City of Colorado Springs
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City of Colorado Springs

City of Colorado Springs

City of Colorado Springs
 
The city of Colorado Springs sits at the base of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains with the natural beauty that still inspires today all that visit, conduct business activities or call the city their home. In order to better understand its continued success and ability to reinvent itself while still holding on to its deep roots one must learn more about its past history. The city was founded by pioneers that came from all across early America. Via letters and recorded history we find one of the regions first explorer Zebulon Pike (1779-1813) that under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson arrived to explore and document the southern portion of the Louisiana territory under which trip he discovered Pikes Peak. Napoleon had taken Louisiana from Spain and later in 1803 sold it to the United States. In 1810 Pike published a book about his expedition that was translated in other languages and called the inspirational mountain Highest Peak; however in his honor the mountain was later called Pikes Peak. (Elliot Coues, 1965).  Towards the end of his career he made the rank of Army Brigadier General and was killed during the battle of York in the war of 1812 in Canada that the US won. As we see from great struggles and perseverance comes success for the area was challenging and untamed but many continued exploring new homesteads and trying to find new fortunes. Not even Pike was able to climb Pikes Peak due to hardship and inclement weather; however it was the Lawrence Party from Kansas in 1858 that with a trail of eleven wagons drawn by oxen led by James H. Holmes and a group of about forty people climbed the mountain. (Ormes, (1933), pg. 19) Mrs. Holmes was the first woman to set foot on top Pike Peak. They soon after left the area for had endured heavy rains and tough times recorded via letters sent east and some markings left inside some small caves. This was the first attempt at a settlement at present day Colorado Springs with some of them staying for ranching in 1859. Ten years later with the arrival of General William J. Palmer the area started to develop into a more established settlement. Officially, Colorado Territory was organized in 1861 when then President Lincoln appointed Governor Gilpin to reside over it but the main settlers towards the more southern area at the foot of Pikes Peak that were farmers and ranchers called their town-site El Paso. (Ormes, (1933) pg. 22).
 
At this time it was was William Palmer that in 1868 while conducting land surveying for the Kansas Pacific Railway wrote about the Pikes Peak region and noted it as a great area for a settlement. He was the managing director and superintendent of construction so it was in his nature to decide and create. He later traveled on horseback to Colorado City, Garden of the Gods and one morning while bathing in the soda springs after an arduous trip became inspired about the beauty of the mountains around him.  Palmer then predicted and hoped that one day this entire region would become a stopping resting place for those traveling from across the country and that one day it would become a famous resort. It is not a surprise for us to see the bronze statue of William Palmer downtown in his honor for what he and other pioneers set out to do for Colorado Springs and nearby regions became a reality thanks to their contributions, dedication, planning and great efforts. Since his time many more successes and adventures have brought the city forward.
 
 
 Many of the social clubs that got started after William Palmer efforts at settlement exist to this day. There are hiking, business, gardening, Country Clubs, cycling and many others today with some initial buildings and land from around the city planned out by Palmer and pioneer Winfield Scott Stratton. Today, Colorado Springs has made the top of being the best on many lists from across the United States; however even if not first for period of time, it never leaves its guard down for it is in its nature and spirit to continue to re-invent itself.  Many military just like Pike in the first days of exploration still come across or travel from east to west or vice-versa and as Palmer had envisioned many a business man or travelers rest along the way while others make the area their home. In summary, even Katharine Lee Bates after reaching Pikes Peak summit in 1893 got inspired to write, “America the Beautiful” that to this present day its lyrics are remembered by many and with appreciation for nature serving as an inspiration to all people. (Curtin, Lynde, 1995). Live, inspire, create, decide! The City of Colorado Springs.
 
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