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COBWEB CORNERS: A Familiar Building

By Mel McFarland

       Over the years I have discussed the history of the area south of Fountain Creek many times. Part of this area, known as the Bott Addition, dates from 1885 when the Colorado Midland Railway was being planned. The Little London Cake Shop at 25th and Bott has operated on the northwest corner since 1997, but the building itself has a much longer history.
       The intersection was originally Fifth and Main in Colorado City. In 1917, when Colorado City was annexed into Colorado Springs, it became 25th and Bott. The new address for the northwest corner (the same as now) became 620 S. 25th St. Research on the addresses in Colorado City is challenging. Many of the street names changed at least twice! The house numbers changed at least twice too, mainly from odd to even, and the reverse.
       In a recent search, the earliest information I found for the intersection was back in 1903.A neighborhood store was on the northeast corner then, but in about 1905 it seems to have burned down. A new store was built around that time, probably nicer and larger, on the northwest corner.
       McCracken Grocery was the name of the store that burned down. Weaver Grocery was the business in the new building. By 1912, it was called Jones Grocery, and John T. Jones' enterprise included selling coal for the Monument Coal Company, which was several blocks east, between the Denver & Rio Grande and Colorado Midland railroad tracks at south 19th.
       In the early 1920s, when the closing of the Colorado Midland caused a depression in Colorado City, the grocery was sold to Everton Howard. Next door to the north was John W. Howard, who seems to have been part of the same family. Normally, as I searched the northwest corner's history, the owner lived upstairs. Ten years later, John Howard owned the store.
       Charles Gardner bought the site in the 1940s,, and it became Gardner Grocery. He died, and his widow Josephine took over. In the early 1950s, the Dickersons operated the store, still known as Gardner Grocery, but then a big change happened. The Adams Syrup Company moved in its manufacturing and bottling works.
       The building sat vacant in the early 1970s, but was used for storage and later a furniture store until Little London moved in. You can see similar buildings all over Old Colorado City. In the early days, the intersection and the area farther east near the Midland Roundhouse were the business centers of the area south of the creek and the railroad tracks.

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