In the April issue of
Colorado Central Magazine

Our April issue features an article by John Cameron about Albert Ellingwood and Eleanor Davis, the first climbers to summit the Crestone Needle, back in 1916. Photo of the Needle by Jonathan Norfleet.

For Sale: The Former Brothel of Cockeyed Liz

By Jan MacKell Collins

If you have ever dreamt of owning an historic brothel, now is your chance. The former House of Joy, once owned by Buena Vista’s “Cockeyed Liz,” is for sale.

There is much to be said about this charming little property, located right downtown on Main Street. Most interesting is its former owner, who was born in 1857 and was a child bride in Denver by 1870. Liz told others she was only 13 years old when she married a man old enough to be her father, who forced her into prostitution. “I used to run away,” she said, “but he would always find me and bring me back. He would beat me so badly that I finally gave up.”

The 1880 census is believed to identify Liz in Silver Cliff, when she was the wife one Robert Marshall. Notably, Robert was forty-four years old, nearly twice the age of twenty-one year old Liz. Lizzie Marshall was alone and calling herself Lizzie Spurgen when she arrived in Buena Vista in 1885. An article in the Buena Vista Democrat during May of 1885 verified that Edward Krueger was suing Lizzie Marshall and Mary Taylor over some property in Block 3, Lot 12 – the same lot upon which Liz later operated her House of Joy. Krueger claimed he bought the property at a sheriff’s sale, but that Richard Taylor had already sold the lot to Mary Taylor, who in turn sold it to Lizzie. Krueger wanted “to oust said Lizzie Marshall from said premises.” Read more


Mountain Heritage Park – Juan Bautista Anza Passed Here

By Wayne Iverson

After the Chipeta Mountain name was moved to the high point of its massif in 2017, Salidan Craig Nielson came up to me and said that we needed to have a celebration. I said, “Good idea, you’re in charge, the budget is zero, I’m going to work in Alaska.” Nielson, an architect and mountaineer, put together a dynamic team and dubbed it the Chipeta Mountain Project. They put on a tremendous Chipeta Rising Celebration in October 2017. I then encouraged him to focus on another great idea he had for the following year – Mountain Heritage Park on Tenderfoot (“S”) Mountain. Nielson met with city staff and presented his preliminary designs and budget to city council on December 3. It was well-received. The city also requested that restrooms be added near the site. The total budget proposed is $77,000, much of it to be in-kind. The goal right now is to get support and fundraise through the winter, so we will be writing grants and have met with many of the acronyms, such as GARNA, CCHAAB, and SPOT, as well as both Rotary groups. Construction on the park will hopefully start this year. Read more


Down on the Ground in the Anthropocene City-State

By George Sibley

An interesting thing happened mid-March in Boulder which the media seem to have mostly missed. Commissioners from Grand County showed up at a noisy Boulder County commissioners’ hearing on a West Slope-to-East Slope transmountain water diversion project – to testify on behalf of the project. It is probably the first time ever, in the generally contentious history of Colorado water development, that the people in a basin of origin have supported a transmountain diversion project that people in the basin of destination oppose.

Although this is a story from just beyond our Central Colorado boundaries, it is a story of interest to anyone in the West who is wondering how, or even if, we are going to finally leave the 20th century and venture into the 21st and the Anthropocene Epoch we keep trying to pretend we haven’t brought on ourselves.

The report on the Boulder County hearing sounded like your usual 20th century public hearing on the kind of issue that seems almost structured to pit environmentalists against the developers of something or other – a hearing in which no one has to listen because everyone already knows what everyone else is going to say. Read more