COBWEB CORNERS: It’s not No Man’s Land

By Mel McFarland

       When I hear the term “No Mans Land” for the project on US 24 (business), I do a bit of a cringe. The area between Manitou and Colorado City was two communities. Arensdale, the closest to Colorado City, was annexed a hundred years ago. The other one never actually had a name that I have located, but we know it as Adams Crossing.
       Arensdale ran from about 31st Street to almost Ridge Road. Some of the first quarries were near here, back in the 1860s and '70s. Even today the area has a few of the red sandstone ridges familiar to the Garden of the Gods. There was only a scattering of houses along the road to Manitou until the 1920s. This area saw some of the area's first motor courts, the predecessors of motels. On the south side of Colorado Avenue, which is much straighter now than it was then, some of the land was smoothed out so tourists could pitch tents and park their automobiles. A few stores popped up to serve their needs, but still, most of the area was scattered houses. After World War II, the area really took off, but still you can see remnants of some of the old camps. The area on the south side of Colorado really changed in the 1970s with the Red Rock Shopping Center. Some may even remember Howard's Barbeque, which was located near an old burro shed.
       Adams Crossing was named for General Charles Adams, a retired Ute Indian agent. His wife, a close friend of Chipeta, wife of the popular Ute chief Ouray, would even come up in the summer and stay with the family after Ouray died. The Crossing ran from about Ridge to Columbia. I am not sure which house was the general's, or if it is even standing, but I was once told it is part of the old store on the corner of Colorado and Columbia. The crossing got its name because it was a popular way to get across Fountain Creek. When the railroad to Manitou was built in 1880, the road crossed the tracks in front of the store. The tracks were in the street into the 1970s, even though the railroad tracks stopped at 28th Street. Tourist cabins, called Yucca Court, were built across the creek in the 1930s. Their original office, now Amanda's Fonda, was used until the 1980s, I believe.
       No Man's Land could refer to the property along the Midland Expressway closer to the new Red Rock Canyon Open Space, but when you think of Colorado Avenue, it is either Arensdale or Adams Crossing, if you please!