When Noel Black was out a-antiquing recently, he came across a treasure trove of old matchbooks from local businesses. We dumped them out on a table and had a little chat about the matchbooks themselves and we reminisced about the businesses they advertised.


13 Responses to A Brief History of Colorado Springs as Interpreted via a Pile of Old Matchbooks, Part I

  1. Paul Richardson says:

    The Ramada is where the suites hotel is now. It was torn down. The Texas Seven were on the north side of GOG road in the hotel that has been renamed a thousand times. Well maybe not a thousand but a lot.

  2. Nancy Wilsted says:

    Oh, you poor things!

    Sambo’s was on S. Nevada and survived long after any establishment named Sambo’s deserved to survive. The crazy modern bank was on E. Platte. Noel, you paid quite a few visits to Neustetter’s, often with your grandmother. All the ladies liked to lunch in that space station restaurant that was atop the upscale department store. There was a Fashion Bar downtown then, and before that a Kaufman’s. I aged considerably while waiting for Hibbard’s pheumatic tube to deliver my change and my receipt. There was the Dave Cook store where we returned your skateboard shoes, and Levine’s was still with us. I guess a great toy store is not likely to advertise by way of matches. The Lotus Eater Boutique was around the corner from The Whickerbill, and then next to the Lotus Eater was a travel agency. (The internet had not yet eliminated travel agencies.) It was fun to look in the window at the exotic beach resort and cruise ship posters. In the same block was a restaurant called Ruth’s, I believe. Ruth’s was approximately where Jose’ Muldoon’s is now. Then there was the beloved Chinook Bookstore, of course, and Michelle’s. In the vicinity of today’s Poor Richard’s Bookstore was an old fashioned confection shop where everything was homemade and delicious. I don’t remember its name. Thereabouts was also an office supply/ computer store where Grandpa Wilsted bought you your first Mac. When I worked for Planned Parenthood, I was once invited to give a talk at The El Paso Club. I had no clue! I remember the stuffy furniture, stuffy men, stale cigar smoke, and the clink of ice cubes. Had I been invited upstairs to view the naked women on bicycles, I might have had quite a different impression.

  3. Nancy Wilsted says:

    Oh, and I forgot Lee’s Men’s Wear, the Grey-Rose dress shop, and the big dime store that was on the W. side of Tejon. It had a lunch counter and grill inside.

    • Julie Evans says:

      Nancy, the dime store was Woolworth. On the east side was Kress Dime Store and JC Penneys. Up the street, on the west side of Tejon was Maudie’s Flea Market; a great little head shop.

      Guys, Cinderella City was a huge mall in Englewood. We had nothing like it locally, so we used to load up for “The Big Road Trip to Denver” every so often to explore.

  4. Jeremy says:

    Thanks. That was fun. Now I will have to dig out my old matchbook scrapbook collection out and reminisce. Do not think I have any from The Springs, though.

  5. Amy says:

    Great idea…to use match books as a history stroll. This is the second time that you have grabbed my interest with Springs history (the other was a tour of Platte Ave signs).

    Can I politely suggest that you do some background investigations with your historical presentations? Teach me something that I do not know! Shed cool new light on the blurred landscape for us natives!


  6. Lewis Cecil says:

    And then there was the Brothers Bar & Grill 424 Nevada The hot spot

  7. Barry says:

    I’m with Amy: what a wonderful idea. Yo mama taught you where to shop!

    But the “history” part really would work better with someone who can offer more than what is on the matchbooks. I am referring here, of course, to someone with a Medicare card. “Noel, phone home.”


  8. Nancy Wilsted says:

    Does anyone remember the name of the confectioner’s shop?

  9. Georgia says:

    Don’t forget Bain’s, Perkins-Shearer and May D&F Department stores.

  10. Noel Black says:

    @Amy and @Barry: that’s what the comments are for! Not that we wouldn’t love to spend weeks researching these things, but this is a participatory DAILY feature that, sadly, does not always allow for as much depth as we might all like. But please keep the comments coming. Thanks.

  11. Nanette hall says:

    It was called “Candy Kitchen”, I used to stop there several times a week and get 25cents worth of their hard candy drops. At Christmas time we would get our chocolates from Michelles but Candy Kitchen had white chocolate candy.

  12. Marcia Wurm says:

    does anyone know what was in the Chinatown restaurant building on Nevada ave. across the street from Arbys?


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