Goerke & Son Photography
A Privately-Owned Balanced Rock
In the 1890s, photographer Paul Goerke shrewdly purchased the land around Balanced Rock. Goerke and his son, Curt, snapped photos of tourists for .25 cents each. The Goerkes then developed the plates in their shop at Steamboat Rock.
Thousands Have Their Photos Taken
Originally the Goerkes let people view Balanced Rock for free. They made money by charging for portraits and in later years selling photographic supplies. They even furnished trusty burros as props.
From Private Business to Public Park
Once personal cameras became more available, people started taking their own photos. To generate income, Curt Goerke built a wooden fence around Balanced Rock and charged .25 cents admission. When the City of Colorado Springs purchased the Goerke property in 1932, a large crowd cheered the dismantling of the wall.
(Picture captions: Curt Goerke set his large camera at an exact spot where he left it each day while taking photographs of the tourists posing on donkeys he supplied. Goerke operated a lucrative lunch counter adjacent to Steamboat Rock and created picnic grounds complete with fire pits for the thousands of tourists who visited each summer. As early as 1909 the City of Manitou Springs disputed the Goerke Family’s control over public access on the road leading
Location. 38° 51.896′ N, 104° 53.842′ W. Marker is near Colorado Springs, Colorado, in El Paso County. Marker is on Garden Drive. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Garden of the Gods Park. Marker is in this post office area: Manitou Springs CO 80829, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Amazing Balanced Rock (here, next to this marker); A Plentiful Harvest (here, next to this marker); Indian Trail (approx. 1.1 miles away); Wheeler Town Clock (approx. 1.1 miles away); Welcome to Garden of the Gods Park (approx. 1.4 miles away); Ute Pass (approx. 1.6 miles away); Garden of the Gods Park (approx. 1.6 miles away); Bloomer Girl; A Colorado Trailblazer (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Colorado Springs.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 11, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 949 times since then and 102 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 11, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.