Wednesday, August 15, 2018


How many of you, other than the old time salesperson, spend time in city directories?  I love reading them, especially the older ones.

Image result for colorado springs 1879 images
Colorado Springs, 1870 (/) photographer unknown
Our library starts with the 1879 issue. Not only does it contain the names of people living in the area, it also has information on the various organizations, businesses and a list of government officials. So invaluable when doing research.

Another wonderful aspect of the city directory: Businesses. What people did in the 1800s and how they labeled their work is such fun to see. I thought I would share some of the interesting ones, along with the people who were listed as the owners, etc.

In the 1879 directory:

Bill Poster:
Sullivan John W., Mountaineer office.

Carriage Trimmers:
Baumgarten, J., s side Huerfano, e of Cascade.
Marsh, H. A., s side Pike's Peak, e end.

Fish and Oysters:
Blake, John W.

Ice Cream: 
Robbins W. B., n side Huerfano, w of Nevada.
Rogers Bros., s side Huerfano, w of Tejon.

Ice Cream Dealer:
Johnson T. E., e end Huerfano, w of Tejon.

In 1882 the directory:

Artists:  Craig, Charles, 118 s Tejon st.

Carriage Painters:
Cant, G., & Co., 112 e Pike's Peak ave.
Gardner, J. H., 1'28 e Pike's Peak ave.
Lynch, James, 16 e Huerfano st.
Storer, A, H., I 16 s Cascade ave.

Fish and Oysters:
Brighain & Callaway, 32 s Tejon st.
Ericson 8z Neff, 25 s Tejon st, a!
Hopkins & Conger, xro e Pike's Peak ave,
Mook, Anson E., 32 n Tejon st.

Intellegence Office:
Buckingham, Mrs. R. H., 117 s Nevada ave.

The 1882 Directory also included information regarding what is now known as The Deaf and Blind School:

Education of the Mutes and Blind in Colorado
Quarterly meetings of the Board held on the Second
Tuesday of August, November, February and May. Visitors
admitted daily from 8 o'clock A. M. to I o'clock P. M., except
Saturday and Sunday. Pupils Publish " Deaf Mute Index,''
weekly, Hugh M. Harbert, editor,
President, R. G. Buckingham, Denver.
Treasurer, G. H. Stewart, Colorado Springs.
Secretary, Matt France, Colorado Springs
Superintendent, J. R. Kennedy.
Matron, Mrs. Mary E. Kennedy.
Principal, ----- ------.
Assistant, Hugh M. Harbert.

(For future reference: the school was started in 1874, the same year as Colorado College. For a brief overview: School Founder, and the current information:

So much information and a gold mine for me when I'm creating characters and their lives and business. In my novella, "Home for His Heart", Clara owns a restaurant. The city directory for Colorado Springs in 1879 showed a number of women restaurant owners, so I felt confident the fit would work. Here is a brief excerpt from that story:

Purchase on Amazon

 Clara hummed as she put the finishing touches on the venison roast. In the two years since
arriving in Agate Gulch she prepared an annual special meal for friends. The past year had been
especially wonderful. Even the gingham curtains on the restaurant windows smiled with her tune. She
felt she could finally put Henrietta ‘Ettie’ Heath to rest. Clara Cross was her life now.

Oliver was in the past, and would stay there.

Sensing someone behind her, she turned to see her friend, Sally, standing in the door.

“You know, you should sing in the church choir,” said Sally.

“Oh, I couldn’t sing in public. The idea of all those people looking at me and judging, I couldn’t
stand it,” replied Clara with a shudder.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women's History
Member of National League of American Pen Women,
Women Writing the West,
Pikes Peak Posse of the Westerners

Angela Raines - author: Where Love & History Meet
For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here


  1. Your Colorado Springs directory is my kind of research! What a fascinating slice of real life in the city's history. So informative and helpful for authors. Who knew Colorado Springs had a deaf and blind school, at the early date of 1874. I must bookmark this post, Angela/Doris, and thereby hold onto this idea. Superb research and post! Thank you!

    1. Thank you Kristin. If you ever need specific information, let me know and I will try to find it for you, if it's not online. You can also access the Leadville city directories at: