COBWEB CORNERS: Ramona and the 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. 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, the 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.
While I am on the subject of unsuccessful towns, 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 Beckers Lane and El Paso Boulevard. 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.
Local historian Mel McFarland has been contributing his Cobweb Corners column to the Westside Pioneer since 2004.