(image courtesy of the Broadmoor History Facebook page)

One of the many things we enjoy about sending the Big Something out into the world each day are the new stories and surprises that often come back. For example: No sooner had we published our “Then and Now” slide show and video on the Cheyenne Mountain Lodge last week than the Broadmoor sent us this series of photographs from the Lodge and a fascinating article from the Gazette Telegraph from June 20, 1926, opening day. Nestled among the florid descriptions of Spencer Penrose’s $100,000 mountaintop hotel is this fantastical tidbit:

Outstanding effects include gastroliths, “gizzard stones,” which are to be set into a cluster or rosette around one of the fireplaces. They are the gift to Spencer Penrose from Dall Deweese of Canon City and were found by him no long ago—sometime after his discovery of a bronto-saurus diplodocus… They are really stomach stones performing the same functions in the second stomachof the Saurian family as the stones in the gizzard of a turkey, goose, duck or chicken.

Even if we can’t see the stones in the picture of the fireplace above, this wonderful detail makes us all the more sad the Lodge no longer exists. We can only wonder what happened to the stones and other fixtures when the place was closed and then finally bulldozed in the late ’70s. Any other history from readers would be greatly appreciated in the comments. Meanwhile, here are more photos courtesy of the Broadmoor Hotel’s Archives. Many thanks to Beth Davis, Archivist, and Allison Scott, Director of Communications at The Broadmoor Hotel.

(click for larger versions)


5 Responses to Dinosaur Gizzard Stone Fireplaces!?

  1. kay johnson says:

    I am enjoying your stories Noel-It is filling a information gap about what I know about Colorado Springs. A question is: what was going on in the 70’s that so many old landmarks were bulldozed? The Opera House, the Cheyenne Lodge, etc. This lodge was only 50-something years old!

  2. Liz Arnold says:

    I was wondering the same thing as Kay – what happened in the 70’s that instigated the demolition of such gorgeous buildings only to replace them with tan windowless buildings made of concrete with pebbles pushed into the sides? Thanks for the history!

  3. Noel Black says:

    I’m not sure about the lodge, though I suspect that it was the expense of maintaining the road more than the lodge itself.

    As far as downtown goes, all of the demolition was the result of the waves of urban renewal that were going on all across the country. I believe there was a fair amount of incentive in the form of Federal aid for new building projects. Though it probably seemed mordern and forward thinking at the time, I think the towns that didn’t go along with urban renewal are now glad they didn’t. I know I wish we still had the Burns, et. al.!!

  4. Noel Black says:

    Beth Davis, Archivist at the Broadmoor, has confirmed my suspicions about the closing of the Lodge. She writes:

    “My understanding is that it had become difficult to operate and maintain as everything had to be trucked up the hill on a very winding dirt/gravel road. I am told that water was even being trucked up and that the truck was struck by lightning several times.”

  5. I am amazed they had gizzard stones from dinosaur in the 20’s, but didn’t relate them to birds until as of late!

    The 70’s were all about revolution from sex to mechanical and the past was old and the time of parents and grandparents. The young needed new modern skin like the Pacer and inefficient glass buildings.


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