It's time to take a closer look at the interesting history of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region.
Today we learn more about the impact of the two Templetons in Colorado Springs and the now defunct The Broadmoor ski area.
From Gazette reader Diana Gantz: Was there an actual "gap" after which the Templeton Gap was named, and if so, where is / was it? Was it named after someone?
There were actually two people named Templeton with local streets or structures named after them. Templeton Gap is named after AJ Templeton, who was lured to the area during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush (1858-1861). He later worked a number of odd jobs, including as a law enforcement officer and a rancher. A road believed to be a pre-existing Native American trail connected Colorado Springs to the Black Forest. The Templeton Ranch was nearby and the street was named after her.
But why is it Templeton Gap and not Templeton Road? The gap actually refers to the hills and cliffs in the area between which Indians walked on the road. Although Templeton Gap is a discontinuous road today, it's easy to see why drivers believe this is because of the frequent gaps in the road.
Henry Templeton, unrelated to AJ, came to Colorado City during the early years of the Civil War. According to a 2012 Gazette story by Linda Navarro, local history buffs Dave Hughes, Curt Neeley, and Paul Kleinschmidt knew all about the Templetons. Henry Templeton built the "Templeton Block" in the 1880s, today's classic three-story brick building at 2502 W. Colorado Ave. Henry then also built the Victorian house for his wife, which is on the corner of Pikes Peak and 25th Street across the alley from the Templeton Block building. This house didn't emerge from the Templeton family until the 1980s when it became a restaurant.
But who has influenced Colorado Springs more effectively?
"Both have an impact on our built environment," said Matt Mayberry, director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. “Henry Templeton's influence stems from historic structures that are part of the distinctive architecture of Old Colorado City and the OCC Commercial District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. AJ Templeton's name remains due to its association with Templeton Gap Road. Templeton owned land near the rolling hills known as Austin Bluffs. Over the years the road has been expanded with the development and addition of other roads so that it is no longer as well known as a traffic corridor used to be. "
From 1959 to 1991, Colorado Springs residents had a ski resort in their own backyard. Ski Broadmoor opened in November 1959 after a month late due to lack of snow. With a $ 200,000 snowmaking machine known as the "Phenomenal Snowman," the first of its kind west of the Mississippi, the ski resort gave locals a chance to avoid the traffic problems and crowd at other resorts.
Ski Broadmoor offered night skiing and had a ski school and ski clubs. There were two runs, a double chair lift, a tow line and a small lodge at the base. The longest run had an incline of 3,000 feet and a vertical drop of 600 feet. The double chairlift could bring 600 people per hour to the top of the run.
The hotel sold Ski Broadmoor to the city in 1986 after Colorado ski laws changed and insurance costs increased. Two years later, the city sold the facility to Vail Resorts. The continuously increasing insurance costs and the inconsistent weather led to the closure of Ski Broadmoor in 1991.
While Ski Broadmoor has long ceased to exist, its footprint remains. After a snowfall, the two slopes on the slope of Cheyenne Mountain still look like they are attracting skiers and snowboarders.
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