before it closed in 1943. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

After Emma died in 1967, the store passed through several hands and ended up in the possession of Jim Burrill.  In May 2023 Mr. Burrill donated the store to the Historic Larimer County preservation non-profit group, which has received two grants that will enable it to develop a preservation plan to rehabilitate the building.

Members of Historic Larimer County have been laboring through the winter to curate historical items in the store and to clean and paint the interior before the Summerfest grand opening.

Sandy Knox peels wallpaper to help with the renovation of the Malaby Grocery Store in Fort Collins, CO. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

Come by Malaby Grocery on June 22nd for free tours of the building.

The 300 block of N. Meldrum will be shut down to host a vintage car show featuring three different local car clubs. Only cars that are of the right time period to have driven up and parked in front of the store when it was in operation will be included. There will be two musical acts on the front porch of the house next door to the store.

Light snacks will be available for purchase and the event is free to the public.

Local historian Wayne Sundberg curates historical articles found in the Emma Malaby Grocery Store, Fort Collins, CO. (Photo by Richard Gonet)

(The Editor wishes to thank local historian Meg Dunn and Historic Larimer County for the historical material that forms the basis of this story)


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