COBWEB CORNERS: From a club to a fire station

By Mel McFarland

       There was a time, one hundred years ago, when nearly one fourth of the population of Colorado City worked in mills processing the gold that came down from Cripple Creek. There were three big mills in town. Two were located in the area behind Fairview Cemetery, and then there was what eventually became the Golden Cycle mill. The Colorado-Philadelphia and the Standard were two of the first mills in Colorado City, built in the 1890s. The Golden Cycle was originally the Telluride Mill. When it failed, it was bought out by the Golden Cycle.
       The Standard Mill managers thought it would be a great idea to have a place where their employees could meet away from work. There were many places along Colorado Avenue where they could find entertainment, but this would be a lot more respectable. In addition there would also be times when they could bring their families. The members contributed 50 cents each month from their salary. In addition, other groups in town could use it for a small fee. In fact, several of the railroad brotherhoods found the club a great place to hold their meetings.
       The Standard company found a spot on Colorado Avenue away from the other "night spots" where they could build their club… right across the street from City Hall. Actually, it was the old City Hall, which the town had abandoned as too far from the business center. The building was a fine, two-story brick structure of simple design. There were areas on the first floor for pool, billiards, card games and even bowling. Other rooms were set aside for a library, and music. The rooms were well lighted and decorated with potted plants, palms and ferns. Live entertainment was regularly featured. There were regular meetings of all types.
       This was fine until the mills shut down. By 1920, only the Golden Cycle Mill was still in business. The Colorado-Philadelphia was being torn down, and the Standard had been closed. The club was now silent; however, there were prospects for it being used for other things. Colorado City had become part of Colorado Springs in 1917. The Colorado City Fire Department was looking for a better home, and a remodeling of the Standard Club provided that. It is still serving us on the corner at 29th Street.