While the population of Colorado Springs has grown, it’s still more or less the tranquil li’l Western town General William Jackson Palmer envisioned when, in 1871, he founded the Fountain Colony with Dr. William Abraham Bell.
Later called Little London and finally Colorado Springs after the water springs on Monument Creek, the city was to be an idealized western utopia with liquor prohibited and the high altitude-air serving as a potential restorative for tuberculosis.
Meanwhile, in nearby Colorado City, patrons could find all the hedonism they wanted through a series of underground tunnels connecting the water holes, prostitution parlors, and opium dens.
The network of secret passageways was every bit as ingenious as it was clandestine, known to a certain clientele of the wild-west burg, completely hidden from the faint of heart.
On any given day, John Smith could walk into a respectable shop on the north side of the street and emerge a block away on the south side in an opium den, gambling joint, or saloon. When John Smith emerged from the respectable shop an hour later, nobody was the wiser as to where he’d actually been spending his time.