You truly never know what you can learn when you're traveling in a new state.  Surprisingly, the state of Colorado has some connections to the Sioux Empire.

One of the most popular attractions located in Colorado Springs is The Garden of the Gods. This nature center spans 1,300 acres of giant stone formations. The park is truly amazing. You can thank an Iowa man for this great space.

This lone individual from Iowa is responsible for keeping the park open and free to the general public.  Heck, The Garden of the Gods might not have even existed if it was not for this Burlington, Iowa resident.

Christine Manika (TSM)
Christine Manika (TSM)
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Charles Elliott Perkins, the man responsible for The Garden of the Gods was actually the head of Burlington Railroad.  According to its website, Perkins' friend General William Jackson Palmer (the founder of Colorado Springs) convinced Perkins to build a summer home on The Garden of the Gods property. Perkins initially bought 240 acres of land on The Garden of the Gods property, but he never built a home there.  Instead, he later purchased more land for a grand total of 480 acres. Mr. Perkins just wanted the land to remain open space for all to enjoy it. The best part? His total purchase cost a mere $10,473. Just incredible! Nonetheless, I’m sure that was quite a bit of cash in 1879.

Perkins' wish was to have the public enjoy this amazing park for posterity.  Unfortunately, Perkins died before he could fulfill this plan. His children however successfully pursued his vision. They offered the land to the City of Colorado Springs. The city graciously accepted this land which became known as The Garden of the Gods in late 1909.

Christine Manika (TSM)
Christine Manika (TSM)

The city was not given “carte blanche” to develop the land according to its own wishes. Perkins identified specific terms and regulations pursuant to the City of Colorado Springs owning The Garden of the Gods:

  • The park shall be free of charge to visitors.
  • The public park will forever be known as "Garden of the Gods."
  • No intoxicating liquors may be manufactured or sold in the park.
  • No structures be erected, except those necessary to maintain the park.

Who would have thought an Iowa guy would be responsible for all of this beauty! If you have never seen The Garden of the Gods in person, I would highly recommend paying a visit to this spectacular park.

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