Monthly Archives: May 2023

The Story of Lanter City, Colorado

c 2023 by Jan MacKell Collins

Portions of this article appear in Lost Ghost Towns of Teller County, Colorado.

Alternately known as Lanter, Lantern, Lander’s, Landres and Landen, Lanter City hoped to become the next thriving metropolis in Teller County. Alas, the effort was a failure. The town first bore mention in 1896, but the few records about this long-gone community are obscure. Lanter City, and has been described as being located on Pikes Peak, near the toll road leading to the top of the mountain. BLM land records show the town to be located in the vicinity of Crystal Creek Reservoir, on Glen Cove and South Catamount Creeks. Roads from Lanter City probably led not just to Ute Pass, but also the Pikes Peak Toll Road and perhaps even Edlowe between Woodland Park and Divide.

 Around the turn of the century, the Fountain Creek Mining District was formed in the area that would later include Lanter City. Though only four miles square, the district was comprised of thirty eight claims. At that time, the land on which Lanter City was situated was owned by Henry Law. For three days, November 7, 8 and 9, 1900, surveyor L.J. Carrington surveyed, platted and laid out the town in the vicinity of the North Star Gold Mining Company. First, Second and Third Streets were intersected by Carrington, Main and Parshall Avenues.

 Lanter City’s desire to grow was indicated by a November, 1900 ad in the Colorado Springs Gazette. “Wanted,” the advertisement read, “Men and women to engage in all kinds of business at Lanter City in the Fountain mining district five miles north of Pikes Peak. One shipper and lots of good prospects. Take stage at Woodland Park. For information address Tyler and McDowell, Woodland Park, Colo.” The ad was presumably taken out by Robert Lanter, who appeared in various news articles about the budding boomtown.

Response to the advertisement was apparently positive, for on November 30 Robert Beers, who had purchased some nearby  land in 1891, platted his own Robert Beers Addition. The addition created 5th, 6th and 7th Streets, as well as Hartman Street. The new activity spurred more articles; the December 3rd edition of the Colorado Springs Gazette identified the “camp” as being located near Cascade in El Paso County, but “to the north of Pikes Peak.” In fact, the article wondered if Lanter City was not destined to be the next Cripple Creek. “Local mining men have been rather indifferent until very lately but it certainly must be admitted now that the camp…at least calls for respectful attention,” said the Gazette. Of particular interest, according to the article, was that gold was being found in the area. The news was enough to entice a group from Victor in the Cripple Creek District to hire one of their “experts” to go have a look. The man found several claims and figured that ore in the area was worth between $20 and $80 per ton.

In the end, county records show that Henry Law was able to sell only eight of the lots at Lanter City, to four different buyers. During the town’s heyday, however, there were twenty homes, a livery stable and a blacksmith shop. News of the town continued drifting into newspapers. “Ed Weston of Lanter City was in [Colorado Springs] Sunday,” read an article in January of 1901. “Mr. Weston, with Messs. McDowell, Foster and Wheat, have leased the Rico lode and will proceed at once to find what is in it.” On February 27, another article hinted a post office was soon to be established, but that never happened. Other news articles told of “Uncle Billy” Parshall who staked the Louise claim in April, and progress on the McCleary brothers’ mine in May. Also in May, fourteen more lots were sold at Lanter City. By October, plans were underway to build a steam plant on Lord and Dean’s claim just southwest of town.

Unfortunately, the gold mines around Lanter City simply weren’t enough to create the boom everyone was hoping for. Aside from gold mining, Lanter City’s other main industry was intended to be logging, until the Pike National Forest was established in 1907 and the homesteaders at Lanter City there came to be regarded as trespassers. Thus, in 1908 Henry Law bought back the lots of Lanter City and sold his city to the Empire Water and Power Company for just $3,000. The company planned to build four reservoirs, but eventually sold the property to the City of Colorado Springs in 1930. Lanter City was vacated for good, and five years later, South Catamount Reservoir covered about half of the old townsite.

Researchers Kimberly Carsell and Kimberle Long believed they found five or so ruins at the site in 2000, as well as a large “glory hole” at the south end of the valley. Any remaining  mines were sealed by the Colorado Division of Reclamation and Mining Safety in 2008. Today there is nothing left of the town, only a dream of what could have been.

The plat map for Lanter City shows what might have become the “next Cripple Creek”

Adeline Hornbek: Woman With Backbone

c 2023 by Jan MacKell Collins

Picture coming to a desolate, lonely place with little or no knowledge of the land around you. Imagine building a home in such a spot while securing some means of support and survival. You are alone with four children, and your nearest neighbor is two miles away. It is solely up to you to survive in a foreign and undeveloped land. For Adeline Hornbek, these imaginings were very real. Adeline is the most commonly recognized settler in the Florissant region, where she settled in 1878. Not only was she unique as the first homesteader in the area; she also stands out as a courageous woman who knew what she wanted and got it.

