COBWEB CORNERS: Colorado City’s businesses in 1912
By Mel McFarland
Now, I am not promising this is my last shot at looking at businesses in the Old Town, but it is my last look for a while. The changes were many in the decade starting in 1902. Saloons were on their way out, and slim times were just starting in 1912. Gold and the railroads were still big business, but not as much.
One of the businesses I spotted right away was Barr & Sons, which rented carriages and burros. Its stable is about where the Safeway is at Red Rocks. It was Fred Barr, who was big with the AdAmAn Club, and Barr Trail up Pike's Peak was also his project. Anthony Bott was still in the real estate business, as was Martin Drake. Wagner-Stockbridge Trading Company was still running strong. The First National Bank followed Citizens State Bank as the local financial center, in the same location I believe.
The Arlington House, The Brookside, Elk Rooming House, Hoffman Rooming House, Kansas House and the National Hotel seemed to be the best places to stay in town. For eating you could pick from Blanchard's, DeMoss', Lund's, Sam Jim's, and Tribble & Sams, but Johnson's and Johnston's restaurants must have gotten confusing - they were a block apart. For saloons, how about Hopper & Zobbel, Lambert & Mantz, Nolan & Putkey, and Sallee & McCall? Not all were partnerships. An example is Bob Chipman's.
Some of the more interesting businesses were Benedict Shooting Gallery, Stivers Shooting Gallery, John Dempsey Billiard Hall, Union Pacific Tea Company, El Paso Junk Company, Home Telephone Company, Idle Hour Theater, Mack's Opera House, Photo Play Theater, but Hamel & Love Automobiles - that raises my curiosity. I wonder what kind of cars they sold. We must not skip the Colorado City Argus and its newspaper rival, the Iris.
I really get lost trying to figure out where some of these businesses were, sorting out the street names and numbers. Someday I will put this all in a column. I have gotten some interesting ideas for future projects from this series. One last name to slip in: Miss Eleanore Smelser was the Colorado City librarian. You know, in all this, I never found the Colorado City post office for these years.