Edwin S. Giles and Edith Corliss Giles, Colorado Springs, Colorado


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History of Jones Park and the Colorful Characters

that Pioneered the Cheyenne Canyon 

 Colorado Springs, Colorado 





History of the Giles Family


Edwin & Edith Giles

The History of Jones Park in the Middle Bear Creek of Cheyenne Canyon

The Giles Family


Edith Corliss moved from Boston to Colorado in about 1888. 

In 1889, Edith W. Corliss provided evidence for a Homestead stating that: she was “single, 22 years old,” and was the head of a household.  She acquired a homestead that would become the center of the Jones Park area.  The Rosamont or Bear Creek Inn was an eight room “summer resort” and boarding area for persons traveling to Pikes Peak. 

The application for a homestead at the age of 22 likely made Edith one of the youngest woman homesteaders in the nation.  She maintained she had lived and worked the land for 14 months prior to the application.  She was from Boston and had aunts (Warren) in the area.

However, information on her death certificate and tombstone show that Edith may have misrepresented her age on the homestead application.  Her death certificate lists her date of birth as 1873.  And, her tombstone lists her date of birth as 1872.  She may have been 17 years old on the date of her homestead and 16 years old on the date she began “working the land.”

In addition, construction was started on a “camping out club” consisting of small cabins in the area. 



Bear Creek Inn

Edwin Schofield Giles graduated from New York College and came to Colorado Springs in the 1890s.  He met Edith and they married in 1894. They resided at 739 N. Cascade Ave. then in Cripple Creek, and operated the Bear Creek Inn during the summer months. 

Edwin was the primary builder of cabins in the area working on the Inn, the Bessie Smith cabin, the Godfrey cabin, the Louds cabins and others.   In 1894, Edwin builds cabin at site of Jones house for Bessie Henry a kindergarten teacher near Colorado College.  Built a cvabin for Mr. Prebbles west of old Jones site – purchased by Fannie Witbeck and later burnt. Built a cabin to east of the Inn for Mrs. Orin Godfrey aunt of Mrs. Giles.  The Giles twins were born in Godfrey cabin.

E.S. Giles was one of the incorporators of the Rosamont Park Company in 1890 along with Loud and several others including J.A. Connell, a local banker, and two prominent Colorado Springs attorneys.   The plan was to form a township in Jones Park that would be both a resort for travelers to Pikes Peak.

When gold was discovered in Cripple Creek in 1891, the Inn looked to be perfectly situated for travel by stage or train to Cripple Creek.  Railroads were planned and surveys completed and proposed routes are indicated on early maps. 


1891 Bear Creek Toll Road Company formed by Herbert Reed, WH Plum general contractor.  City engineers and dignitaries went up the new toll road to Lake Morraine. Vehicle 25c per person to Jones Park, 50c / person to Seven Lakes, 50c / person on horseback and 10c person or for each livestock;

Bear CreekToll Road

The opening of the Bear Creek Toll Road through Bear Creek was an important event.

1902 Bear Creek Toll Road opens “Sylvia Fall, Josephine Falls, Nushka Falls, Ping Pong Falls, Abe Linncoln and other points of interest”

Built in 1889, the Bear Creek Inn became the central building in Jones Park.  The original cabin was expanded too eight rooms to accomodate the "thousands of visitors" headed to Pikes Peak.


Date of Birth = 1873

Date of Birth = 1872

How Old Was Edith?

Her death certificate lists her date of birth as 1873. 

And, her tombstone lists her date of birth as 1872. 

She may have been 17 years old on the date of her homestead and 16 years old on the date she began “working the land.”

Edith stated that she was two years younger than Edwin, born in 1872,  in the Census of 1920. 

The death certificate appears to be in the handwriting of Edwin.  However, he may not have known with certainty her year of birth as the headstone is different.


Transcript of Homestead Act (1862) CHAP. LXXV. —An Act to secure Homesteads to actual Settlers on the Public Domain. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

That any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who shall have filed his declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and who has never borne arms against the United States Government or given aid and comfort to its enemies, shall, from and after the first January, eighteen hundred and. sixty-three, be entitled to enter one quarter section or a less quantity of unappropriated public lands, upon which said person may have filed a preemption claim, or which may, at the time the application is made, be subject to preemption at one dollar and twenty-five cents, or less, per acre; or eighty acres or less of such unappropriated lands, at two dollars and fifty cents per acre, to be located in a body, in conformity to the legal subdivisions of the public lands, and after the same shall have been surveyed: Provided,
That any person owning and residing on land may, under the provisions of this act, enter other land lying contiguous to his or her said land, which shall not, with the land so already owned and occupied, exceed in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres.


What is interesting is that Edith was likely one of the youngest woman land owners in the United States and in El Paso County.  If in fact she was 17 years old at the time of the claim, she was not of legal capacity. 

12% of all the settlers under the Homestead Act were women.

  Edwin Mining Bio

Edwin worked for various mining companies as a superintendent.  The Giles family moved to Cripple Creek in 1900.

In 1907 the Giles family moved to Goldfiled, NV.  Edwin worked as a surveor, assay





Gold Rush of Edwin Giles

"the report of Edwin S. Giles, United States mineral surveyor from Goldfield who declared that he stood five feet from the boy's mine and saw surface rock covered with gold."


The Weepah, Nevada Mining Boom of 1927

Goldfield, Nevada, was arguably the last real US gold rush of this century - at least in terms of overall production, which was significant. However, the argument can be made that when limited production is considered in the context of “gold fever” (acting like a magnet to attract one thousand and more people to a remote area of the Nevada desert) then the Weepah Hill rush of 1927 represents the last real gold rush in the US to date.

This little-known area is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada, and Weepah was about eighteen miles Southwest of Tonopah. Weepah is particularly significant for researchers, as it was the first real “auto camp” - where people lived and slept in their vehicles.




Odd Shop Antique Store

Hacienda and Giles Street, Las Vegas, Nevada

The Giles Family house in Goldfield was moved to Las Vegas in 1955.  The house bacame a business selling antiques and other valuables. 

Edith "DeDe" Barcus operated the house as the "Odd Shop" while in Las Vegas.  One of her famous customers was Liberace who purchased jewelry from her.

Today, the house, have been moved yet again, is part of the Heritage area of Las Vegas.  See the video.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqbHuZ46648

 "In the late 1800s, Edwin Giles, a mining engineer and surveyor, and his wife Edith traveled from the East to Colorado. Their daughter, Edith, was born in 1894.

The family moved to Golfield, Nevada in 1907. Edwin and Edith lived in many types of dwellings, but always tried to maintain an air of gentility in their home. Mrs Giles had persian rugs for elegance and Edwin had a portable, rubber lined bathtub. They settled into this 26-by-24-foot cottage in 1928.

This house, built around 1924, is of simple construction. Wooden boards were covered in tarpaper and cloth. It is really just one main room with a bathroom. The bathroom has a pedistan sink, maroon tile counter, a toilet and walk-in shower. The windows opened sideways to allow air flow.

The house remained in Goldfield until 1955. At that time, daughter Edith and her husband Clyde Barcus moved to Las Vegas and brought the house with them. It was placed at the corner of Hacienda and Giles Streets, just south and east of what is now the Tropicana and Mandalay Bay Hotel/Casinos. For many years Edith used it as an antique and collectable store named 'Odd Shop Antiques'.

When Edith died in 1984, she had made provisions for her home to be preserved at the museum for the education and enjoyment of our visitors."



Giles in Goldfield
  Edwin & Edith Giles