COBWEB CORNERS: Figuring out where things were
By Mel McFarland
One of my favorite problems doing our history is with the streets! The names of streets in Colorado City were confusing before it became part of Colorado Springs. The names changed completely twice, and the numbers changed at least three times. When the town was really going there were some interesting businesses around, but now it is hard to figure out where they were! In the early newspapers, often there was no address given. Finding where some of these places were takes a lot of searching.
Looking at the year 1904, Citizens State Bank was the local financial center. Right off, I suspect it had at the same location that City National Bank did later. The hotels appear to have been the Brookside, Enterprise, Hoffman House, Noble, and Stone, most of them on Colorado Avenue. Incidentally, Colorado Avenue in Colorado Springs carried the name Huerfano Street before the merger of the cities. Along the avenue in Colorado City there were many restaurants, saloons and grocers. The All Right Restaurant, the Arcade Club, Blackwood's Saloon, Bland & Co Saloon, Fred Borst Meat Market, Chambers Restaurant, Comer & Comer Saloon, Grand Laundry, Croot & Wright Saloon, and Joe Finns Cigar Store were all among the businesses on Colorado Avenue. A few names from the past and future were represented, such as Wagner-Stockbridge Mercantile - probably where Surplus City now sits. Martin Drake was selling real estate and insurance! Now we have a power plant with his name on it.
For newspapers, there were the Iris, Colorado Springs' Evening Telegraph and the Colorado Springs Gazette with Colorado City offices. In those days the latter two were rivals. As we know, they later merged and now the Telegraph name is gone. Central Lumber and Grain could handle any construction or hardware needs at 23rd Street and Colorado Avenue, I wonder which corner, maybe where Goodwill is on the north side of the street. There was an undertaker, but not where Blunt Mortuary sits now. It was above a store, further up the street. Obvious to me, eating and drinking were big business in Colorado City. There must have been a restaurant or grocery store for every saloon on Colorado Avenue. The challenge is trying to figure out just where they were located. I did a series on this problem years ago, but it has not gotten any better! I'm only glad I am not doing Manitou; it's even more mixed up.