Monday, January 17, 2011
Good Roads lead to Fountain
This 6-page article was copied from the files of the Pioneer Museum. It lacks an author or date. It was typewritten, and then someone edited the story with a pencil, adding two pages of rewrites that are too faint or illegible to read. I have chosen to transcribe the originally typed material only. It appears to be a booster article, written to attract settlers, sometime in the late 1930s. Editor’s comments in [brackets].
The town of Fountain, El Paso County, Colorado, is the first settlement on the Fountaine qui Boille (river that boils), a stream rising in the foot hills of Pikes Peak, flowing down Ute Pass and through the Fountain Valley to empty into the Arkansas River at Pueblo, thirty miles south of Fountain. In the town limits there is a population of 600 but this is swelled by the thickly settled neighboring land to about twice that number of registered voters. Down the valley 12 miles from Colorado Springs, the altitude is 500 feet lower that the famous resort, being 5500 feet.
The Rio Grande laid its tracks thru the town in 1872, the workers boarding at the home of McGee on the land now known as the Potter place. The Santa Fe built in 1887 on these tracks, these two systems, the Colorado Southern and the Missouri Pacific operate their transcontinental trains. The Greyhound transcontinental busses and state busses from Denver to Trinidad also pass through the town on US Highway 85, giving transportation facilities equal to those of its neighboring cities to the north and south. The nearest airport is at Colorado Springs but an emergency landing is located just west of town which can be used by private planes when necessary.
Several good rooming houses and short order restaurants cater to transients and good lunch rooms along the highway serve meals, cold drinks and such commodities as appeal to the tourists. A new tourist camp will be open to early summer visitors and there are several camping plots within the town limits. Rock creek canon, one of the prettiest camping and picnicking spots in the region, is only nine miles distant, over a good country road connecting with the Canon City – Colorado Springs boulevard.
In 1866 Mathias Lock and his wife settled on land lying along the creek bank south of the present town of Fountain. They freighted provisions from the little town of Denver, taking 30 days for his two yoke oxen to make the round trip. Indians some times called at the little home, though it appears that they were always friendly visitors.
In 1869 Amos Terrell homesteaded the land on which the town is located. His log house and big barns provided a stopping place for mail stages and pioneers coming into the new west.
Mr. Lock’s children and grandchildren still occupy the land taken up by their parents and the Terrell family is represented by several descendants prominent in the town’s affairs.
In 1876, the year Colorado became a state, there were 25 families here. A Quaker church, a store and two residences were built here before the first inhabitant located in Colorado Springs. Among the business men and leading citizens of the county today, are the children of Fountain’s first people.
The Fountain of today is becoming more and more a residential town: fine highways connecting us with two cities give us the best of markets from which every thing desired may be procured and to which all produce may be sold. Two grocery stores, a good hardware and lumber store, garages and filing stations, an up-to-date blacksmith and welding shop, catering to horse and car, a pool hall and a drug store comprise the business section. The Baptist, Methodist Episcopal, Free Methodist and the Catholic denominations have church homes with regular services.
The Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen, Royal Neighbors, Neighbors of Woodcraft and National Grange have local organizations and many residents go to Colorado Spring for the other fraternal institutions. A weekly newspaper, established in 1899, has been a loyal backer in every project for the betterment of the town and the community and the Fountain Herald goes into homes all over the United States to carry news of its doings to old and new friends.
When the Fountain school district built the large brick edifice which replaced the first school house on a large tract of land in the center of town, in 1903, the patrons thought they were providing for a long future. Now a second building, larger and better equipped, stands beside it; a fine auditorium, gymnasium, home economics and manual training rooms are well equipped. Fourteen teachers, all with their degrees or college credits; five busses to transport out of town pupils; a high school accredited to the state’s higher institutions of learning; all combine to make the Fountain school system one of the best in the state.
The Women’s Improvement club owns its clubhouse and has a nice library open to the public. This supplements the libraries in the grade and high school buildings and together they provide unusual facilities for securing good and up to date literature.
Fountain owns its water supply. With abundant water rights on water coming from the south slopes of Cheyenne Mountain, piped into two large reservoirs on the high mesa west of town, with a direct flow into the town pipes, there is more than enough pure mountain water to supply every domestic, town irrigation and fire need. Electricity is purchased from Colorado Springs and the local system furnishes power, heat and light not only to the town, but to out-lying farms and ranches along the main supply line.
Irrigation water rights from the Fountain are sufficient to irrigate some 20,000 acres of land lying in El Paso County and a large reservoir on the mesa east of town gives many hundreds of small farms water. Sugar beets, alfalfa and blue stem, small grains, corn, beans and all vegetables, cherries and apples are grown in great quantities. Dairies and stock cattle, chickens and turkeys bring in large returns and all find ready market easily reached.
The Roby, FC Paige and JV Paige ranches south of town and many between here and Colorado Springs are known for their fine cattle, their alfalfa and their sugar beet production. The mesa tracts of from 10 to several hundred acres produce fruit, vegetables and poultry of high quality.
Good roads in all directions and the main Colorado Springs – Pueblo highway give access to cities, plains and mountains. If you are hunting a home for profit, pleasure, health or quiet, Fountain is your ideal location.