The Family comes to Denver and carves in stone
Steven’s grandfather emigrated from Sweden to Denver via Minnesota, as did many of his countrymen, bringing strong stone cutting skills. In 1925, he started Erickson Monuments with manufacturing and a showroom at a site on 1st Avenue and Santa Fe Drive. The family lived on South Pearl, and Steven’s father and his two brothers all attended West High School. Steven’s mother’s family had emigrated from Prague in what was then Czechoslovakia to Chicago, eventually making their way to Capitol Hill in Denver. His mother went to church at the Swedish Evangelical Church, now Curious Theatre.
During this period, the firm acquired a statue of Cupid and Psyche, which was showcased in the front window on Speer. This statue, a 5/8 human scale version of a sculpture by the Italian Antonio Canova (1757-1822), was 6 feet high and 4 feet wide. The notoriety of bare breasts on Speer Boulevard (quel horreur!) gave rise to a lot of press and comment. At least one lady was so afraid her husband would be distracted and drive into Cherry Creek that she called for the statue’s removal! Erickson Monuments didn’t remove the sculpture and it stood proudly as their identity and logo for many years.
The Cupid and Psyche story was included in noted Denver Post columnist, Gene Amole’s book One More Time. You can read this story in our post on Cupid and Psyche.