Colorado Springs dedicates new monument at site of city’s founding

Abigail Beckman/KRCC News
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers speaks at the dedication of a new monument marking the location on which the city was founded in 1871.

A newly dedicated monument in Colorado Springs marks the location on which the city was founded in 1871. The city was then known as Fountain Colony.

During the dedication, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers read the words spoken by the man who drove the original stake in the ground more than 150 years ago, General Robert A. Cameron. 

After reflecting on the surrounding scenery and anticipated growth of the colony, Cameron is said to have recited the following: 

"In a few years, as we look out from the porch of some magnificent temple yet to be built and see the wealth and beauty spread out before us, we shall be glad to look back at this day and at this simple yet suggestive ceremony and say 'All this I saw, and part of it I was.'"

Abigail Beckman/KRCC News

The granite monument is located at the corner of Pikes Peak Avenue and South Cascade in downtown Colorado Springs and sits next to another marker placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1895. The newly dedicated piece of stone is five feet tall and three feet wide and is inscribed with the history of the city's founding.

Suthers joked that he is confident the event will be the final ceremony marking the city's 150th anniversary, some of which was delayed in 2021 by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Local historian Matt Mayberry with the Pioneers Museum called the dedication historic.

"These locations, these historic sites in our community help to create the city that we know and love. They help to ground us in our community's past and give us direction as we move into the future," Mayberry said.

A large photograph of the site taken in 1871 was displayed during the ceremony, showing three men standing in a vast open landscape with a few small buildings between them and the hills leading up to Pikes Peak.

"When you look at that image, you really have to understand the vision it took to go from that to where we are right now," Mayberry said. 

Courtesy Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

Colorado Springs has a population of nearly 507,000, according to data from the city, making it the second-most populous in the state behind Denver. The population has grown dramatically since the 1990s, increasing 69.44 percent from 1992 to the estimated current population

The project was funded by a nonprofit organization called the Pikes Peak Club with the inscription done by the owner of a local monument company, Dick Wilhelm.