"The air we breathe has never been used for that purpose before. Neither does it pass through factory flues, sewers, or foul alleys, nor is it used to sweep up the microbes of filthy streets, before we use it. We get it first. It is clean, thoroughly dried and fresh from the pines when it reaches us."
"No snakes, no frogs, no eels, no bugs or turtles or other animalculae of any sort in our drinking water,—or beverages."
" In one corner of our back yard is the Garden of the Gods, the only garden the gods have on earth."
"No thick-necked, beetle browed, pug-nosed, double-fisted political bosses with dyed moustaches in either party here. We would hang such a person on sight."
"More chronic growlers have been cured of that pestilential disease by the bracing atmosphere of Colorado Springs than the world dreams of."
"There Pike's Peak stands a towering monument to the wisdom of those who came to Colorado Springs to live and get rich."
HERE we are with Mr. Pike's illustrious peak directly behind us, with clean, crisp mountain air within and about us, with the universe sailing through sunny skies above us, with the millions of the East fully a mile beneath us and with the whole world smiling pleasantly before us, and yet many of us seem afraid to admit it.
Here we are cuddled up close enough to the magnificent purple and lavender mountains to secure their protection from the weather from the west, and yet far enough away to secure an unobstructed view of their marvelous beauties. To the north, the Divide, that friendly rib of the Rockies with its picturesque highlands, is just close enough to look handsome and to turn any unpleasantness in the northern weather prairieward. To the south the fertile, sun-kissed valley of the Fountain Qui Bouille slopes gently and decorously to the Arkansas. Eastward the smiling prairie stretches and yawns for the husbandman and then rolls gracefully about its business toward the rising sun.
The two portals by which disagreeable weather may arrive are barred, the two by which warm, caressing breezes may enter are wide open. The character of our weather is therefore not only spotless, but stainless and above reproach the year round.
We have neither the bone-chilling damp of Chicago, with its blizzardy winters, its stifling summers, its gloomy mists, its foul, sooty air and its monotonous flat surroundings, nor yet the scorching heat, the salt pickled air, the fogs, fleas and fake orange groves of Southern California.
Of fogs, fleas, fevers, fakes, flim-flammers, et cetera, we know naught except what we read in the foreign papers.
The water we drink comes fresh from the sky-piercing, snow-capped Rockies, and is as pure and un-defiled as—as—the unborn babe. No snakes, no frogs, no eels, no bugs, no turtles or other animalculae of any sort in our water,—or other beverages.
The air we breathe has never been used for that purpose before. Neither does it pass through factory flues, sewers, or foul alleys, nor is it used to sweep up the microbes of filthy streets before we use it. We get it first. It is clean, thoroughly dried and fresh from the pines when it reaches the 25,000 lucky moderns who live in this magic city.
Gnats, mosquitoes, street pianos, clanging church bells, yawping fakirs, chiggers and other like pests are all unknown up here.
Tuberculosis, asthma and malaria microbes cannot live, at this altitude. The air is so thin that they chase themselves to death trying to catch their breath.
One of our prominent ex-consumptives weighs 225 pounds, and tames bucking bronchos for amusement and exercise only. Our last asthmatic from the East climbs a rope every morning before breakfast and is the best runner in the hose company.
We have many things to be proud of, but our native modesty permits the mention of but a few of them.
In one corner of our back yard is the Garden of the Gods, the only garden the gods have on earth.
At the city park we have two beautiful, awe-inspiring canons. Think how Paris would strut and boast if she had two such gorgeous attractions with granite walls reaching from the ground up indefinitely skyward ? What other city is ornamented with two canons with crystal streams babbling and trickling along over the pebbles on their way to the salt, wet sea? There is no other.
There is Pike's Peak. Look at it.
One of the chief attractions of California is the Sandwich Islands, 2,222 miles seaward. Los Angeles brags and blows about the briny, blue, nauseating Pacific as though it were something to be proud of, although it is located away off to the west of that town, while here we have this world-famous peak, three miles high, with a railway clear to the top, right on our back porch. This is a blessing that has been denied every other city on earth, and yet we do not brag about it.
Our peak is not only historical, but it is highly geographical.
From Kankakee to Kreugersdorp, from Borneo to Bagdad, wherever geography is taught, this lofty landmark of the boundless West is known.
Millions of people who never heard of the U. S. or of the great crime of '73 can put their finger on the little buzz saw representing Pike's Peak on the map without the slightest hesitation.
While its robust physique has made it known the world over, Colorado Springs has made it positively famous. There it stands, a towering monument to the wisdom of those who come here to live and get rich.
Formerly this Peak showed the world the way to Colorado Springs, now Colorado Springs shows the way to Pike's Peak. Almost any ordinary town would rave over this star attraction, but we hardly think it advisable to do so.
We also have Manitou, sparkling like a gem on the foot of the Peak, its marvelous soda, iron, sulphur and other mineral waters cheering the interior of the millions of Asia, Europe and other places for 25 cents, while here we can bathe in it for two bits.
