Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hayman originally a mining town

QUESTION: How did the 2002 Hayman Fire gets its name? Is it named after a mountain?
- Paul

ANSWER: Author Midge Harbour, who wrote "The Tarryall Mountains and the Puma Hills," said Hayman was a mining town north of U.S. Highway 24 off Tarryall Road (County Road 77). Hayman’s heyday was 1910, when the Apex Copper Company, Haymen Mining and Tunneling Co. and several logging firms were thriving. (No word on why there are Haymen and Hayman spellings). Townspeople could catch the stage into Lake George. Children in the area attended Hayman School on Tarryall Road.
Although the little mining town had several buildings, a post office and a grocery store, little remains. Harbour said most of the land from the original town site was purchased in the 1960s by Edwin Jaloszymski.

The fire’s name came from the Forest Service campground near the town site.

Colorado counties every shape and size

QUESTION: When I watch the weather report on the news, it shows all of the county lines in the state. The counties are so many different sizes and shapes that I am curious as to how the county lines were determined.
- John Weaver

ANSWER:There were counties in Colorado before there was a state and the area was just a territory, explained Larry Kallenberger, executive director of Colorado Counties Inc. The oral history passed along, he said, is that at first counties were laid out for people to be within a day’s wagon ride of the county seat where they did official business. Tom Goodman of the National Association of Counties said that in some states, “our understanding was that in the beginning, at least, the county seat would be only an hour’s ride by horseback.”

In Colorado there were 17 original — and very large — counties in 1861, but this changed rapidly. Counties were added as needed, usually one or two at a time, and at other times counties were removed by lawmakers to make it more equitable or to satisfy residents or politicians. County lines were determined by everything from natural boundaries, such as mountains and streams, to politics.

One of the busiest years was 1889, when the legislature carved out 13 new counties.
As an example of how some counties were formed, Teller County was created in 1899 out of land from western El Paso and northern Fremont counties.

After the latest county, Broomfield, was created in 2001, Colorado has 64, and they’re every shape and size.

I-25 bridge lanes mismatched for now

QUESTION: On I-25 there is a bridge in the new construction between Fillmore and Garden of the Gods Road. Why is the southbound lane at least 10 feet wider than the northbound lanes? It is the bridge over Ellston Street. The way it is now, there will be no room for a shoulder on the northbound side, and this is asking for many accidents.
- Stephen Miller

ANSWER: When Colorado Department of Transportation started the COSMIX project, it had to move the two lanes of traffic onto one bridge, requiring that the southbound side be wider to accommodate the traffic shifts in the detour area, according to CDOT’s Bob Wilson. For now it will stay as it is because eventually lanes will be added and both sides will get wider.

Row Q is missing at the World Arena

QUESTION: Why is there no Row Q at the World Arena?
- Jimmy Raymond

ANSWER: It’s one of three missing letters. General manager Dot Lischick said, “At the World Arena you will not find the letters I, O or Q.” People searching for their seats confuse the letter I for a number 1; the letter O is mistaken for a zero or a Q, and the letter Q could be read as an O.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Readers have a variety of pronunciations for Tejon, Cucharras and other downtown streets

QUESTION: Where can the information can be found on how to correctly pronounce many of the downtown street names. i.e. Cache La Poudre; Costilla; Cucharras; Vermijo, etc. and also the origins of the names. I remember seeing this but cannot locate the source.
- Jenny Trejo

ANSWER: We asked readers if they've spotted a how-to-say-it guide with street-name histories. We didn’t find a printed guide, but readers had hints — and a variety of pronunciations.

Stephen Swanson recommended Marshall Sprague’s “Newport in the Rockies which explains that the north-south streets downtown (Cascade, Nevada, Tejon) were named for mountain ranges, and the east-west streets for rivers and river valleys (Bijou, Kiowa, Colorado).

Another reader pointed out the presidents’ names and other streets honoring Civil War generals such as Meade, Sheridan and Farragut.

Swanson’s pronunciation guide included:
Tejon (Tee-hone)
Vermijo (Ver-me-ho)
Cache La Poudre (Cash La Poo-dre)
Costilla (Cos-tee-a)
Cucharras (Coo-char-ass)

Colorado native Spence Cutting had a different take on a few of the area’s Spanish words, saying, "I can only guess that these names fall into the same category of mis-pronunciation of Spanish words that we Coloradoans (sic) seem to be prone to. For example, Buena Vista (good view in Spanish), which should correctly be pronounced Bwayna Veesta (the “a” is long), is pronounced by most as Byuoona Vista (the “u” is long as in beautiful). And Salida (meaning exit) which should be Saleeda, becomes Sal “I” da (as in I, the personal pronoun).

