COBWEB CORNERS: Where was the Log Cabin Hotel?
By Mel McFarland
Over the years I have wondered about certain local historical locations. When I was a kid in School District 11, we studied local history, I think in the fourth grade, mainly. I know when I was teaching eighth grade, children got a taste of local history. In high school, I enjoyed researching Cripple Creek's early years.
Recently I read a story about the El Paso County Pioneers' Association wanting to mark local sites that had significant impact on our history in 1912. The association developed a list of several spots, which even now can be found, thanks to their work. One of these, however, has escaped! Where was the Log Cabin Hotel? Just about every book on the history of Colorado Springs includes a picture of it. Some even call it Colorado Springs' first railroad station. In 1912, the Pioneers' Association intended to designate its location with a marker.
You can find where the Everhardt boys were scalped near present-day Boulder Crescent because the Pioneers' Association raised a marker. You can still find where the first stake in Colorado Springs was driven, even though over the years it has been redone. But the Log Cabin's site has become a mystery. If the association did place a marker, it may have been lost in 1935 when Monument Creek washed through that area, but I suspect the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad would not let them get close to the spot. By my research, it was probably under where there are lots of railroad tracks now! I suspect, also, that it was just north of Colorado avenue, close to where the depot was built. I do know the building may have moved with the railroad. It was owned, not by the railroad but by the sister of one of the large investors in the railroad and that it was regularly placed at the southern end of the track as the D&RG built toward Trinidad.
On a similar subject, there are no known pictures of the first railroad stations in Colorado Springs or Colorado City! The building that is the heart of Giuseppe's Depot Restaurant was built in 1887, fifteen years after the town started. But we do know what the D&RG and Colorado Midland's LAST stations, which both burned down in the 1930's, looked like. The early Colorado City newspapers complained about the miserable stations of BOTH Colorado City railroads.