Little London Colorado Springs

“Little London” was the nickname given to Colorado Springs in its early years of existence. This was because there were so many people of British descent living in the area. As a matter of fact, at one point, 1 in every 5 residents was of British descent.

This was due in large part to the fact that much of the money raised by William Palmer to develop both Colorado Springs and the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad came from English Investors.

Charles Kingsley Little London

Charles Kingsley courtesy:https://www.westminster-abbey.org/

In his book “Newport in the Rockies”, Marshall Sprague explains how good luck and a little bit of good old-fashioned marketing by one of General Palmer Associates named Dr. William A Bell helped fuel the growth and investment in “Little London”.

According to Sprague, Charles Kingsley, Canon of Westminster Abbey caught a cold in the fogs of San Francisco in June of 1874. Doctors ordered him to Colorado Springs to get over this cold.

The great man had no interest in visiting the area even if it was beginning to be called “Little London”. For him, Denver was more appealing but at that time Denver was no place for the head of the Temperance Society.

When the Canon arrived in Colorado Springs he couldn’t wait to get away. Remember, the Pikes Peak region was a pretty rough place in 1874.

Dr. William A. Bell Little London

Dr. William A. Bell

Dr. Bell assumed duties as Kingsley’s host and press agent. Bells frequent reports back to Great Britain failed to mention Kingsley’s desire to leave the area as soon as possible. Instead, the reports boasted that Colorado Springs was the Highpoint of Kingsley’s American tour and was furthermore, the one place on Earth where a man could recover from a cold in proper British fashion.

Dr. Bell exploited Kingsley’s month-long stay, to strengthen the Little London idea and to lend prestige to his advertisements in the British dailies on the wonders of the Pikes Peak region for sheep and cattle ranching.

Farmland in Britain at this time was no longer able to grow enough food to support the British population. By 1874, Bell was aware that British emigration was approaching flood-tide. Thousands of tenant farmers and younger sons of large landowners were on the move to the American West. Bells efforts saw to it that Colorado Springs received its fair share of these immigrants.

Located in what is now Manitou Springs, Bells home, Briarhurst is where Kingsley stayed to convalesce and eventually became the social center of the Little London Society. Briarhurst still exists today and is more commonly known as “Briarhurst Manor Estate” and consists of an excellent restaurant and a popular facility for weddings and other events.

Briarhurst Little London Colorado Springs


Colorado Springs residents evidently became “quite British” according to Patricia Farris Skolout, in her book “Colorado Springs History A to Z. Residents carried umbrellas, celebrated English holidays, flew the English flag on Queen Victoria’s Birthday, played cricket and rugby. The police in Colorado Springs at that time were even called “Bobbies”.

Vestiges of our British past still exist today. For example, The Broadmoor Hotel still hosts afternoon teas from Monday through Saturday. One of our favorite bakeries is the Little London Cake Shoppe.

Little London Cake Shoppe Colorado Springs

Little London Cake Shoppe

The Little London Market is a popular upscale consignment shop on the western edge of Downtown Colorado Springs.

Little London Market Colorado Springs

Little London Market

Colorado Springs most popular Community Band is named the Little London Winds. This group performs entertaining concerts throughout the year. For a truly historic taste of the region make sure to catch the Little London Winds during their Summer season. The group performs in the historic Soda Springs park located in the heart of Manitou Springs, Colorado.

The British theme continues in a myriad of other ways, for example, many of the streets northeast of the Broadmoor Hotel are named for the old polo grounds that were housed in that area.

So, although the name “Little London” and the atmosphere are long gone, you can still find pieces of that unique Colorado Springs history, if you know where to look.


The Charm of the Patty Jewett Neighborhood

The beginning of summer of 2001, I moved to Colorado Springs. I actually drove, all by myself, a 22’ diesel U-haul truck into Colorado Springs. That’s a different and much longer story.  I had visited Colorado Springs once or twice before, and this young, recent college grad was thrilled that this town was going to be my own. I quickly fell in love with the grand spectacle of Pikes Peak and all this town had to offer. As I settled in on the east side, I began exploring my new found home.

