This work may be thought of as a blueprint or manual of town building; of how the city of Colorado Springs and other cities were planned, developed, and flourished in the western U.S. during the closing decades of the 19th century. Published as a gift to the people of the Pikes Peak region, the Colorado Springs Gazette presented it as the “Book of the Month” for February 1934, shortly after its original 1933 printing. The Book of Colorado Springs remains among the best and most consulted sources of the city’s early history.
Manly and Eleanor Ormes settled in Colorado Springs in 1889. Manly was a Congregational minister, a professor, and a Colorado College librarian. Eleanor was a respected artist. A meticulous historian, Manly earned a reputation for compiling and cataloging any and all information concerning the Pikes Peak region as he assembled the college’s reference collection. This collection inspired Ormes to condense the vast amount of material into a single reference source. The work was left unfinished at Manly’s 1929 death. Eleanor took charge of the project, painstakingly researching, writing, and editing until the book for publication.
This reprint of Manly and Eleanor Ormes’s The Book of Colorado Springs has been re-illustrated, lightly edited, and extensively indexed. Some photographs from the original printing are augmented with a selection of additional photographs from the Pikes Peak Library District’s Special Collections. The language is modernized for easier reading—current American spellings and compound words replace British spellings and hyphenated words. Typos and spelling errors are corrected—as are a few factual errors. Special Collections staff researched and inserted the full or given names of the people who built the region’s infrastructure and created its vibrant civic and cultural foundations. Where possible, for females, given names replace the honorific “Mrs.”; for males, given names replace the initials which commonly identified men at the time of original publication. The new comprehensive index identifies spouses to aid in genealogical research. It is our hope that this revised reprint of the 1933 publication will continue to enlighten readers and inspire them to share in the appreciation of the rich history of the Pikes Peak region.