COBWEB CORNERS: Bristol, Pike and the two Roswells
By Mel McFarland
This relates to a school that has been in this paper a few times lately, however, as I usually do, I am going around the barn to get there. Back in about 1922, my mother and some of my uncles went to Bristol School. Later in the year they moved north to another school. You may have never heard of Theodore Roosevelt School, or Rock Island or Roswell City School, all of which were the same school.
This school sat in the town of Roswell City, an area of town settled by the Rock Island railroad, west of its junction with the Rio Grande. A little school was built there, which is long gone. It only lasted a few years. One of the only pictures of it shows some of its students, which include my mother, uncles and some of their cousins. This town soon became part of Colorado Springs and, starting just north of Fontanero, streets with names of Rock Island places changed to such names as Cooper, Walnut, Chestnut, and U.S. presidents. The school was near Fontanero and Seventh. My grandfather built several houses in that area in the early 1920s.
Some 30 years later, my sister and I were students at Bristol School, waiting for a new school to be finished. We were mixed in with the Bristol kids, and there were two principals! Barclay Watson and Robert Lynn. Mid-year, we moved to the new school, but we still had the two same principals. Some of the students had gone to school over at Lincoln. That new school was Zebulon Pike. I was in the sixth grade, my sister the fourth. Later, after I was gone Philip Van Pelt became the principal. The school was on the north edge of town for many years, so there was little need to expand it. They did add a couple of rooms, but it sits much the way it did in 1956.
Oh, the Rock Island built another town called Roswell after Colorado Springs gobbled up the first one. Many of you know that area, south of Fillmore Street and west of Cascade Avenue, which stayed independent for many years. Both were named for Roswell P. Flowers, an important investor in the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railroad. It reached here in 1890, and that is when they started Rock Island City. The Rock Island School is about forgotten, but we hope the same fate does not happen to "good old" Pike.