Palmer Lake Historical Society
Serving the Tri-Lakes/Palmer Divide Since 1956
P.O. Box 662, Palmer Lake, CO 80133

 

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Historic Monument Walking Tour

(There Is No Access or Entry to Private Homes.)

Monument began as a territorial ranching settlement in the mid 1860's. It was first called "Henry's Station", after Henry "Dutch" Limbach, who ran a saloon on his homestead claim. When the Denver & Rio Grande railroad came through in 1872, the name was changed to Monument, after the prominent rock formation to the west of town. The town layout is quite typical of a 19th-century western railroad town with a "Front Street" usually parallel to the train tracks, intersected with written, numbered street names, followed by commemorative presidential names.

The thriving town of Monument about 1894
The Thriving Town of Monument, about 1894

 

#1 Limbach Park
Henry Limbach platted the town site in 1874. He became the first mayor when the town incorporated in 1879. West from here was the D&RG Depot, the first school site, and present-day Monument Lake, built in 1890. Ice was harvested from the lake until the mid 1940's. The photos are of Henry & his wife Caroline.

Caroline LimbachHenry Limbach

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Monument Hotel

#2 The Monument Hotel
192 Front Street ca 1874

The current building was a former post office from 1975-2000. The luxurious Monument Hotel stood on this corner in 1874. It offered premier lodging at $2.00 a day, meals extra. It had nineteen rooms, furnished and carpeted. The building burned down in the early 1920's.

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The Walker Store

#3 The Walker Store
NE corner Second & Front St. ca 1880's

The store later housed the Monument State Bank. The building was made of quarry stone and had a 2nd floor known as "The Rod Walker Hall". This was the hotspot for social gatherings and dances. The bank closed with a financial scandal in 1924.

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Mrs. Limbach's Millinery Shop

#4 Mrs. Limbach's Millinery Shop
NW corner Second & Front Street

Caroline Limbach was a renowned dress and hat maker. Her Dry Goods & Millinery shop was the envy of all the ladies in the area, ca 1880's.

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#5 The Limbach Home
221 Front St. ca 1880's

Henry came west in 1866 as a captain in the 8th cavalry, during the "Indian Wars". He and Caroline were married in 1872, the year she emigrated from Germany.

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Limbach's Saloon and Barber Shop

#6 Limbach's Saloon & Barber Shop
230 Front St. ca 1869

"Henry's Station" was the focal point of the village for decades. It did have two fatal shootings, one over cattle-rustling, and the other over the theft of a plow. Both victims died but were later found innocent. They are buried in the Monument Cemetery.

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Elliott's Store#7 Elliott's Store
231 Front St. ca 1879

The Elliotts were a prominent family, from New York. They were an industrious couple with many business interests. Their children married with local homestead families and descendants still reside in the area. Pictured are Fanny Mudge & Richard C. Elliott.

 

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Elliott's Carriage and Wagon#8 Elliott's Carriage & Wagon ca 1881.
This building was next to and just north of Limbach's Saloon, and was the carriage & wagon rental agency of the period.

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Schubarth Home

#9 The Schubarth Home
273 Washington ca 1881

This modest house is an example of early townfolk living. Out back were the well, outhouse & barn. The family owned a couple of milking cows which supplemented their income. Mary Schubarth is seen drawing water. Note the Elliott Mercantile on the far-left.

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Will Lierd's Store and Caskets

#10 Will Lierd's Store & Caskets
243 Washington ca 1882

Will was called "Penny Lierd". He always insisted on being paid to the penny. He was a rancher and carpenter. In the 1960's - 70's this site was home to the Monument Volunteer Fire Department. The storekeeper would sometimes act as undertaker.

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Betz Family Meat Market#11 The Betz Family Meat Market
65 Second St. ca 1915

The Betz family operated a meat market and post office from 1910-1942. Early on, deliveries were made by horse-drawn wagon to Palmer Lake and Monument customers.

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#12 Dr. Rupp's Home & Drug Store
66 Second St. ca 1890

Dr. Rupp was known for his fine trotting horses. At one time the doctor owned the Monument Hotel. He refused to own an automobile, preferring his horse. As a physician he never billed his patients, trusting instead that everyone would pay him.

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Higby Mercantile#13 The Higby Mercantile
105 Second St. ca 1900

John William Higby homesteaded east of Monument in 1880. The family ran this general store and another one in Greenland, CO. In 1967 this store became the L & L Supermarket.

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#14 The First Post Office
106 Second St.

This was the first official post office bldg. from 1960-1975. The late town historian, Lucille Lavelett, was the first postmaster who did not deliver the mails out of a home or business establishment.