It may not be improper to enquire right here where is another town of this size with nine millions stored away in bank deposits, and with a splendid new Y. M. C. A. building, with a brand new gothic court house, with a new Elk's Club building classical and beautiful, with a massive new red sandstone Scientific Hall, with a large, costly city hall about completed, a ravishing Carnegie Library building about to sprout, with a stylish and artistic government building ready to go up, all at one and the same time?
Show us the city that has a natural mixture of mortified granite and adobe, making the finest natural pavements ever dreamed of by mortal man? Where is it?
Point out the town with such splendid mansions, dwellings and cottages, with such a pleasing architectural variety, such lawns, such neatness, such broad, clean streets, decorated with such stately cottonwoods, with such running water in the gutters, such Red Devil auto-go wagons, such toppy turnouts, such splendid drives as we have here in this place.
I am loth to hurt the feelings of those who think it boastful to mention our wonderful array of exclusive attractions, but perhaps I may cautiously ask for the location of any other city that has a great gold camp attachment, but a few miles distant—a camp opened up, developed and operated largely by the city's citizens—which enriches the world to the tune of $20,000,000 per year in the yellow coin of the realm? There is no such place elsewhere. Can anyone imagine the sensation that would have resulted had Cripple Creek been discovered in the outskirts of Philadelphia, Pa.? Think of the hysterics that would still be going on back there, while here we are so used to such luxuries that we almost deem it impolite to mention them.
Speaking of enterprise, where is there a metropolis of our size where $25,000 could be as easily raised by residents to park the center of a street for a few blocks as was recently done on Cascade avenue?
Does anyone know of a community of 25,000 souls that has a more complete, modern and efficient street car plant and service than we have? Will not those who are so passionately fond of California please stand up and name the community?
Space forbids reference to any more of our unsurpassed advantages; however, it will do no harm to state that six railways have been made prosperous and happy by coming to Colorado Springs.
The fact that our city and county officials are not in jail, nor even indicted; that we have the best college in the West, and the best public schools in the world; that we have the most expensive telephone and electric light service on earth; that our nights are mild in winter and cool in summer, and the days delightful the year around; that our hotels are large, elegant, well victualed and free from extortion and other unpleasantness; that property is reasonable, and rents and taxes within the reach of all; that a whole mint of people have become ridiculously rich here, and like matters will not be mentioned lest I be charged with a desire to boom the town.
Suppose a stranger comes to this city, what will he find?
He will find the streets crowded with well-fed, well-dressed and well-satisfied people. Not a drunkard, a hobo or a disagreeable person in sight.
He will find that we have no saloons or other places in the city. He will find inebriety and crime so scant that our police hang their heads in shame when, in obedience to the law, they draw their pay.
If the visitor is of a pious turn of mind, he will find the finest array of churches and dominies he ever saw, and he will find righteousness prevailing night and day to a greater degree than anywhere he can go, here below.
If he loves amusements and athletics, we have them in abundance.
If he loves charming environments, we have Ivywild, Colorado City, Manitou and Denver close at hand.
If he dotes on science, literature or art, he will find a friendly atmosphere and several clubs, societies and intellectual combines that will be glad to have him come and dote with them.
If he be a criminal, he will find a warm reception and tidy, comfortable quarters.
If he loves politics, he will find it clean and decent here. No thick-necked, beetle-browed, pug-nosed, double-fisted political bosses with dyed moustaches in either party here. We would hang such a person on sight.
If he is a lady, he will find excellent society, and that he will be perfectly free from any annoyance on the streets at any time. No nasty saloons, no drunks or malodorous bums to shy around as he passes through the streets; no nothing but peace and decency everywhere.
He will find the air snappy and full of ginger, and the people active, hustling and full of fizz, whereas in California tenderfeet have to take several naps per day because of the drowse in the air.
If he is a cheerful and good-natured stranger he will be right at home, for we are almost all that way ourselves.
If he is a chronic fault-finder and loves to stand around on corners and snarl at everybody and everything, we have a small colony that will welcome him. More chronic growlers have been cured of this pestilential disease by the bracing atmosphere of Colorado Springs than the world dreams of. Those we now have are convalescing rapidly. They will soon be cured and their mental vision will become as clear as crystal.
If he is inclined to go into business he will have to look sharp for vacant stores, for there are none. He will find that this city has doubled in population during the past twelve years and that the general trend of business has had very few sags during that time. He will learn that when it has sagged we have, instead of snorting and gnashing our teeth, and calling the world to witness our annoyance, buckled to and kept things going until the situation eased up. He will also learn, if he looks into the matter, that when panic was throttling the commerce of the state and banks were closing their doors, Colorado Springs was the least affected of any city in the West, and that it has a business and financial strength that is astonishing to mankind.
If he be a lawyer or a doctor he will find excellent company, for no town in our class has a more efficient and brainy flock of attorneys and physicians than we have. All—or nearly all—of the pestiferous two-spots left town long ago.
After he has thought all these things over he will, if he is wise, turn to and become a citizen of the luckiest, most handsome, most healthful, best governed, most orderly and most prosperous community of which civilization boasts—the which is this same Colorado Springs.