 Born in Massachusetts in 1833, Adeline (nee Warfield) married Simon Harker in 1858 in Arkansas. The couple was living in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma when their first two children, Frank and Anna, were born. By 1861 they were living in Denver, Colorado, and the following year Adeline filed for 160 acres of land two miles south of Florissant in Teller County. But they were still in Denver when another son, George, was born in 1863. The following year, Simon Harker died sometime after the Great Denver Flood.

Even without a husband, Adeline became prominent in financial affairs and managed to build up substantial wealth for a woman in her times. She remarried in 1866 to Elliot “Ellie” Hornbek and bore another son, Elliot Jr. But Elliot apparently left Adeline high and dry in Colorado Springs in about 1875. Two years later, Adeline and her children headed to the homestead property near Florissant.

Adeline built her impressive ranch house on her homestead two miles south of town, on what is now Teller County Highway One. Her wealth permitted her to build bigger and better than other homesteaders. Subsequently, the two story home, which still stands today, contains four bedrooms, a parlor and a full kitchen including a large pantry. Water was hauled from nearby Grape Creek for cooking and washing. Other buildings were built as well: a milk house, a chicken coop, a large corral, stables and a root cellar. The ranch was completed in about 1878, when it was valued at a whopping $1,200.

Adeline insulated her home with 1879 newspapers, many of which remain on the walls today. The papers also served to keep dust from blowing between the chinked log walls. In some areas, Adeline was able to wallpaper her walls, a luxury few women in her circumstances enjoyed. Also, most of the buildings and especially her home, were built with care that is indicative she hired skilled craftsmen to do the work. She was also able to hire at least two or three hands to help around the ranch. Besides raising cattle and horses, Adeline also grew potatoes, vegetables and hay.

By these means, Adeline was able to support herself while becoming a well-known citizen in Florissant. In 1880, she served on the school board, and even provided room and board to a local schoolteacher, Rose Cunningham. She also worked at the general store in Florissant, and was active enough in civic affairs she merited mention in both the Crystal Peak Beacon and the Florissant Eagle, both published in Florissant. All of her children except for Frank, who was now grown, continued living with her and worked as ranch hands. Adeline’s social life not only consisted of the time she spent in Florissant, but also through the occasional parties and gatherings she hosted at her ranch.

Five years later, only Elliott remained at home, prompting Adeline to hire three other ranch hands who lived on her property: James Reid, Frank Burnham and Elisha Woody. Adeline kept so busy that she likely rarely left the area, save for 1889, when her daughter, Anna, died in Meeker. Ten years later, Adeline something quite odd for the time: at the age of 66 she married Frederick B. Stizkel, a German immigrant who may have been in her employ. The marriage was not so strange, but notably Stizkel was nearly 20 years younger than Adeline. This, unfortunately, left her at odds with her family and even some of her friends.

In fact, so disgruntled was Adeline’s family that legend says they declined to buy her a headstone when she died from a stroke in 1905. For years, Adeline’s grave at Four Mile Cemetery was marked with a brass plate until the early 2000’s, when a marble gravestone was purchased for her. Left with the ranch, Fred Stizkel remarried in Cripple Creek in 1906, but was living in Denver when he divorced in 1909. He remarried again, and died in 1926. He is buried in Wheatridge.

After Fred left the homestead, historians tell that various ranchers – James Lafferty, the Harry family and Palmer John Singer – owned the ranch through the years . A “well house” was added to the kitchen in 1909, but much of the original ranch house remained virtually untouched. With time, the remaining outbuildings were torn down or fell into decay, except for the root cellar which remains dug into a nearby hillside. Other area buildings were moved onto the property, a project which continued after the National Park Service acquired the ranch in 1973 and opened the Hornbek Homestead for tours.

In 1976, workers restoring the ranch were dismayed to find that someone broke in during the night and stole the home’s contents. In time, both the antiques and the foundation have been replaced. The furnishings are simple but practical and represent how Adeline likely lived during her twenty seven years at the ranch. Unfortunately, a second incident happened in 2010 when, during the night, thieves stole six wagon wheels from two antique wagons sitting in front of Adeline’s home. Two other wagon wheels were destroyed in the effort to remove them. Both wagons also were damaged. A $1,000 reward was offered for any information about the theft, but the vandals were never caught.

Today, visitors are welcome at the Hornbek Homestead year round, but Adeline’s home is only open to the public on weekends between June and September, and occasionally at Christmas. It is well worth a visit to enjoy the legacy of a lady ahead of her time.

Image: The Hornbek Homestead in 2005. Copyright Jan MacKell Collins.

