Transportation has changed drastically from the days of the horse and carriage. Automobiles gave rise to a whole new system of buses with routes traversing the country. As Fremont County began to grow in the 1870s, the mode of transportation was still by horse, or in a stagecoach or even an omnibus pulled by horses. The Brown Brothers Omnibus carried “passengers to and from all passenger trains calling at hotels and private residences as requested”. Things began to change as automobiles reached the market in the late 1800s and horse drawn conveyances rapidly declined.
1916 gave rise to an auto bus line to and from the coal camps of Chandler, Rockvale, Williamsburg, and Coal Creek. The “Chandler, Rockvale and Coal Creek Stage” was owned by Canie King and operated until 1928. Apparently, the coal mining operations at Rockvale were “interesting and well worth an inspection by those who have time for such an outing”. There was also a daily motor bus service between Denver and Cañon City, “The Inter-City Automobile Lines Inc.”, which began running in 1922.
By 1934, a bus station was in place at the Hotel Cañon (St. Cloud) with E. J. Thayer as the agent. The Hotel Cañon held a bus station until the 1980s when it was moved to the Parkview Motel and then the Gold Miner’s Son at 831 Royal Gorge Boulevard.
D.C.S.P. (Denver, Colorado Springs, Pueblo) Motorways Inc. operated at the hotel in 1934 whose parent company was Trailways. Trailways Transportation System is a network of independent bus companies and was the company that serviced Cañon City and Fremont County for the longest time. The Continental Trailways Station was still in place until 1986 when Trailways suspended many of its routes due to low usage.
There was a very short lived bus company that ran locally around Cañon City and Brookside in 1946 called the Skyline Bus Company. Buses began running on September 7, 1946 and tokens were purchased for rides. Sadly, the company failed in November 1946 after a very short run. Strangely enough, some of the tokens turned up in St. Paul, Minnesota according to an article in 1955. The Twin City Rapid Transit Co. realized they had lost up to as much as $150 in bus tokens. They managed to trace the non-company tokens back to a rare coin merchant and discovered the tokens were those used by the Skyline Bus Company in 1946. A bit of a surprise for everyone!
The information presented in this article is compiled using research conducted by the Royal Gorge Regional Museum and History Center.