Here are his regional pronunciations for the downtown streets:
“Cache La Poudre is Caash (rhyming with gosh) La Pooder (ou is like poo) or Pood Ray. Named after a river (that was) named after a French explorer/beaver trapper who stashed some of his supplies in the early 1800s, primarily beaver pelts (or cached them, as it was called then) near this river. The Cache of Msr. Pourdre or the stash of Mr. Poudre.
“Costilla — Cost eeya — the “i” becoming “eeee” like bee. Which means “chop” as in pork chop, or “cutlet.”
“Cucharras — Coo char os (rhymes with boss). Means spoon or ladle or tablespoon.
“Vermijo — No Spanish equivalent. Ver Mih Ho (with a slight ee sound to the Mih). It could be a corruption of Bermejo, which means reddish in color, or Ver mi hijo (to see my boy or son)
“Tejon. Correctly pronounced, Tay Hone (rhymes with bone). Meaning badger, or gold ingot or disk. I’ve heard it pronounced Tee John, Tay John, Tee Hone, etc.
“In the 53 years that I have lived in Colorado, I have heard Spanish names literally butchered by native Coloradoans (sic), but this is how language, especially English continues to evolve."

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Airport will add a 'cell-phone lot'

QUESTION: At the Colorado Springs Airport, is there a place for cars to stage for 15 minutes or so while waiting for someone to come out at the arrival doors? Since gas is around $3 a gallon it would be reasonable not to have to drive around the loop continuously while awaiting a person’s arrival. If DIA has a staging area, why doesn’t Colorado Springs Airport have one?
- Dan Knoepfle

ANSWER: Popularly referred to as “cell phone lots," these short-time waiting-for-arrivals areas have become popular over the past couple of years at large airports with limited close-in parking, according to aviation director Mark Earle. “Airports did that to avoid building extra parking lots.” This has not been a problem at Colorado Springs Airport, which has ample parking areas, he said.

However, there’s good news. “The cell phone lot is something people like and as a service we intend to add one,” Earle said. The airport already has a commercial staging area, where commercial vehicles can wait. That area would be difficult to use for “cell phone” parking because it is also used for inspections during times of heightened security. If the commercial staging area can’t also be adapted to “cell phone lot” use, airport officials are considering building one as part of the 2007 roadway development project at the airport, Earle said.

Until a “cell phone” area is available, Earle said he invites people to use short-term parking and come inside the renovated terminal “which we made much more comfortable inside, and there are new restaurants and shops."

Former KRDO anchor in Los Angeles

QUESTION: When I was reading about KRDO-TV being sold I started wondering whatever happened to Bill Yeager, who was the anchor on Channel 13 for a number of years. He did a lot of public events like the rodeo parade.
- Joanie J.

ANSWER: Bill Yeager was a news anchor at KRDO from 1960 to 1975. Then he was on-air at WINS-AM in New York and KYA-AM in San Francisco as well as executive editor/program director for KFWB-AM in Los Angeles.

He had been with Westwood One radio's news division in Philadelphia and is now Westwood’s Metro Networks’ Broadcast Operations Division senior vice president of news operations in Los Angeles.

Blue/red flashing lights used for different purposes

QUESTION: About 50 feet in from Ferrari and Stetson Hills Boulevard there’s a pole with flashing blue and red lights. What is this for?
- Rick Jacobs

ANSWER: It could be one of several things. In areas with new construction, security cameras are frequently installed by the developers.

The lights may also be for traffic control. They are usually in areas prone to accidents and are used to alert drivers to slow down. A driver who sees the lights flashing blue and red is going 10 mph or more over the recommended speed. Some of the flashers are near dangerous curves where speeding drivers had ended up in front yards.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Coming soon: Gleneagle traffic signal

QUESTION: Will we be getting a traffic light at Struthers and North Gate roads? During rush hour, in the a.m. and p.m., it is nearly impossible to get out of Gleneagle to go east on North Gate.
- Blogger

ANSWER: Good news, you’ll be getting a traffic signal, probably by fall, says Tim Mitros of city engineering. It’s part of the extensive road projects in this area that include realigning and extending Struthers Road. It’s a county project, but the city will be working with the county to install the traffic light.

