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The People of Georgetown: Craig Abrahamson

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‘I wouldn’t trade my life here for anything’

By Corinne Westeman

(Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series on The People of Georgetown. In honor of the town’s 150 years since incorporation, the Courant will profile three lifelong Georgetown residents to explore the town and its history through their eyes.)

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Craig Abrahamson lives three blocks from his childhood home on Taos Street, where he would ride his bike to and from City Park.

Now, Craig, who has three children of his own, can walk to his civil engineering office on Sixth Street. Even while he’s changed over the past 51 years, Georgetown has stayed relatively the same.

“People are attracted here for a reason, even if they can’t always articulate what it is,” he said. “… People work hard to live here — there’s something about it that they cherish.”

Aside from his college years in Fort Collins, he’s always lived in Georgetown. And, even then, he still considered it his home.

While many of his engineering friends went to work all over the country, Craig decided to stay in Georgetown and work in Clear Creek County. He’s felt fortunate that he and his wife have been able to raise their three kids here, as it can be hard to make a living in a small town, he said.

“I don’t plan to leave (because) it will always be home,” Craig said of Georgetown.

Meeting one’s future

While their kids may decide to follow suit, he and his wife Dana said that they, at least, intend to be in Georgetown forever.

Dana, who moved from Illinois 27 years ago, described how she stopped in Silver Plume when she first moved to Colorado and met a landlady who offered her an apartment in Georgetown.

She later met Craig at Loveland Ski Area, where they both worked. The two started dating and eventually married at the Presbyterian Church on Taos Street.

“I knew when I married (Craig) that I would die here, that we would raise our kids here,” Dana said. “… The town means everything to him.”

‘Have to give back’

Over the years, the Abrahamsons have served on and volunteered for organizations around the county, including with Georgetown Community School, which their three children attended. Craig also served as the town’s police judge at one point.

Being an active part of the community is important, they said, to develop personal connections and deeper relationships with their neighbors and friends, as well as creating a vibrant place to live.

“You don’t just get to live in a small town because nobody survives if everyone just lives there,” Craig said. “You have to give back.”

One of his strongest memories of the town, he said, was when the community joined together in 2004 to build Foster’s Place at City Park. It was a unique experience, as it wasn’t a historic building, he said, and more than 250 people poured their blood, sweat, tears and a little bit of money into the project.

“It was the build that was so remarkable — we built that park in three days,” Craig said. “… That’s the memory that stands out: people coming together to do something bigger than themselves, to create something that had real meaning.”

Come so far

Looking at the town now, Craig said it’s surprising that, at one point in its history, only a couple of hundred people lived there. People were mining in Georgetown up until the 1930s, including his grandfather, but the industry slumped, and Craig’s grandfather instead worked tearing down abandoned houses for firewood.

But by the time Craig was riding his bike up and down Taos Street, the town had revived and was about the population it is now, with a mix of both permanent residents and second-home owners, he said.

And more recently, Georgetown is becoming economically independent as it can afford to complete major projects without trading the character of the community, Craig said.

While there are some quintessential Georgetown things that Craig has yet to do, such as going on a tour at the Hamill House (although he has led a tour) and running in the pack burro race, the town will always be his home.

“Looking back, I wouldn’t trade my life here for anything,” he said. “It’s a place where you feel at home, where you feel an immediate sense of the pace of life. People don’t feel like they need to hurry — they can take the time and enjoy (the town).”