A Pikes Peak Partnership: The Penroses and the Tutts

A Pikes Peak Partnership: The Penroses and the Tutts

A Pikes Peak Partnership: The Penroses and the Tutts

A Pikes Peak Partnership: The Penroses and the Tutts


Spencer Pen rose, the maverick son of a wealthy Philadelphia clan, was the most prominent playboy in the Pikes Peak region. A partnership withtimately converted this playboy into Colorado's premier philanthropist.

In A Pikes Peak Partnership, historians Tom Noel and Cathleen Norman tell the incredible tale of the two families who transformed Colorado Springs and its environs into a tourist haven. By building the Broadmoor Hotel, the Pikes Peak highway, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and establishing or operating local tourist railroads and cog railways, Penrose, who once proclaimed that "any man who works after lunch is a fool", made the Pikes Peak region a pleasure seeker's paradise.

With the use of previously unavailable family papers and more than 200 rare illustrations, this colorful saga follows the lives of Penrose and Tutt and their families as they transformed tiny and staid Colorado Springs from a colony of tuberculars into Colorado's second largest city.


My great-grandfather, Charles Leaming Tutt, came to the Pikes Peak region in 1884. He tried ranching in the Black Forest and real estate in Colorado Springs before striking pay dirt in Cripple Creek with his C.O.D. Mine.

In 1891, great-grandfather invited an old Philadelphia family friend, Spencer Penrose, to come west and help with his booming mining and real estate business. Family legend has it that he never pressed Penrose to pay for his partnership in the C.O.D.

These two ambitious—and lucky—Philadelphians sold the C.O.D. for around $250,000, the highest price paid up to that time for a Cripple Creek mine. With the proceeds they built up Cripple Creek’s greatest ore-transporting and processing network. My grandfather Tutt invested in Spencer’s Broadmoor Hotel, Pikes Peak Auto Highway, and Manitou and Pikes Peak cog and incline railways. He was involved in myriad other Penrose enterprises, from bottling Manitou springwater to creating the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

My great-grandfather died young—at the age of 45 in 1909. Spencer lived another 30 years, making millions in his Utah (later Kennecott) Copper (now Rio Tinto Zinc) Company. Spencer and Julie Penrose were childless but relied on Charles Tutt’s son, Charley, who came to manage much of the Penrose empire. As Charley grew older he relied on his sons, Thayer and Russell, my father, to manage this empire.

I, too, have been fortunate to work in this remarkable Pikes Peak partnership, continuing my family’s involvement with El Pomar Foundation, the Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado College, and other Penrose and Tutt interests. a rich history and tantalizing folklore still swirl around Penrose and the Tutts. During their early years, millions in gold and copper were . . .

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