by Kenneth Jessen
The adobe brick Garden Park Schoolhouse is located about nine miles north of Cañon City on the Garden Park Road leading to Cripple Creek. The area was settled during the late 1860s, not long after the Colorado Territorial Legislature established Fremont County. The attraction of Garden Park is obvious – a lush north-south valley with fertile soil and a good supply of water. It was perfect for a variety of crops, especially apple trees. Starting in the early 1890s, vast quantities of gold ore were discovered in the Cripple Creek area, spawning the last great gold rush in Colorado. The need for fresh produce was immediate, and a toll road was constructed from Cañon City through Garden Park to Cripple Creek in 1892. This substantially added to the agricultural business.