From a backyard in Grand Junction to a thriving Western Colorado legacy—Elam Construction has grown and succeeded!
In 1956, Robert Elam was working for a local asphalt paving company. When that company chose not to bid on a job in Monticello, Utah, Robert got the break of a lifetime. The company allowed him to pursue the job on his own and agreed to lease him paving equipment.
Robert was awarded the Monticello job and Elam Construction was born. His wife, Mildred, would pack the children in the car on weekends and drive to Monticello to deliver parts and supplies to Robert and to pick up paperwork for the return trip because Mildred also did the bookkeeping for the new company.
By 1958, requests for local bids started coming in fast and furious. The Company's first headquarters location was the home of Robert and Mildred on Unaweep Avenue. Elam's first local project was a gas station on North Avenue. Robert and his son, Harold, blade-mixed the asphalt for resurfacing and completed the project by hand.
On April 8, 1958, Elam Construction purchased its first piece of equipment. That 1950 Caterpillar Model 212 motor grader still exists and is on display at the Grand Junction corporate office. Elam purchased the grader for a grand total of $5,884: $1,344 came from savings and the rest had to be financed. The payments, $252 for 18 months, seemed enormous at the time, but the growing business needed equipment. Sometimes everyone got paid except Robert and Mildred!
"Just one more piece of equipment," was a phrase heard many times throughout the years, but the philosophy of continuing to slowly grow their business paid off. In 1975, Robert and Mildred sold the business to sons Harold and Earl and long-time employee Arnold Ridder. Today Elam Construction is under the leadership of Harold Elam and has offices in Grand Junction, Aspen, Edwards, Durango, Craig, and Pagosa Springs.
Elam Construction has grown throughout the years by carrying on the tradition of its founders—"quality work, on time, and to the customer's satisfaction."