Woodland Park Colorado

Woodland Park Colorado was founded by Daniel Steffa.  He originally called it Manitou Park. The Colorado Midland Railroad was laying tracks up Ute Pass and established a station in the new town.

Along with Steffa, there were a few other land owners in the area who challenged the name of the town.

Dr. William Bell wanted to name the new town Belmont, then changed it to Woodland Park.

At an elevation of 8,437 feet, Woodland Park became a great travel spot.

Not only was it a stopover for people heading west, but a resort where everything could be found for visitors wanting to get away from the big city.

The Harvey line of restaurants, popular with westward expansion in the 1800's, established a business here.

The first hotel, the Crest, was built at the northeast end of town and catered to summer tourists.

The Free Methodist Church was the first church.

Permanent residents were building homes in Woodland Park.  The beauty of the mountains and the fresh air were a big draw to living healthy.

In December, 1890, the Park was incorporated into the Town of Woodland Park.  At the time of incorporation, the town had 122 residents.

A business center was established along the Midland Railroad tracks.

A school was built, and a lakeside park was developed.  Dances and picnics were held here.

Organizers of the town set an example of prohibition and morals following Colorado Springs mantra.

Anyone caught gambling or drinking would pay stiff fines.  I really don't think anyone paid those fines though.

With the discovery of gold in Cripple Creek and Victor, Woodland Park became a major hub for traffic.

Trains brought men to work in the mines, tourists, businessmen and such.  Stagecoaches would leave on a schedule to the mines and carry travelers to other destinations.

There were many mills in town, turning out lumber for building of homes and shoring up the gold mines.

With all this growth, the Park became the typical wild west town.

A tourist spot mixing with family homes and businesses and the influx of miners, who became rowdy looking for drink and fun, made for a colorful town.

With the arrival of the car and the gold giving out in the mines, the train and stagecoaches were hardly used in Woodland Park.

Driving was now the major mode of transportation and a quicker way to get to your destination.

Many of the healthy activities in the late 1800's, that tourists clamored for, gave way to a new type of health spa, the dude ranch.

Like the ranches of today, they offered mountain climbing, hiking, fishing, horseback rides into the mining towns and to Pikes Peak, or just relaxing.

In the 1940's, Woodland Park attracted gambling parlors to the town and now the Park was known as an action hotspot.

Ten years later, the federal government prohibited gambling and closed the gaming houses.

Woodland Park Colorado has changed a lot from the above photo of just a dirt road through the middle of town.

Today, it is the major incorporated town of Teller County and Ute Pass.  Just like the old days, it is still steadily growing.

return to Ute Pass from Woodland Park Colorado