Being from the south, I quickly began to swoon over Downtown Colorado Springs, the Old North End, and Old Colorado City. I loved the old Victorian homes with their porches and tree-lined streets. It made me feel at home. And I’m a sucker for old houses and buildings, even old people are the best! I love anything with a story, and you have to have some age to have a story!

Many times driving from the east side of town, with its exquisite views of the mountains, I would be overcome with awe. Look at that view. What a gorgeous place this is!

How I Discovered Patty Jewett

As I would make my way to downtown, a trailhead on the west side, or a restaurant in Old Colorado City, I would drive through this perfect little neighborhood with it’s mostly early to mid 20th-century homes and tree-lined streets. It quickly became a favorite of mine. I would intentionally plan my routes to drive through this part of town. And back then, you did have to plan your routes by getting directions from an actual person perhaps. Crazy!

Then one day, a friend invited me to go hit golf balls at the driving range. They gave me directions to this little public golf course. And there I was driving through that fantastic little neighborhood again, and I arrived at what I would say is one of the most fantastic and lovely places in the Springs — The Patty Jewett Golf Course.

So, we hit some balls and made a plan for coming back to play a round of 9 in a couple of weeks. Before we left, we sat and enjoyed a drink at the Clubhouse with one of the best views of Pikes Peak you’ll find in town! And I figured it out, this neighborhood that I loved so much was called Patty Jewett. A number of years later I bought a house in what I would call part of the greater Patty Jewett neighborhood, a little neighborhood just on the northside called Bonnyville.

Where exactly is Patty Jewett?

Generally speaking, the greater Patty Jewett neighborhood is bordered by Union on the east, Uintah on the south, Wahsatch on the west, and La Salle in the Bonnyville area on the north. Why do I say generally speaking? Well, parts of Wahsatch are in the Old North End. And the boundary between Old North End and Patty Jewett is really the alley between…. Anyway, I won’t bore you with those details. We can have coffee sometime, and we can cover these nuances.

Map of Patty Jewett

The Patty Jewett Charm and Appeal

The Patty Jewett part of town is full of charm and character. And it’s connected to major history in our city. The golf club was established in 1897 and predates all but two other golf clubs in the country. The golf course was built in 1910, and then in 1919 the course was given to the city of Colorado Springs by W.K. Jewett in honor of his late wife, Patty Stuart Jewett. Now we know the neighborhood around this course by this same honor.

I said I loved a good story! And this neighborhood sure does have a GREAT one!

My Neighborhood Tour of Patty Jewett

My colleagues at Springs Homes asked if I would like to make a video about my favorite neighborhood. “Oh, you mean Patty Jewett?”, I laughed as if there is any doubt that this is my favorite area. Preparing to make this video gave me a great chance to dig a little bit into the history of the area, think about all of the reasons that I like living here, and summarize why I feel this is such a good neighborhood for such a wide variety of people. And now you have a chance to watch a personal tour of Patty Jewett given by yours truly. My only regret is I wish my hair was behaving better during the filming.

colorado springs real estate

Downtown Colorado Springs Street Names, What do they mean?

colorado springs real estateOne of the first things people notice when they visit Downtown Colorado Springs is the unique street names like, Tejon, Wahsatch and Cache La Poudre. We have the wife of our city’s founder General William Jackson Palmer to thank for these truly memorable names.

Queen Palmer suggested that the streets of Colorado Springs should be named after iconic elements of Western geography. This was meant to honor her husband’s railroad career and the areas he had explored while choosing train routes.

For example, street names like Cache La Poudre, Cucharras,Huerfano, Vermijo, Cimarron, Costilla, Moreno,Kiowa, Bijou, Platte, Boulder and St. Vrain were all creeks or locations Palmer had explored while building his railroad.

Mountain ranges inspired names like; Sierra Madre, Cascade, Tejon, Nevada and, Wahsatch, Sawatch and Weber.

Another interesting fact about downtown Colorado Springs streets is that some streets are significantly wider than others. This is because Palmer wanted horses pulling wagons or carriages to be able to easily make a U-turn.


Homes for Sale in Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs Real Estate

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