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COBWEB CORNERS: Places around town that we used to know

By Mel McFarland

        Well, Couture's Fabric Care is gone. A number of places with names just about everyone knew when Colorado Springs was a lot smaller have gone away. One of my uncles worked for Couture's and before that Elite Dry Cleaning. He delivered cleaning on the Westside and up Ute Pass even to Cripple Creek.
       I have written in this column about several significant businesses that are now gone, including Golden Flake potato chips, Clark's gas stations and Merri-Lane Restaurant. All had sites around Old Colorado City, and I can think of a few others for today.
       How about Barthel's, which was downtown near Hathaway's? And across the street, Lucas Sporting Goods? Just up the street was Ruth's Oven, past White Owl groceries. I have told about Michaelis, with four locations for its Burger in a Basket. Then there was Michelle's, a really sweet place.
       Other recent losses on the Westside are Rogers Bar and Schoch's Hardware. Jorge's Mexican-food restaurant is where Henri's used to be, but how many remember West Side Shoe Repair, which was there when Henri's started! The Chambon name is remembered for Surplus City. Stonewall Cottages is a place I've written about, near West Colorado Avenue and the bridge at Adams Crossing. At least some of the stone wall remains in the RV park.
       People at the Old Colorado City History Center have worked up a list of places that were on Colorado Avenue when it was Colorado City's main street. I have done a few columns on some of them over the years. Remember the columns I did on local grocery stores? I have had a few questions about landmarks such as Busy Corner downtown and recently Adams Crossing.
       Recalling a spot as common as the rodeo grounds gets complicated. Fifty years ago, to see the rodeo you went to the Broadmoor Hotel. Seventy five years ago, the annual rodeo was up north, about where the K Mart is on North Nevada. There was even an earlier big arena located just off Colorado Avenue near Walnut and Spruce streets. A big structure failure caused the grandstands to collapse during a rodeo, and several people were severely injured.
       Did you know there was a big auditorium downtown before the present City Auditorium was built? It was about on the location of, and the size of, the old Ute Theater, which does not carry that name anymore. Oh yes, one last name, an early Colorado City movie theater: Isis.

(Posted 12/31/14; Opinion: Cobweb Corners)

       Editor's note: Local historian Mel McFarland has been writing his Cobweb Corners column in the Westside Pioneer since early 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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