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Photos: Gallery | Colorado Springs Gazette, News

A Look Back

Images from Colorado Springs' past

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Two men stand next to a small plane with a Civil Air Patrol insignia on the fuselage at Nichols Field in Colorado Springs, circa 1940-44. A gas pump is at left. A hangar, identified as Valley Flying Service, has a windsock on top and a sign with “W. Leo Schuth” painted above the door. The men are identified as James S. Hammitt (in vest) and an unidentified man from Palmer Lake (in suit), possibly the owner of the plane. The photographer is unknown. According to gocivilairpatrol.com, the Civil Air Patrol was formed a week before the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor, which was attacked Dec. 7, 1941. Thousands of volunteers performed wartime missions for the patrol, which was part of the War Department under the Army Air Corps during World War II. On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed a law incorporating the patrol as a nonprofit organization, and on May 26, 1948, Congress passed a law establishing the patrol as the auxiliary of the Air Force. ROBIN HAMMITT COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 216-5512

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A young boy and girl sit for a studio portrait with a dog between them in this undated photo. Both children wear white dresses with birthday cake on the ground between them. The photo is identified on the back: “Left to Right Marka 2 1/2 yrs. Gerald Bertram Jr.” MARGARETTA M. BOAS PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 001-5282

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Local photographer Myron Wood took this portrait of Marshall Sprague in April 1964. According to Sprague’s obituary in the New York Times on Sept. 17, 1994, he died Sept. 9, 1994, at St. Francis Hospital. He was 85. Sprague was well known for his best-selling prose on the American West. He was the author of “Newport on the Rockies: the Life and Good Times of Colorado Springs.” Born in Ohio, he settled in Colorado Springs after being diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1941. He left behind his wife of 55 years, Edna Jane, and three children. MYRON WOOD COLLECTION, PHOTO COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 002-5909

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This undated photograph is a portrait of the Louis L. Duncan Family. Sitting from left: Fannie Mae Duncan, Carrie Duncan (mother), Cecil Duncan, Dorothy (Duncan) Jones, Earl Wick. Standing: Edward Duncan, Vi Green (wife of Melvin), Melvin Duncan, Roy Green. According to the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame, Fannie Mae Duncan was born in Luther, Okla., and came to Colorado in 1933 with her widowed mother and six siblings. She graduated from Colorado Springs High School in 1938, the first in her family to earn a high school diploma. She then married Edward Duncan, who worked as a porter for the railroad. He died in 1957. Duncan borrowed money to buy a building to house her dream — the Cotton Club — where she employed a multiethnic staff. She was the first African-American woman to succeed as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and community activist in Colorado Springs. She founded the Cotton Club, a jazz mecca where she booked luminaries such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Mahalia Jackson, and Etta James, which attracted a racially diverse following. The flamboyant Duncan died in Denver on Sept. 12, 2005, at the age of 87. MARGARETTA M. BOAS PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, COURTESY OF THE PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 001-8749

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This photo, taken in April 1965, is the view from West Pikes Peak Avenue showing top of Antlers Garage, foreground, then from left, St. Mary’s School, St. Mary’s Church, and the Colorado Springs Public Library Carnegie building. MYRON WOOD COLLECTION, COURTESY PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 002-1251

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Pearl and Eddie Dennis stand in front of a stone building at the Cog Railroad Station with a sign “Ticket Office” over the door in back. The photo is dated on the bottom April 14, 1907. MARGARETTA M. BOAS PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 001-2303

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This photograph shows a large crowd of people with an automobile in the foreground and rock formations of Garden of the Gods in the background. “Easter Service Garden of the Gods — April 1, 1923 Colorado Springs” is written on the print. The services started in the early 1920s. For the first four or five years, only two churches were represented at the Easter Sunrise Services: the Pikes Peak Christian Church and the First Christian Church, according to the historical Garden of the Gods. But true to the Rev. Albert Luce’s tolerant ecumenical bent, the services soon became an interdenominational event to which all faiths were invited. The actual operation of the services was turned over to the Colorado Ministerial Alliance and later to the Greater Colorado Springs Association of Evangelicals. The number of people in attendance at the Easter Sunrise Services in the park swelled from a few hundred people in the 1920s to as many as 25,000 by midcentury. The sunrise service was a long tradition at Garden of the Gods until 2007, when it ended because of a lack of sponsorship. STEWARTS COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS, COURTESY OF PIKES PEAK LIBRARY DISTRICT, 013-5408

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