Minor Mesa traffic flow must yield

QUESTION: When traveling west on Mesa Avenue and turning right onto Cresta Road, there is a yield sign. Why does traffic turning right have to yield to the left-turn traffic from eastbound Mesa? Cresta dead-ends at this intersection, so it is not a yield for cross traffic.
- James Loo

ANSWER: At that location the predominant traffic flow is eastbound Mesa Avenue turning north on Cresta Road and southbound Cresta Road traffic turning west on Mesa Avenue, according to David Krauth, principal city traffic engineer. The right turn off Mesa is considered a “minor” traffic movement, and those people need to yield to the “major” traffic movement, Krauth said. This traffic flow channels drivers onto Mesa to the west of Cresta Road for through traffic, and it discourages cut-throughs in the residential area on Mesa to the east of Cresta Road.

Pony Express station legend just that

QUESTION: A large, very old-looking log cabin sits at the intersection of two alleys between Prospect and Institute streets near Cache la Poudre Street. Thirty years ago I was told it had once been used as a Pony Express station. Do you know anything about this?
- T. Mauch

ANSWER: The official Pony Express Museum site,, lists only one station in Colorado, in Julesburg in the northeast portion of the state.

Cliff Chambers had some history: "As a native of Colorado Springs, I grew up on the 800 block of Cache la Poudre Street during the 1930s and 1940s. Our house was just yards from the log cabin, which was more like a garage or a small barn. Neighborhood legend was that the cabin had been a Pony Express station. That legend was not based upon fact as it is well documented that the Pony Express did not reach this far in Colorado. The neighborhood boys all dreamed of playing 'cowboys and Indians’ in and around the building. The boys were afraid of the owner, who did not like kids playing on his property. “However, I was allowed to go into the cabin only once. As I recall, it had a dirt floor and was full of what would be 'flea-market' items today. During those years it housed wagons with their gear and an old car or two.
There were two or three more log cabins in the area, one of which was remodeled and is standing today. You would not suspect it had once been made with logs unless you knew the history of the building.”

Resorts, organizations have fireworks displays

QUESTION: Several times we have heard fireworks in the area near The Broadmoor hotel, usually around 9 or 10 at night. By the time we hear them there isn’t enough time to actually go see them. Is there a way to find out when the hotel or other locations are having fireworks?
- Frank

ANSWER: Resorts, country clubs and organizations take out fireworks permits with the city fire marshal. There’s no regular schedule, but The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs Sky Sox and Cheyenne Mountain Resort among others frequently have fireworks displays for various events and clients. Because these are private events, they aren’t publicized and any information would have to come from the business or club.

Then Tom Rich offered this tip: “The Broadmoor Information and Security (BIS) organization has a website offering very good neighborhood activities information. Some pages are restricted to dues paying members, many others - including the fireworks schedule - are open to the public. To find the fireworks schedule go to, select news tab and fireworks schedule. BIS has been in existence, in one form or another, in the Broadmoor neighborhood since 1908. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week BIS patrols a 23-square-mile area. In a typical year the patrol cars drive over 70,000 miles.”

Infamous Highway 85/87 curve had name and nickname

QUESTION: What did they call the corner of U.S. Highway 85 that curves west at the intersection of Las Vegas Street? There were many accidents there, and it had a name in the 1950s and 1960s.
- Jackie

ANSWER: Merv Casey, retired El Paso County Department of Transportation engineer, remembers that dangerous area by its nickname: “Killer Crossing.” “Someone was always getting killed at that crossing because you couldn’t see the railroad tracks and the train. You went that way to get to Pueblo back then.”

Stephen Miller responded: “I worked as a Trooper for the State Patrol for 30 years and just retired two years ago. The curve on Highway 85/87 at the intersection of Las Vegas was always called “El Paso Curve.” When there was an accident there the dispatcher would tell the Trooper to go to El Paso Curve. My friend Richard Motzkus, who is still a Trooper and started out with the Patrol as a dispatcher confirmed this.”

