- Sol’s Dairy as seen in a 1953 photo by Myron Wood. He described it as a “small, wooden building wiht number 630 above window and ‘Sol’s Dairy’ and sign for Coca Cola painted on the gable. Virginia creeper vines cover chicken wire fence in front of the building. Photo copyright by Pikes Peak Library District.
Then, the same old dairy barn in the summer of 2011 as seen by Dave Philipps of The Gazette:
Finally, the scene changed dramatically on Jan. 3, 2012 as the barn came down:
I’m so disappointed. I didn’t get there in time to save old Sol’s life.
By the time I raced up Prospect Street on Tuesday to the Middle Shooks Run neighborhood, a Bobcat had chewed right through old Sol’s concrete-and-brick mid-section.
I found it leaning, upside-down, against a tiny old cottage on the same lot. But there wasn’t much left of the building that had housed Sam Rollins’ Highland View Dairy in 1923 and then Sol Cox’s dairy into the 1950s.
But all is not lost.
Chet Delarm, a builder who removed the barn so he could expand the old cottage, said he’d gladly donate the facade to the neighborhood or the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, if anyone wanted it.
Matt Mayberry, museum director, almost immediately pounced on the sign: “I think we’ll take it.”
He recognized its value as an historic landmark; a link to the neighborhood’s roots as a rural pasture along the Shooks Run creek on the east outskirts of Colorado Springs.
Neighbors such as Suzanne Eubank had hoped the front of the barn building, including the sign, might be saved as a neighborhood landmark and homage to Mary Ford, who was Sam Rollins’ daughter and lived most of her 95 years in the tiny one-bedroom, one-bath cottage until her death Jan. 1, 2011.
“It dates to the time when Shooks Run was all pastures and dairy barns,” Suzanne said. “I think they should leave it as a monument to the neighborhood.”
Other neighbors shared fond memories of the sign and Mary Ford, who used to sit on her tiny front porch on hot days and chat with passersby.
Her son, Claude Ford, 69, said his grandfather, Sam, ran the dairy until he died of a burst appendix in 1929. The business was sold to Sol Cox, who carried on processing milk in the barn for nearly 30 years.
“They didn’t milk cows in the barn,” Claude said.
“The barn had a dock on the back and farmers would drop off cans of milk. He’d process the milk, rinse the cans, and set them out for the farmers to take away.”
I understand we can’t keep every old building, but I’m glad folks like Mayberry are around to salvage at least key souvenirs of our past.
This link takes you to a cool “Then & Now” photo project by Dave Philipps in which he matched up historic photos, like the Myron Wood photo of Sol’s Dairy, with current views.
He was joined by his brother, George, and before long they were milking cows and getting omplaints from neighbors.
In fact, they were repeatedly forced to move to accommodate the growing city.
They went from their original barn at Corona Street and Willamette Avenue in 1880 to a new pasture, barn and processing plant near Prospect Lake. The plant and barn opened in 1887 in what is now the Hillside neighborhood