I just checked and the contact page is not in the CMS. The contact function was recently included in the 8. whatever release.
Yea that’s why i think it warranted its own xml file.
Still open to suggestions
It has to mentioned Have you turned off the cache in the back end admin
This info could have saved 3 hours alone the caching system works great in fact to great because any changes with this Cache system enabled will not show the changes in the layout .xml file that you have uploaded also hitting ctrl f5 does not clear the cache
Step One Turn off all Caching in your demo store >>system>>cache management
Step Two Disable all cache controls except Configuration
Step Three Check Mark Refresh Cache