photo courtesy of Pikes Peak Historical Society
Colorado Springs Colorado was originally named "Little London" because of the English visitors to the area. The town became a hub into the south eastern part of Colorado.
William Jackson Palmer, a surveyor for the Kansas Pacific Railroad, explored the valley at the foot of Pikes Peak as an advantageous spot for expansion of the railroad, north, south and west.
However, the Kansas Railroad would not follow Palmer's recommendations, so he decided to obtain legislation and funding for his own railroad, the Denver and Rio Grande.
Palmer founded the town in 1871. He had visions of a building a resort with breathtaking views and a therapeutic climate.
His new railroad would transport visitors to the towns of Pueblo to the south and mining towns to the west.
"The Springs", as it is known, developed into one of the most popular travel spots in the 19th century.
Other prominent people helped shape the town.
W. S. Stratton discovered one of the richest gold mines in the Colorado territory, between Cripple Creek and Victor.
Mr. Stratton used his wealth to help out communities surrounding "the Springs".
He donated land for City Hall, the Post Office, Courthouse and a park.
He also backed the building of the Myron Stratton Home for illiterate children and the elderly.
Nikola Tesla had a home in or around the town and he continued to work on his many experiments and patents.
Spencer Penrose also contributed to the history of "the Springs".
Striking it rich in the gold fields, Penrose financed construction of the Broadmoor Hotel, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Pikes Peak Highway.
When the gold rush started to die out, "the Springs" still remained strong.
With the natural beauty, the dry climate and mineral waters, many tourists were attracted to the area.
They soon discovered more "riches" in the eastern part of the state than they could possibly imagine.