Colorado treasure : Pipes and Tobaccos Magazine

Colorado treasure

Englewood’s Edwards Pipe Shop is part tobacco shop, part museum

 By David Field

There’s a shop just outside of Denver, in Englewood, Colo. I know it well because I’ve been doing trunk shows there once or twice a year for about 11 years. The shop was always nice, if a bit cramped—a true tobacconist’s shop. Pipes, cigars, tons of tinned pipe tobaccos, smokers’ accessories—that was it. No statues, glasses, dolls or other stuff some shops install to attract (I guess) a different type of clientele. No, this was a shop catering to the pipe and cigar smoker, and it didn’t try to be anything else.

The owner, Bryan Reid, knows an awful lot about two things (well, I’m sure he knows a lot about more than two things, but these two are pertinent here)—the history of the western United States and antiques. Reid, on his off days, which aren’t many as he likes to work at the shop, travels to many historic towns such as Leadville, Durango, Trinidad, Glenwood Springs (where Doc Holliday breathed his last) and Greeley—anyway, you get the idea.

The West is different from other parts of the country—friendlier, especially in smaller towns and villages. Reid would stop in these places and hunt up things having to do with smoking, such as wall signs, hanging glassed-in pipe racks, smoking stands, smokers’ rocking chairs and more—much more. Some of the old mining towns he went into used to have populations of as many as 10,000 to 15,000 folks but are now down to fewer than 100. Once the mines played out, so did the towns. But the buildings are still there, some occupied, others not. And some of the old furniture and wall decorations are still there as well. Like as not, Reid would find a couple of things on these trips and they would go into Edwards Pipe Shop, making it more crowded than ever.

Luckily, Reid owns the building as well as the one next door. A couple of years ago he decided to expand and so tore out the wall separating the ground floor between the two buildings. Edwards now has twice the space. Extensive renovations provide even more space for display, and so even more smokers’ antiques have found their way into the shop.

I’ve been to a few museums in the U.S. and western Europe. Some are large, extensive; others small and intimate. Edwards Pipe Shop is, in my opinion, a smokers’ museum. Even better, you don’t have to lay out any cash to visit. And even more better, you can buy stuff there.

The range of goods is rather extensive: handmade pipes by well-known artisan pipemakers, to midline grades, to basket pipes; meerschaums large and small; and Edwards’ own line of briars. Cigars rate too, with all the top-rated brands in stock and ready to go. And then there is so much pipe tobacco—tins galore.

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Category: Pipe Articles, Winter 2013

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