COBWEB CORNERS: On the Avenue in the 1920s
By Mel McFarland
Thanks to Ted Wright, I have a first-person look at long-ago Colorado Avenue. The following is from his father's memories.
He writes: "I was a lad of 7 years old when they paved Colorado Avenue for the first time. This was in the spring of 1922 as I remember it. In my memory, I can still see the trucks hauling sand and asphalt, which was spread on and rolled flat and evened by large steam powered rollers."
In those early days, not too long after Colorado City had been annexed by Colorado Springs, the 2400, 2500 and 2600 blocks of Colorado Avenue were quite a thriving business district. Wilson's Clock Repair occupied the corner where the bank now sits. McDonald and Huff Feed and Fuel sat next door. Thrasher's Grocery and Taylor Brothers Dry Goods and Clothing were the sequence of stores up to the west. Cross' News Stand, Confectionery and Soda Fountain sat next to Klintworth Hardware and Hills Barber Shop, followed by a cafe, led up the street to West Side Electric. Sublette Printing was next to the Arapahoe Food store on the corner where the Chocolate Factory now sits.
On the north side of the street lay Bancroft School, centered in what is now Bancroft Park. City National Bank operated on the corner where Michael Garman's business is now located. The Palace Hotel used the upper floor of the bank. White's Shoes did business next to the banks, followed by Fred's Smoke House (a tobacconist). Next was Dr. Tadlock's office and Drug Store. Nathan Chamberlain had an automobile electric shop. At that time cars had regular electrical problems, as more and more parts on the cars used this for power. R. R. Riley, a lawyer, had his office next to the Isis Theater. It might raise eyebrows to know that above the theater met the Ku Klux Klan. Meadow Muffins now occupies the lower floors of this building.
This is the first of a trip up Colorado Avenue. You will need to tune in next week for the next block in our trip. This stretch is still occupied by most of the buildings, but the next block has changed considerably, notably on the south side of the street.