Earlier this month the High Country News ran a story by Jonathan Thompson about another newspaper called the Saguache Crescent. The paper serves the community of Saguache, Colorado—population: about 500. Other than the all-in-one publisher, editor, pressman, and mechanic of the Saguache Crescent, who is described as “marinating in the smell of hot lead, dust and the slow decay of old newsprint,” the most notable thing about this paper is how it’s made.
According to the article, this is “the last weekly newspaper in the nation produced using only letterpress technology.” This letterpress method entails using a 90-year-old Linotype that makes a line of text from molten lead. These are arranged into a frame with ads engraved into wood or metal. Then the type is inked and the newsprint is rolled onto it. The article notes that not a whole lot has changed for Saguache Crescent in its 134 year history, except for maybe the the ad for a local yoga studio.
Articles commenting on various facets of rural culture often seem to note the “traditional.” This is undeniably a part of the appeal of rural America for some. Indeed, here at the Center, we often evoke this notion through our use of idyllic landscape photos and phrases like “family farming.” Embracing and appreciating our past is important and necessary. However, like the local yoga studio in Saguache, fostering new energy and creativity is equally important and necessary to developing our rural communities.
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