Manitou Springs—150 Years Strong (1872–2022)

The Heritage Center’s 150th Anniversary exhibit explored 5 key themes: Host Nation, Health Resort, Attractions, Community Builders and Road to Revival. A brief history of the Ute Nation was presented, as well as how Manitou Springs evolved from its initial roots as a Health Resort to a center of Tourist Attractions. Key people who shaped Manitou Springs as a hometown Community were featured. The exhibit also told the stories of the town’s growth in the areas of architectural, business, environmental and artistic Revival. The onsite exhibit ran through December 2022.

Host Nation

The Host Nation theme presents a brief history and timeline of the Ute Nation, who lived in this area long before the official town founding in 1872. Featured stories include:

  • Shan Kive Festival at the Garden of the Gods
  • Ute Circle of Life Meaning
  • Chief Nanice Biography

The Chief Nanice biography is told by his great-great-Grandson Kenny Frost, Ute Elder and Native American Consultant.  Mr. Frost shares photos of his Ancestor Chief Nanice on horseback, in an automobile and proudly wearing the George Washington Peace and Friendship Medal given to him by President Grant in 1872. 

Host Nation Panel

Health Resort

Queen Anne DPLWe tell stories about Manitou’s healing mineral waters, the town founding by Dr. William Bell and General Palmer and a Bath House history. We cover tuberculosis and metaphysical/spiritual treatments. Featured physicians include Dr. Harriet Leonard, Dr. Edwin Solly, Dr. Basil Creighton and Dr. Henry Ogilbee.


Cave of the Winds groupAttractions include the railroads that brought health seekers and the fancy hotels they stayed in when they arrived. This theme includes featured tourist attractions and quirky records set by famous Tourists such as “Peanut Pusher” Ulysses Baxter and “Pikes Peak Climb Record Setter” Dr. Edwin Paget.

Community Builders

WWII Era Group in front of the Heritage CenterCommunity builders transformed Manitou Springs from a Colorado Springs tourist outpost to a real hometown community with a post office, fire department and churches. You’ll see community builder Homer Sharpton talk about his life here and Jack Willie recalling moments with his mom Mabel Willie, Manitou’s most famous Mayor.

Road to Revival

Cliff House after the fireThis theme covers Manitou Springs’ architectural, business, environmental and artistic revival. Our town’s deep-rooted history instills resilience in our community to rebuild and reinvent. Featured artists include photographer James Thurlow, artist Charles Rockey and muralist Archie Musick.

Share This