Skip to main content

History of COS

Welcome to Colorado Springs!  

This region has been hailed for its natural beauty for centuries. This place has been a home to the Ute, Cheyenne and Arapaho peoples. The Ute people called “Pikes Peak” Tava – or “Sun Mountain” – for the way it collects and reflects the morning’s rays according to their oral tradition. During the 1700s both French and Spanish flags flew over the region. But with the Louisiana Purchase, more Anglo-American explorers and settlers began to venture west. Pikes Peak was named after young Army lieutenant named Zebulon Montgomery Pike. 

The history of the city of Colorado Springs begins with Old Colorado City, the first Angelo-American settlement of the region in 1859. General William Jackson Palmer envisioned a resort town at the base of the majestic mountains and after founding several local businesses like the Antler Hotel and the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, his vision came into fruition. 

In the 1890’s gold was found on the western slope of Pikes Peak and the Cripple Creek Mining District boomed with people. It soon became known as the “city of millionaires”. 

The Pikes Peak region is a cultural and geographic confluence. It’s where the mountains meet the plains, where the Southwest joins the heartland, where ancient cultures converge with 21st century society, and where the past informs the future. For some, it’s stirring enough to inspire poetry” - Matt Mayberry / Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, 2008 

Sources:

Report an issue - Last updated: 08/25/2021