Curious Colorado: Where does Colorado Springs get its name?

Local

Colorado Springs was established in 1871 by General William Jackson Palmer. It’s a common history most locals know about; however, when asked about the name itself, they’re thrown for a loop.  

Lexi Dosker lives here but isn’t certain about the logic behind the name, Colorado Springs, “I really don’t know where it comes from,” she said. “I assume it has something to do with water somewhere.”  

She is correct since the name itself does lead one to believe there are springs, and you would think they’d be within the city.  

According to some local knowledge, one theory suggests one of the springs in Colorado Springs was in Monument Valley Park.

Matt Mayberry is the director of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum. “There was a spring that’s often associated with the city that people confuse with the springs,” Mayberry said. “It was known as Thomas Springs, in what is known as now as Monument Valley Park.” 

If you go looking for that spring, you won’t be able to find it. The park is still there, but Thomas Spring was destroyed in the flood of 1935. 

The General actually thinking more general than a specific spring. In fact, he wasn’t referring to springs in the general area. 

Mayberry said, “The name is referring to the mineral springs in Manitou Springs.”  

There are eight mineral springs still functioning within Manitou Springs. They are located throughout the community and available to the public. On any given day, you could find someone bottling up the percolating liquid in a water bottle to go.  

Palmer was also a businessman and tapped into this background to lure settlers looking for the next best place.  

“To establish a community on a short grass prairie, you have to create a marketing image for that area,” Mayberry added. “They were just here for the beautiful scenery, setting and climate. So, you want a name that embodies that and that’s what Colorado Springs does.”

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