Glen Cove, Colorado: An Unknown Gem of Teller County

c 2023 by Jan MacKell Collins

Anyone who has driven up America’s Mountain, Pikes Peak, will surely remember passing Glen Cove. Housed in a sturdy looking log structure, the rest stop features a restaurant and gift shop near some mighty premier off-track skiing in winter and rock climbing and hiking in summer. Mile marker 13 marks the spot where, at a bit over 11,400’ in altitude, visitors can visit almost year-round to admire the stunning views about midway to the top of the peak.

What visitors might not know is that Glen Cove actually is located in that small portion of Teller County that the Pikes Peak Highway crosses through. That’s because the only way to access the highway is via the pretty little mountain community of Cascade in El Paso County. Interesting too is that Glen Cove’s history goes much further back than the structure seen there today.

The real story of Glen Cove begins with Frank Tweed, a Kansas transplant who toiled as a carpenter while working various diggings in hopes of discovering gold. The first time he appeared in Colorado newspapers was back in 1882, when he and his brother, Charles, picked up a couple of claims further west of Pikes Peak, on the middle fork of Salt Creek, or perhaps the South Platte River. The Leadville Daily Herald reported that the men had some “valuable prospects” there, working when they could while staying in Colorado Springs. By saying “Colorado Springs,” the paper might have been referring to Glen Cove, since Frank would build a cabin there in 1886. Glen Cove, however, was yet to be named at that point.

Tweed’s cabin was originally an expansive two-story, log affair built with local lumber and perched on a solid rock foundation. Its name originated from nearby Glen Cove Creek, which empties into Crystal Reservoir. Alternatively, the creek may have been named for Tweed’s place. Either way, people gradually became aware of the cabin, the only stop at that time along the precarious, rocky trail leading to the top of Pikes Peak. Tweed would eventually convert the cabin into a rest stop for travelers and their horses as they traveled the trail.

Historic records show that Tweed did not live at Glen Cove on a regular basis. During 1890 he was living in Denver and employed as a carpenter. He did, however, file for an official homestead comprised of 160 acres surrounding Glen Cove in 1891. Four years after that he married his wife, Anna (nee Williams) at Colorado Springs. Newspapers had little to say about Glen Cove until 1898, when the Rocky Mountain News reported that uranium was discovered in a gold vein some 800 feet from the top of Pikes Peak. A small gold camp formed, and it was noted that one of four tunnels for the mine was being built at Glen Cove. By then, there was a primitive carriage road leading to the top of the peak.

The mine does not seem to have advanced very far, and by 1900 Frank and Anna Tweed, along with their three-year-old son, Hayden, were living in New Mexico. The Tweed’s may have sold their Glen Cove cabin by then, which around the same time was turned into a hotel. A 1901 news article mentioned that R.J. Mansfield, his wife, and their daughter – all lately of Ohio – were visiting Colorado Springs from Glen Cove. As for the Tweeds, Anna divorced Frank in 1904 for non-support. Four years later she, too, filed for her own homestead in Otero County. The 1910 census found her in San Diego, where she told the census taker that she was a widow. But where and when Frank Tweed died remains a mystery. Anna died in Los Angeles in 1945.

In 1916, the Pikes Peak Auto Highway officially premiered. The Glen Cove Inn, as it was now called, remained a highly popular stop. Visitors could get a meal, get their bearings going up or down the road, and get a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside and rugged mountains. Visitors talked of eating delicious sandwiches and sipping coffee while warming themselves by the big stone fireplace, and dinner was also served.

By 1927, the name of the inn changed again, to Glen Cove Lodge, when the United States Forest Service took over the property. A few years later, Fred Tweed’s cabin was replaced with a more modern facility, although the “new” building remains rustic in nature and still sits atop the original stone foundation. Notably, Glen Cove Lodge was requisitioned by Camp Carson and Peterson Field during World War II, for physical training exercises in what is now a well-known ski area. Don Lawrie, who owned the popular Pikes Peak Ski Club at the time, capitalized on the requisition to host “the first all-military ski meet in history” at Glen Cove on April 23, 1944.

Sometime in 1961, Glen Cove and its cozy inn, now sometimes referred to as the Timberline Inn or the Timberline Cafe, came under ownership by the city of Colorado Springs. The inn was added to the Colorado State Register of Historic Places in 1999, and remains a great rest stop along the road up Pikes Peak—in fact, rangers ask that all visitors coming off the mountain stop to have their brakes checked at Glen Cove for their own safety before driving on.

In addition to skiing, hiking and rock climbing, Glen Cove also offers panning for gold and gems during the summer months. Inside, light fare is offered at the restaurant, along with snacks, bottled waters and sodas, coffee, and hot chocolate. There is also the gift shop with an assortment of hand-made items, jewelry, mugs, clothing, postcards and other items. Glen Cove also remains open year-round (weather permitting, of course), and remains a most unique place to visit.

Photo: Frank Tweed’s original cabin as it appeared at Glen Cove.