COBWEB CORNERS: Remembering Ramona

By Mel McFarland

       In the early days, Colorado City was a wild little town. Colorado Avenue had its saloons, opium dens, red light district, and churches. When Colo-rado Springs was built, it was dry. Not just arid, but you could not visit any bars. There were none, but there were ways to get a drink - visit Colorado City!
       The development of the railroad yards, and the gold mills only made things wilder. At one time Anheuser Busch bottled beer right near downtown Colorado City! One of the Busch boys was sent here from St. Louis to get him out west where he could grow up. He had a lot of fun in Colorado City.
       It was quite a scene on Friday and Saturday night when Colorado City was the place to go. The last car back to Colorado Springs was usually loaded with gents who needed a place to rest on the way home. Even at the late hour in the summer, the cars were often filled.
       In the early 20th century, some folks in Colorado City started a crusade to clean up the town's reputation. They succeeded in getting a ban on alcohol in town.
       The bar owners had the choice of closing or moving out of town. The solution was a town of their own! Ramona would be the site of many of the establishments. It was located roughly between 21st and 25th streets, north of present day Uintah Street. About 90 years ago, it was much different than today. The big problem was, being too far from the street car track and the heart of town.
       The good thing was, it was downhill. It was not a good idea to come up short, though: The friendly folks along the way did not want to find one of these boys sleeping in their yard in the morning. The constables were kept busy, too. A number of the establishments in Ramona rented rooms to their favored customers.
       Ramona roared for a while, but several other things came along that had a negative effect on the town's economy. The mines in Cripple Creek were slowing down, and three of the four mills in Colorado City closed. The railroad cut back on their shops here, but the big reason (in 1919) was Prohibition!
       Ramona is long gone, but not forgotten.