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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Colorado Springs in El Paso County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Bloomer Girl; A Colorado Trailblazer

 
 
Bloomer Girl; A Colorado Trailblazer Marker image. Click for full size.
By Charles T. Harrell, July 1, 2011
1. Bloomer Girl; A Colorado Trailblazer Marker
Inscription.  In 1858, a young woman from Kansas climbed to the summit of Pikes Peak. Julia Archibald Holmes was the first Anglo woman on record to make the climb, and she became famous for that accomplishment as well as for the way she did it.

Julia had arrived at the base of Pikes Peak with the Lawrence Party searching for gold. In late July, 1858, they camped near here and spread out to explore the nearby streams. Two of their group (William Hartley and AC Wright,) recorded their signatures on the red sandstone of the Garden of the Gods. Although their search for gold was largely unsuccessful, their explorations and those of the Russell Party near Denver, led to the “Pikes Peak or Bust” gold rush of 1859.

Julia was called the “Bloomer Girl,” because of her choice of clothing-the new “American Costume”-no corset, with pants or pantaloons worn beneath a calf-or knee-high skirt. They had walked across the Great Plains, and as they neared the Rocky Mountains, Julia was stunned by her first view of the summit of Pikes Peak.

“This day we obtained the first view of the summit of the Peak, now some seventy miles

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away. As all expected to find precious treasure near this wonderful Peak, it is not strange that our eyes were often stained by gazing on it.”
Julia Archibald Holmes.

“In all probability I am the first woman who has ever stood upon the summit of this mountain, and gazed upon this wondrous scene which my eyes now behold. How I sigh for a poet’s power of description, so that I might give you some faint idea of grandeur and beauty of this scene.”
Julia Archibald Holmes in a letter to her mother, August 5, 1868.
For more information: www.springsgov.com www.rockledgeranch.com
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1858.
 
Location. 38° 52.634′ N, 104° 52.288′ W. Marker is in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County. Marker is on Gateway Road, on the right when traveling east. Marker is across the main road from the Garden of the Gods main visitor center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Colorado Springs CO 80904, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Garden of the Gods Park (here, next to this marker); Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); O Beautiful For Spacious Skies...

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(about 600 feet away); The Garden of the Gods (approx. half a mile away); A Priceless Gift (approx. half a mile away); Time Frozen In Stone (approx. half a mile away); Welcome to Garden of the Gods Park (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Colorado Springs.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 11, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 993 times since then and 5 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on August 11, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 15, 2021