Walking tours offer history of downtown buildings

QUESTION: We love all the old buildings downtown and near downtown and would like to know some history. Is there a compact history book of some sort that could tell us more, something we could carry with us when we’re walking and riding around?
- Leslie Brown

ANSWER: Your timing is excellent. City planners have just completed three self-guided walking tours of the downtown area. There are photos of the buildings, all within a mile of the heart of downtown, and concise histories. Some buildings are designated as “locally significant” or eligible for a historic register.
You can download the tours from Type “historic preservation” in the search field and scroll to No. 7, then “Walking Tour Brochures.” If you’re hiking around downtown and would rather buy the booklets, they’re $2 each. Go to the Office Services Division of the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada Ave.
Another excellent resource is “An Architectural Walking Tour of Colorado Springs” available at the front counter at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
DOWNTOWN HISTORY: Betty Maginie wrote that people interested in the history of various buildings in Colorado Springs might check a 35-page booklet titled "Pilgrimage into the Past" which is available at the library.
BLACK FOREST TOUR: "After reading the question regarding the walking tours of downtown, I thought your readers would be interested in knowing about Black Forest history. The committee at the Old Log School in Black Forest has developed a self-guided driving tour of Black Forest points of interest. Readers can purchase the drive tour for $1 or a donation at the Log School open house Thursday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. throughout the summer. The school is located at the corner of Shoup and Black Forest roads." - Melinda Harrington

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Radio corporation owns Black Forest antenna farm

QUESTION: North of Hodgen Road between Colorado 83 and Black Forest Road there is an antenna farm with six antennas in two parallel lines of four and two antennas each. Could you find out their purpose and whom they belong to?
- Dick Murray

ANSWER: Wayne, a reader, says the antennas belong to Citadel Radio and "it's the KVOR transmitter site."

Noise-control officers became part of the department

QUESTION: What ever happened to the noise control police officers? It would seem that noise pollution has gone rampant in this city. At any given time I can hear the boomboxes in these kids’ cars not only from my own vehicle (with the windows up), but now from my home. Why have police allowed these young people to spend thousands on their stereos so they can blast it so loud that everyone can hear and feel them driving by!
- Karl

ANSWER: Police officers respond to specific complaints about noise, according to Colorado Springs Police Department spokesman Lt. Rafael Cintron. He said CSPD had a noise unit probably 20 years ago but those officers were incorporated into the department.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Signs will alert drivers to next major street

QUESTION: On Powers Boulevard there are signs stating the next cross street name before the long turn lane begins. It gives motorists unfamiliar with the area plenty of lead time to get into the proper lane. The intersection of Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway has long left turn lanes in three directions but no such signs. I’ve seen out-of-state drivers cut across multiple lanes to try to get to a turn lane at the last minute.
- Andy Bistline

A: Good news. Thanks to the voter-approved Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority funds, these “advance arterial signs” will be installed before prior to intersections on major arterials, said principal city traffic engineer David Krauth. Plans have just begun.

In the future you’ll see the signs on all major thoroughfares, such as Academy Boulevard (a project that will be worked out in cooperation with the state), Garden of the Gods Road and the Union Boulevard corridor.

Celebrities performed at The Broadmoor

QUESTION: I tell my friends that at one time in Colorado Springs there was a delightful woman who booked top performers at The Broadmoor. I took my small kids to see Liberace, the Smothers Brothers and Dinah Shore. Can you please look up the years and the promoter’s name?
- E.R.T.

ANSWER: The celebrity-performer scene at The Broadmoor got its start between World War II and 1961, when headliners such as Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Mickey Rooney and Gordon McRae performed at the Hawaiian Village nightclub on the second floor of the Broadmoor Golf Club. The much larger Broadmoor International Center was built in 1961 and New Yorker Carol Truax, a well-known cookbook author and professor, was brought in as the summer booking agent. She drew big-name acts to the area.

In 1968, a Gazette Telegraph entertainment columnist wrote, “Carol has been fortunate in being able to attract the big names each year, paying them less than they could command in some of the metropolitan areas, simply because they like it here. In most cases, the personalities are willing to take the cut in price because they could combine a vacation in beautiful Colorado Springs with a few days or a week’s work. That’s the primary reason why personalities such as Liberace consent to come back time after time.”
Through the 1960s and early 1970s, the Smothers Brothers were here, as were Rowan and Martin, Goldie Hawn, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Victor Borge, Bob Newhart, Marlene Dietrich, Carol Channing, Miriam Makeba, Chuck Mangione and many others. Harry Belafonte and his 22-member troupe came here to try out their Las Vegas act.

The end wasn’t documented but, Broadmoor photographer Bob McIntyre said “what killed it was Vegas. Liberace, for example, got all the money from the seats and there was no way to keep up with the top dollar they started receiving in Vegas. It went out of sight and wasn’t worth their time to come here.”