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Vintage safe at City Drug for sale


City Drug, 1967

City Drug, on the corner of Mountain and College since 1967,  is the best kind of anachronism. Not a horse-drawn carriage, striped sticks of candy by the refurbished antique cash register kind of anachronism.

The other kind.

The kind that never changed out the pastel pink and green signs, even after the Jean Nate and Noxema moved on:


The kind that displays that which Wal-Mart Pharmacy wouldn’t dare:


The kind that keeps its most extraordinary item of all behind the counter where you can’t see it.


City Drug is the oldest business in Fort Collins (since 1873), occupying several downtown locales over the years. My guess is that this safe has been hauled around with the business since some time before 1891, the year safe maker Mosler and Bahmann left Cincinnatti (if you clicked the photo a time or two,  you’d see Cincinnati painted on the safe).

The current owners are moving the business north of Old Town soon, and they say they don’t want to take the safe with them.

What do they plan to do with it?

“Tell your readers to make us an offer,” they said.

Okay. But I hope it’s our readers at the museum who get there first.

Update 10/3/2009

The safe was sold just before City Drug moved. The new owner, a manager over at Ace Hardware, took delivery via forklift, restored the safe, and has begun the meditative task of trying to guess the combination…it seems nobody remembers it.

By the way, I just noticed another Mosler safe in the window at Silver Grill ….


Reader David Newman suggested Lost Fort Collins look at all the left behind bank vaults in town. He told me about three of them (upcoming post). In my research for that post,  I found this safe at City Drug. Thanks David!

12 comments to Vintage safe at City Drug for sale

  • How about the city place it on the corner with a plaque saying that this is from the oldest business in Fort Collins?

  • John Lardinois

    In the film ‘The Newton Boys’, square safes like this one were easy prey for an honest bank robber possessing nitroglycerine, drill and glazing compound. Round safes were the Newton’s undoing. In the film there’s a scene with a map of their targets. Colorado has several targets, if I’m not mistaken. Apparently this safe wasn’t on the Newton’s list.

  • catfc

    Mr. Lardinois, Did you just give the whole internet instructions on how to blow this gorgeous safe?

  • noë

    Don’t need to blow it up now … just buy it. What a gorgeous safe!! I’m also in love what that pink “Cosmetics” sign. That belongs in a museum, too.

  • JC

    Best chocolate-filled advent calendars I’ve found. Not to mention the rest of the candy counter….
    Toblerone’s anyone?

  • catfc

    Noe–I agree about the sign. On Flickr I’ve uploaded photos of a couple more. They also told me about the city’s oldest heating/cooling system. It takes up a large room in the basement.

    JC–I always meant to get one of those advent calendars–they were affordable too. But I always end up with the Kindereggs.

  • Prior to the City Drug occupying the corner, the Poudre Valley Bank was located in this location. While the safe might have been original to City Drug, there might be other items that originated with the bank.

  • I thought City Drug was moving to the former Rock Stop music shop? Not exactly leaving Old Town. Why not just bring it up several hundred feet?

  • catfc

    @colorebel, you’re correct. City Drug will be on the 200N block, which is still Old Town. Just not as often featured in the promotional literature as the more southern blocks.

    They didn’t say why they wanted to sell the safe, exactly.

  • […] 21, 2009 by catfc After my last post, reader Jim Burrill pointed out that the building at 101 S. College once housed  Poudre Valley […]

  • There’s the old bank vault downstairs in what used to be Stone Lion Books (one upstairs too). I was locked in it once, when it was The Pines Gift Shop, downstairs from the Red Cross offices where Mom worked and I hung out. I met the owner’s kids, and one of them said he knew how to get out of the safe, so the other one locked us in. It was fairly interesting. I wasn’t in there long. Later on, the place was The Establishment, and so on.

    By the way, I’ve been procrastinating on my November 1979 photos, but I scanned a bunch several weeks ago, and today I put them on my flickr page. Here’s the group:
    You’re certainly welcome to post some or all of these, with proper credit. Having looked at the panorama, I plan to at least straighten out the horizon line in that one. I have more, but that’s the first batch, anyway. (Larger sizes available.)

    I also took at least one of the former bank drive-throughs in the alley behind. Dad’s music studio was in the office area above the old Ben Franklin for a while around 1971, and I used to play on the roof that overlooks the alley, climbing out the bathroom window and sometimes going down or up the telephone pole back there.

  • […] And here’s my original story. Even though you’ve already seen the safe, it’s still worth clicking through for the “Big jar o’ pills” photo:  http://lostfortcollins.com/2009/03/18/safe-at-city-drug/ […]