If you are traveling through Colorado, and you are looking to spend a few hours or a few days in a small traditional American community, you should make a stop in Fountain. This tiny city located just 10 miles south of Colorado Springs houses no more than 25,000 people and it is part of the Fountain Valley area that it composes along with the Security and Widefield suburb.
Here are a few interesting facts about Fountain, Colorado:
A brief history of Fountain, CL
Fountain does not stand out too much in the history of the state of Colorado, or in the history of the United States for a matter. However, this small community has impressed through its core values and simplicity in 1999 when the New York Times called it “America’s Millennium City,” and again in 2002 when the National Civic League named it an “All-American City.”
Fountain was founded in 1859, and it initially served only as a railroad shipping center for the nearby farms. Many of the ranches in the Colorado Springs area used it as a terminal for their cattle and the products that they would sell across the country. The town got its name from the Fountain Creek stream that flows nearby and crosses the El Paso County.
Nowadays, Fountain is home to many people that work in Colorado Springs and who commute every day between the main city and the small town.
Home of “The Blast”
The most notable event in the history of Fountain, Colorado took place in the morning hours of May 14, 1888. The locals and historians alike call this happening “The Blast,” and it marks the fatal collision between a freight train and a passenger train that occurred just outside town.
The events that led to the terrible crash involved two vagrants who murdered a third man, Frank Shipman, on the freight train. In an effort to hide their dirty deed, they disconnected the wagon with Shipman’s body and three other wagons that were attached to it and let them loose on the railroad tracks.
Unfortunately, the vagrants had no idea that the three other wagons were carrying the explosive naphtha. While they escaped with the remaining wagons attached to the locomotive, the one carrying Shipman’s body and the explosives remained on the tracks. Shortly, a passenger train traveling north collided and created an incredible explosion that could be heard from miles away.
The conductor of the passenger train managed to alert the passengers, and most of them jumped off the train before the collision took place. Despite their injuries, they survived. The unfortunate event took the lives of three residents of Fountain, CL that did not make the jump in time. The resulting explosion left a huge crater in the ground, and the vagrants were never identified or caught by the authorities.
Reasons to visit Fountain, CL
Besides hearing the local legends about “The Blast,” you should visit Fountain, Colorado for its peaceful atmosphere and witness the traditional American way of living in a small community. Additionally, you can take a trip out of town to the Fountain Creek Nation Center for a short hike in a beautiful, natural landscape.