The Squash Blossom Colorado Springs’ building has been a witness of much of Old Colorado City’s long and fascinating history. Built in 1889, the building was home to a boarding house, saloon, and cafe. Colorado Springs was a dry city, so alcohol was only available for consumption in Colorado City, which was not yet under the jurisdiction of Colorado Springs. There were tunnels beneath the streets so that gentlemen could cross from the respectable side to the scandalous side, with saloons and brothels, without anyone on the streets noticing.
The Squash Blossom’s owners, John and Patti Cogswell purchased the building exactly a hundred years after it was constructed. It is still home to the best-preserved tunnel entrance in Old Colorado City. The Squash Blossom’s very own sales associate and Earth Below Sky’s custom and repair jeweler, Elisabeth Soscia is a volunteer with the Old Colorado City Historical Society. During the recent Tunnel Tales event, she delighted guests by portraying a boarding house owner and wife of Dusty McCarty, cousin of Billy the Kid.
Colorado City was once the capital of Colorado Territory, until it was moved to Denver. It was annexed by Colorado Springs in 1898 and formally incorporated into the city in 1917 and has been known as the West Side ever since. Old Colorado City’s fascinating past lives on and the Squash Blossom’s building plays witness to it all.