Pikes Peak Pioneers

From: Manitou Springs Heritage Center

Pikes Peak Pioneers by Ivan W. Brunk. A history of the little-known settlements on the east face of America’s best-known Mountain


Pikes Peak is a celebrity among mountains and one of the best-known landmarks in the United States. Fortune seekers and others could see it from far away in their westward treks across the Great Plains in the 1850’sand 1860’s. They settled first along the streams and at easily accessible places in the Front Range of the Rockies. But some of the most scenic locations were on the rugged east slope of Pikes Peak. It was not until the 1880’s that homesteading began in the relatively few habitable spots along Ruxton Creek, which drains most of the east slope of Pikes Peak.

The Pioneers built cabins and other structures, including hotels. But the City of Colorado Springs eventually acquired their land, to obtain water and to protect its watershed. The buildings were demolished, destroyed by fire or abandoned. Now only a few crumbling ruins can be found and not many persons have ever heard of the towns of Minnehaha and Ruxton park, or of the Halfway House, the Alpine Laboratory, the Minnehaha House or Artist Glen.

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