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COBWEB CORNERS: Why it's called Shooks Run

By Mel McFarland

        Here's an oddity. I ran across a 1928 newspaper article asking who Shook was. This was a few months after the same paper had run a story explaining it! Funny how stories can get lost in older newspapers. It happened a lot when there were no archives, only the memories of the writing staff!
       A "run" is a bit of a stream. The term is not common to this area; it's mainly heard back in the mountains of the east.
       What we now call Shooks Run starts near Patty Jewett Golf Course and dumps into Fountain Creek near the Colorado Springs Utilities sewage treatment plant on Las Vegas Street. Like a lot of streams around here, it usually only has a tiny bit of water. This year it has LOTS!
       In the past it was an open sewer! There were editorials to clean it up even before the city grew around it. In 1913, in one of the first of the town's serious floods, it was a wall of water roaring south, complicated by tons of trash. The stream is now buried in places, in a park in places, and hardly noticed most of the time.
       It had flooded in 1886, but at that time it was, except for its north end, out in the country. It survived the floods of 1935 and 1965, thanks largely to being east of those storms.
       Today water from along Constitution finds its way into Shooks Run through city drains.
       Now, as to the stream's name, the Shook brothers, Peter and Denton, came to Colorado City in 1868. They drove a herd of cattle from Iowa, to sell in Colorado. Reaching South Park, the brothers had a run-in with a band of Ute Indians. The troubles threatened hostility between the ranchers in the area and the Utes, but once the Shooks left the area the problems quieted down.
       The brothers settled for a while in Colorado City, selling cattle, but eventually returned to Iowa. The stories do not clearly define the location of their business, but I suspect it was somewhere near present-day North Middle School, near Yampa and Corona. Along Shook's Run?

(Posted 8/11/15; Opinion: Cobweb Corners)

       Editor's note: Local historian Mel McFarland has been writing his Cobweb Corners column in the Westside Pioneer since 2004. To see past columns, go to the Pioneer's Archives. Either look for desired articles under the Cobweb Corners category for any year, or search by keywords in the Find box.

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