COBWEB CORNERS: Wetter times in Colorado City

By Mel McFarland

       In the heyday of Cripple Creek, this part of town had a pretty wild reputation. Colo-rado Springs was founded on Quaker principles. General Palmer felt that the influences such as alcoholic beverages were bad for a growing town. Fortunately, for those with a desire, a short trip west was all that was needed. Eventually, even Colorado City changed its ways and found temperance.
       We had a large portion of our economy based on providing beverages for the mountain mining camps. A hundred years ago on the southwest corner of what is now 26th and Cucharras stood the Geiger Beer Warehouse. For many years Anheuser-Busch was distributed from the building. Railroad cars arrived from Missouri on the D&RG railroad tracks several times a week. At one time Anheuser-Busch even bottled its beer using the product of the Colorado City Glass Works. The company's leaders also considered building their Colorado brewing works right here. It took nearly 75 years before they did start brewing beer in Colorado.
       There were three other large distributing companies along the D&RG track, each farther east. Two were located near the Colorado City station, which sat at the south end of what is now 22nd street. A train on the D&RG was known as the "beer run." It delivered only beer to these warehouses and hauled the empties back to Colorado Springs. Today on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe there is still a train known as the "beer run" making almost daily trips to Golden.
       The trains ran all the way to a little station in Manitou three times a day. In addition to the D&RG, the street car made trips to Manitou. Late at night, on the "Owl" runs, many of the passengers traveled (obviously under the influence) back to Colorado Springs. It is claimed that Colorado Springs never had a saloon, but you could get some spirits in drug stores. The early deeds issued by the Colorado Springs Company forbade the sale of intoxicants.
       Along the railroad tracks on Cucharras there were signs that warned of other dangers, but that is for a future story.