Home Page

COBWEB CORNERS: Ramona's Heidelberg Inn

By Mel McFarland

       In 1921 the Heidelberg Inn was going to be torn down. The building was described in a newspaper story as an "amusement center."
       The inn was in the town of Ramona, located just north of Colorado City. Its main street was along present-day 24th Street, north of what's now Thorndale Park.
       Ramona started as a drinking town after Colorado City went dry in 1913. But its heyday ended just three years later when Colorado voted for a statewide alcohol prohibition. The town was eventually annexed into Colorado Springs in 1955.
       In 1921, Heidelberg Inn was one of the longest surviving of the Ramona businesses. Originally owned by George and Rose Geiger, it had been the largest of the Ramona saloons. After prohibition, it stayed open for a time as a restaurant and a place for boxing matches. A number of early-day western movies were also filmed in and outside the inn. The old barroom was alive with renewed rowdy activity, but only make-believe.
       Before demolition, the materials from the Heidelberg were sold piecemeal. The process only took a few days, and then the site was cleared. Some of the items may still be around today in old houses and businesses. The Old Colorado City History Center even has the Heidelberg Inn's safe, thanks to a recent donation by the Swint family.
       Never heard of Ramona? The Westside Pioneer recognized the 100-year anniversary of its founding in an article last July, including a 1913 photo of the Ramona downtown and a 2013 photo taken from about the same spot, looking north up 24th Street.
       While I am on the subject, ever heard of Lennon Park? It is an area that has been redeveloped several times over the years. William Lennon, a resident of Manitou had an idea to start a town near Balanced Rock and Garden of the Gods. In 1921 water lines, streets and electric lines were laid out north of Fountain Creek, centered on what is now Becker's Lane and El Paso. A few lots were sold and several houses built, but the idea was decades ahead of its time. The 82-acre community has seen considerable changes, but the ball fields, old motels and campgrounds are probably not what Mr. Lennon had in mind.

(Posted 2/18/14)

Would you like to respond to this column? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com.