What do Fannie Mae Duncan and Nikola Tesla have in common? For starters, they both lived in Colorado Springs. More importantly, they were forward-thinking, innovative individuals - Duncan as a civic activist, and Tesla as a scientist. But that's what Colorado Springs is all about - the city has a history of visionary, forward-thinking leadership and adapting with the times. General William Jackson Palmer passed through Pikes Peak in July of 1869 and was in awe of the colorful foliage and soothing springs in the area. He envisioned building a desirable city against this scenic backdrop, and the rest is history. He founded "The Springs" on July 31, 1871 - two short years after the concept came to mind.
General Palmer did more than surveying and plotting the area. He raised money for parks, streets, and infrastructure, so the city could hit the ground running. He also brought the Denver and the Rio Grande railroad to provide easy access to the city. Colorado Springs became an immediate hit, attracting the wealthy, artists, writers, and inventors looking to operate in a calm environment. The city's population continued to grow despite many obstacles over the years. A fire destroying the downtown in 1898, natural disasters, and the Great Depression didn't prevent Colorado Springs from adapting and reinventing itself.