Follow The Iron Ribbons

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In an earlier America the oceans were the main routes of commerce followed by the rivers big and small.  By the time Rapp came along, railroads were further extending opportunity’s reach for those alert enough to know it.

His eldest son Isaac Hamilton Rapp used the same logic when he traveled further west along the rails to Anthony, Kansas where with partner Clarence Bulger he built a Baptist Church and the city’s central opera house.  His younger brother William Mason Rapp in his own search for work went to St. Louis and then on to Wichita Kansas, all of which would have been practically impossible before the railroads.  These architects were not geographical pioneers.  They needed settlement, with access to material yards serviced by railroads.

Before the two brothers settled for good in Trinidad, Colorado, to form the 1891 I. H. & W. M. Rapp partnership, they needed reassurance that the city had a future.  Their father Isaac took the Santa Fe Railroad to Trinidad, looked the town over and gave it his approval as a place to do business.  To Isaac Rapp Trinidad, as division point for the Santa Fe, seemed to have enough needed to assure a future including a cattle industry, coal mining and of course the railroad itself.  What it lacked were new buildings to accommodate the expected growth and expansion—a town ready made for industrious architects.

As good as living where the work is, is living where it’s going to be. 


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