COBWEB CORNERS: Colorado City’s businesses in 1902
By Mel McFarland
The names of streets in Colorado City were confusing before it was annexed to Colorado Springs. The names changed completely twice, and the numbers changed at least three times. Maybe one of these days I'll do a good story on how it all worked out. The look at Colorado City's businesses today is interesting because this was when the town was really going. The Colorado Midland was doing great things, as were the many gold mills. In a few years things would be slowing down.
Citizens State Bank was the local financial center. I suspect it was where the City National Bank would later be. It appears that the Brookside, Enterprise, Hoffman House, Noble, and Stone were the hotels in town, 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 in 1902. 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 in what is now the 2500 block. Stewart & Tiger Bicycles, also in that block, was a sign of the future. A few names from the past and future are 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.
There were also the Iris, Colorado Springs' Evening Telegraph and Colorado Springs Gazette as our newspapers. In those days the latter two were rivals. Newton Lumber, Roles & Sutherland, and Central Lumber and Grain could handle any construction or hardware need. Central, by the way was at 23rd and Colorado. One might wonder about Belmont & Ford Novelty Works, High Grade Cigar Company, and - high on my list - W. K. Reed Racket Store. (Tennis? I doubt it.) Obviously, eating and drinking were big business in Colorado City. There must have been a restaurant or grocery store for every saloon there was on Colorado Avenue.