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Hi, I'm Tamera, a professional wedding, portrait and boudoir photographer in Colorado Springs. But this blog isn't about my professional work; no, it's a daily love note to my beautiful city, where I've lived for most of my life. I love it here and I hope you enjoy seeing Colorado Springs through my eyes and lens!

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17 February 2013

The old City Hall of Colorado City

Today I'm going to give you a brief Colorado Springs history lesson :^) The part of town that we refer to as Old Colorado City (and is featured here on my blog very frequently), was once a separate entity from Colorado Springs. Founded in 1859 and originally called Colorado City (the "Old" was added much later), it was a rough and tumble, "Old West" pioneer town -- the kind of place that comes to mind when you think of Gunsmoke, Billy the Kid and Jesse James. Saloons, brothels, gambling, and any other kind of bad behavior were the norm. Its economy was based on the famous Pikes Peak or Bust gold rush, so you can imagine the denizens of this particular little burg! Colorado Springs, just to the east, was far more genteel, and our city founder General Palmer vowed to keep it alcohol free. Thus, according to legend, our local gents would have to sneak to Colorado City for a little slap and tickle or a few drinks. I've been told that there are tunnels running underneath Colorado Avenue, so one could freely move from saloon to brothel and back without being seen. I've also been told that these tunnels still exist. How I'd love to explore them! Oh that would be amazing!

The building in the above photo is the former City Hall of Colorado City. I never knew that. In fact, all these years I thought it had been a fire station! The other day I was perusing the listing on the National Register of Historic Places for El Paso County, and saw that I had been mistaken. You learn something new every day, don't you? Well of course it was City Hall, just look at it! I do remember that back in the 1980s it had been in a sad state, and someone rehabbed it (I daydreamed of living in it). These days it's a popular coffee haunt called Agia Sofia. I've featured it on this blog twice: HERE and HERE.

A final, funny little tidbit about Colorado City's heyday: I'd always been told that it was the original capital city of Colorado. And that's true -- sort of. Apparently, in 1862, Colorado City was named as the Territorial Capital (Colorado wasn't a state yet). But this distinction only lasted for five days! When the second territorial legislature convened there, they found it so lacking in basic comforts that they quickly adjourned and reconvened in Denver, and that's how Denver became the state capital. I can see why the legislature fled. There's a tiny, cramped, dark log cabin in Bancroft Park, the original town square of Colorado City, and that's where these guys met. No wonder they ran away!

December 28, 2017 update: HERE's an interesting, recent article about those famous tunnels, including a picture of one of them. Apparently there are four still in existence. Fascinating!

1 comment:

Randy said...

Still beautiful.