Katherine Bates stood atop Pikes Peak Colorado and wrote a poem that would eventually become the song "America the Beautiful".
If you have ever visited this icon of the old west, then you know how moved she was looking out over this vast new territory.
Living in this region of Colorado, I am looking out my window at Pikes Peak as I write. The above photo was taken from our property. What a beautiful view of "the Peak"!
It makes me wonder what Zebulon Pike felt when he first saw the mountain that would bear his name.
I have come upon a great deal of Pikes Peak Pre-history, mystery and legend surrounding this mountain. For instance:
Native Americans thrived here centuries before any explorer arrived.
Ute Indians considered "the Peak" sacred. Many Native American ceremonial sites are in the shadow of the mountain.
Explorers came to the area as early as 1776, and the first written word about the mountain's history was penned.
Fur trappers and traders found the great bounty of the region.
Early settlers and pioneers made their way west for adventure and settled in the plains area.
Gold was discovered here in 1859 and a great migration began to the region. People made or lost fortunes.
Many towns flourished during this gold mining period and are still around today. Some became ghost towns just as easily.
Ghosts and hauntings are very real. I have experienced a few specters myself at an historic site that was transformed into a restaurant.
Railroads arrived with the discovery of gold and many tracks were laid that spread to the Pacific.
The Pikes Peak Cog Railway carried tourists to the summit of Pikes Peak Colorado as early as 1891.
This is a beautiful and mysterious area of Colorado. The mountain has been here millions of years and will continue for millions more.
Now, let's investigate some of the interesting history of the Pikes Peak region.