Over the years, as we’ve worked with families to plan funerals and cremations, we’ve become acutely aware of the importance of sharing stories of those we’ve lost — and the importance of sharing these stories with future generations.
We’ve been diligently researching the lives of the significant people who have made Broomfield so special and want to share their stories with you. This month, we’re sharing the story of Harry Crawford, a man whose passion for beekeeping left behind a rich legacy.
One of the most important early industries in Broomfield was beekeeping. There was even a county official in the late 1800s called a “bee inspector.” The first major beekeeper in Broomfield was Harry Crawford. Harry migrated to Broomfield from Ohio in 1891.
Somehow, Harry convinced A. J. Zang to sell him an acre of the Zang ranch property, which served as the beginning foundation of the Crawford farm. He worked various jobs in those early years, including postmaster, justice of the peace, and general merchandise salesman. But the profession that would endure — and the one he would become best known for — was beekeeping.
In 1900, Harry married an English woman named Ada. Together, they had two sons and a daughter. The family worked about 500 colonies of bees and produced possibly the best and sweetest honey in the region. Harry gained some national attention for his honey when he won the silver medal for comb honey at the World’s Fair held in St. Louis, MO, in 1904.
Following that success, the family built the Honey House in 1905. The family sold their honey from this building for the next several years, shipping it all across the Western U.S. It was declared a local landmark in 2006 and currently serves as a museum exhibit at Zang Spur Park.
After Harry retired, his son Miles took over the apiary and became one of the “elder statesmen” of Broomfield. Just like his father, Miles became Broomfield’s postmaster and served in this role from 1944 to 1966. Following his retirement from the postal service, Miles continued to carry on his family’s honey business. He also busied himself as the town’s unofficial historian. Between 1965 and 1979, Miles typed a small collection of histories and memoirs of Broomfield, which are housed today at the Broomfield Depot Museum. His subjects included the Broomfield Post Office and all its postmasters, the Jones Hall building, the Broomfield Grange, early railroad history, Broomfield schools, Broomfield churches, Broomfield businesses and farms, and the Broomfield Heights development.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading Harry’s story. Please know that our professional team is here for you and your family anytime you need us. Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions. We think of it as neighbors helping neighbors and hope you do too.