Colorado Springs Sesquicentennial Reading List

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The following is a selected list of local history volumes on a wide variety of topics. Some of the books are recently published while others have been in print for a long time. You may be able to buy them through your favorite retailer. You can also check them out through the Pikes Peak Library District (PPLD).

Pikes Peak Library District Regional History Series Publications


  • Legends, Labors and Loves of William Jackson Palmer, 1836-1909 (2009)
  • Bigwigs and Benefactors of the Pikes Peak Region (2017)
  • Disasters of the Pikes Peak Region (2017)
  • Extraordinary Women of the Rocky Mountain West, Doctors, Disease and Dying in the Pikes Peak Region (2012)
  • Enterprise and Innovation in the Pikes Peak Region (2011)
  • The Book of Colorado Springs, Manly and Eleanor Ormes (1933, reprinted 2018 by PPLD)
  • Growing Up in Colorado Springs: the 1920s Remembered, J. Juan Reid (1981)
  • Newport in the Rockies: The Life and Good Times of Colorado Springs by Marshall Sprague (1961, updated for the second edition in 1988)
  • Queen of Glen Eyrie, Wife of William Jackson Palmer: The Woman Who Inspired a Castle, Celeste Black (2008)
  • Where Thy Glory Dwells: A Guide to Historical Churches of Colorado Springs, Jean Messinger, Mary Jane Massey Rust (1998)
  • Shortfall: Family Secrets, Financial Collapse, and A Hidden History of American Banking, Alice Echols (2017)
  • Midas of the Rockies: The Story of Stratton and Cripple Creek, Frank Waters (1972)
  • Dr. Webb of Colorado Springs, by Helen Clapsattle (1984)
  • Musick Medley: Intimate Memories of a Rocky Mountain Art Colony, Archie Musick (1971)
  • Asylum of the Gilded Pill: The Story of Cragmor Sanatorium, by Douglas R. MacKay (1983)
  • Invisible People of the Pikes Peak Region: An Afro-American Chronicle, John Stokes Holley (Soon to be re-published by PPLD)
  • Everybody Welcome: A Memoir of Fannie Mae Duncan and the Cotton Club, Kay Esmiol (2013)

Children's Books

  • People of the Shining Mountains: the Utes of Colorado, by Charles S. Marsh (1982)
  • I Wanted to Be a Pilot: The Making of a Tuskegee Airman, by Franklin J. Macon and Elizabeth G. Harper (2019)

PPLD COS History Book Club

The past is the window to the present. Using the published works of local historians as inspiration, this program will highlight specific themes of Colorado Springs and the region. It is offered in concert with the books referenced, which provide additional background. However, attendees should not feel obligated to read the books in advance of the discussion. The series will provide high-quality information about the community to a broad and diverse audience.   For more information visit their Sesquicentennial webpage.