There is little to add to the story of the inception and early days of Colorado Springs embodied in the foregoing address delivered on the 25th anniversary of its birth.
In the half decade which has elapsed since, the place has grown more in population and wealth, I think, than in any previous five years. And no cloud can now be seen hanging over to check its increasing prosperity. The population of the town is now say 25,000 - or perhaps over 30,000 including Colorado City, Manitou and all of the community at this foot of Pike's Peak.
There are also between 30,000 and 40,000 people living in the Cripple Creek gold district at an elevation of from 9500 to 10,500 feet above sea level. This mining camp, 40 miles from Colorado Springs on the S.E. slope of Pike's Peak, I visited on the new "Short Line" Railroad on July 29th and found that about 2000 tons of gold ore are being mined daily, yielding some $2,000,000 of gold per month, and that last year this little district produced 1/18th of all of the gold mined in the world.
Query - how long will these mines continue to produce gold and to what depth?
Although there were two open spaces laid out and planted at the original plotting of the town on Tejon St. and the Experimental Garden in front of where the Antler's Hotel now is, the real development of the parks of Colorado Springs may be said to have begun with the present year. The Antlers Park was graded and grassed and partially planted during the present spring. Also the College Park and the Mesa Road Park at the crossing of Monument Creek on the way from the town to Glen Eyrie. The writer has also just bought Austin Bluffs, some 4 miles northeast of the Antler's Hotel and has advised the Mayor of his intention to give the surface, some 700 acres, to the city as a park. Before the year is over, I hope to put into effect my original plan of setting aside the ground for a frontal park along the immediate Monument Valley, from near the Antler's Hotel northward to the upper confines of the town some two miles or more. When undisturbed, shrubbery and wild flowers grow naturally in these creek bottoms without irrigation - making it easier to carry out the purpose of affording an open and verdurous space removed from the dust and noise of the streets and roads, yet readily accessible from all parts of the town - where the citizen can come to walk (not ride or drive as that means dust) and his children to play - and all be refreshed by a little taste of country, without going too far afield.
There is now good reason to believe that the Garden of the Gods will before long also be devoted to Park purposes for this section of the County. Large chlorination and other mills have to my regret, come in recently at Colorado City and along Bear Creek for the reduction of the ores of Cripple Creek - and these belch out considerable smoke with odors of sulphur and arsenic. This chiefly if not exclusively I believe from the roasting of the ores which is done by gas from the burning of coal on the spot.
The power and light are transmitted by wire strung on poles for some 6 miles from the electric power house at the Curtis Coal mines of the Colorado Springs Co. on the outcrop west of Austin Bluffs. It is hoped that this nuisance may be ended soon, either by the further discovery and utilization of underground gas near the works which can be used for roasting, or by the further progress of electric invention, enabling coal to be dispensed with.
Wm. J. Palmer
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