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J.W. Higby Garage#15 The J. W. Higby Garage
135 Second Street ca 1912

The first auto garage was located here with J. W. Umberger as mechanic. He later had the first service station on Highway 105. The advent of the automobile brought many changes to the town, not all for the better in the opinion of many.

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Colonel Ford's Home#16 Colonel Ford's Home
175 Second St. ca 1875

A Civil War veteran, Colonel and Mrs. Ford came from Maine. They owned the Monument Hotel and were founding members of the Monument Presbyterian Church in 1874. This home had the first water system as evidenced by the tank and windmill.

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1st Catholic Church#17 1st Catholic Church, 1911
155 Jefferson

Built by three bachelor brother carpenters, the Schuetts. A priest would come by train from the Springs, to say Mass on Sundays. The brothers also built the first Victorian home in what is now Woodmoor, east of Monument.

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Big Red or the Lewis School#18 "Big Red" or the "Lewis School"
146 Jefferson

Built 1919. Designed by Mr. Thomas MacLaren, a renowned architect in early Colorado Springs and named after Inez Johnson Lewis the El Paso County Superintendent of Schools. Mrs. Lewis consolidated the one room school districts, offering a high school education here in Monument.

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Monument Creamery#19 Site of the Monument Creamery
366 Second St. ca 1900

The Creamery on this site later became the Carlson & Frink Creamery. This latter company established many locations in towns along the Santa Fe Railway. Selling milk to the creamery was often the only reliable source of farm income in the winter.

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Father Dyer#20 Site of Father Dyer's Parsonage
235 Jefferson 1872

This famed Methodist preacher, known as "the snowshoe itinerant", built a small parsonage here. A self-ordained preacher, Father John Dyer ministered to communities and mining camps throughout Colorado.

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#21 Santa Fe Section Crew Bunkhouse
255 Jefferson ca 1890

Every three to ten miles of track had a section crew of at least three men, who maintained the railroad right-of-way. They lived here, sometimes with their families.

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Sheldon Jackson Memorial Chapel#22 Sheldon Jackson Memorial Chapel
238 Jefferson 1880

The Sheldon Jackson Memorial Chapel is the oldest church house in town. The Presbyterians founded their congregation here in 1874, with help from famed pioneer church builder, Rev. Sheldon Jackson. He established over 100 congregations throughout the American western frontier, even into the territory of Alaska.

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#23 1st Presbyterian Parsonage
306 North Jefferson

Few ministers ever resided here because the congregation was too small to support a full-time preacher. Built about 1880.

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#24 Santa Fe Agents' Home
356 North Jefferson ca 1890

This quaint Victorian was home to many railroad agents and their families during the heyday of steam railroading.

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Santa Fe Depot#25 Santa Fe Depot
North side, Third St. at Trail crossing

Site of the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Depot, ca. 1887. This was the second depot for the Santa Fe line. It was moved to Hwy. 105 in the late 1940's where it later burned. The tracks were torn up in Nov. 1974 with the rail bed later becoming the trail it is today in 1980.

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Lucille Hagedorn Lavelett#26 Lavelett Park
Named in memory of the late town historian, author, former postmaster, and life-long resident, Lucille Hagedorn Lavelett 1905 ~ 1998

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#27 1st Town Hall ca 1880's
This simple frame structure served townsfolk well for many years. It was originally located on Washington St. It was moved here to the park in June of 1989.

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Santa Fe Train Wreck of 1895
Just south of 2nd Street on the Old Denver Highway a catastrophic train wreck occurred. The Santa Fe Bridge Foreman was repairing the three-hundred ft. long trestle. He removed too many cross-braces and when the train attempted to cross the trestle gave way. Six people died of injuries sustained. In 1902 the Santa Fe began replacing wood trestles with the earth structure that you see today.

Santa Fe Train Wreck of 1895

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Interpreted & Designed by:
Filmmaker/Historian & Emmy Nominee
Jim Sawatzki.

For further study we recommend:
Book: "Through The Years at Monument, CO"
(Fifth edition, 2004, features over 130 photographs.)

Video: "Milestones" The History of Monument.
Available at the Lucretia Vaile Museum and Fine Stores.

Photographs courtesy of:
The Lavelett/Allis Collection, Mabel Fulker Korbitz,
Ralph and Norma Lavelett & the Lucretia Vaile Museum

If you would like to learn more about Tri-Lakes history, the Palmer Lake Historical Society, or the Lucretia Vaile Museum, please e-mail us at PLHS@PalmerDivideHistory.org.