On top of the arid hills, east of the Mike Christian ranch on Rock Creek, are graves of Indians killed in a raging battle with angry white settlers. Rumor has it that not all of the attackers were Indians, as the Utes didn’t care for gold, but were instead renegade whites and Mexicans dressed as Indians. The rock-ringed graves remain as testimony. Christian’s ranch was ½ mile from Little Fountain Creek and a few miles southeast of Fort Carson’s Golf Course.
This is a "classic" story of life on the western frontier, the struggle between the settlers and Indians, the pursuit of gold, and the triumph over adversity. But I suggest that it is also just that- a story. Let's examine the components.
- 1858 Gold discovered in Colorado
- 1859 Tom Owen settled along Little Fountain Creek
- 1861-62 Colorado City served as the Territorial Capital, though legislators met there only once in 1861. Governor Gilpin received no financial support for military forces, so issued promissory notes.
- 1864 Governor Evans sends word to Fort Leavenworth, requesting troops to protect settlers from escalating Indian raids. Reply - none to spare. I could find no support for the statement that government-issued guns were left at forts for area settlers in Wilbur Stone's 1918 History of Colorado. Native Americans had access to guns and ammunition, but supplies were very limited.
- The Denver & Rio Grande railroad was completed through Fountain to Pueblo in 1872
|Portion of T16SR66W 1870 GLO Survey map, showing the Ring Ranch. Click to enlarge. Note no structures in section 14.|