Frank H. Loud,Jones Park, Louds Cabin, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Fez Bryant


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History of Jones Park and the Colorful Characters

that Pioneered the Cheyenne Canyon 

 Colorado Springs, Colorado 





History of Frank H. Loud





Frank Herbert Loud (1852-1927)

B.A. Amherst 1873   M.A. Harvard 1899   Ph.D. Haverford 1900

Colorado College President Edward Tenney recruited Loud to Colorado Springs from Boston in 1877 to be the first head of the department of mathematics.  Tenney's involvement in  fraudulent land speculation in the Seven Lakes area led to his ouster as the President of Colorado College.  Loud may have discovered the Jones Park area during a trip with Tenney.

As a classmate of Melvil Dewey, Loud set up the Colorado College library system and the Dewey system was used until 1987 when conversion to Library of Congress began. 

In 1878, a solar eclipse that was best observed in Colorado and Wyoming was to occur.  Colorado College did not have a telescope, or funds to participate, but Loud worked with astronomers coming to Colorado and ultimately obtained a telescope.   Despite no experience, his observations were the start of high altitude astronomy in the west.  The eclipse was the beginning of a career in astornomy for Loud and led to his setup of the Colorado College Wolcott Observatory.

Loud's 1880 textbook, An Introduction to Geometry upon the Analytical Plan, began the tradition of textbook writing by CC faculty members. He continued to make a number of mathematical contributions in research papers.

Loud formed the Colorado Meteorological Association, which had its headquarters at the College's Meteorological Observatory.  Loud was employed by the US Weather Bureau and provided data from stations on Pikes Peak, Clyde, Jones Park and Colorado Springs.

From May 1899 to Jan. 1900, Nikola Tesla moved to Colorado Springs to conduct experiments involving wireless energy.  He set up a laboratory in the vicinity of Kiowa and Foote Street in a large barn like structure.  Part of Tesla’s research involved sending radio waves into space using an amplifier.  During one of these experiments, Tesla used a crude radio telescope to listen to any response from outer space.  He heard the famous: “one, two three ..” that he interpreted as possibly coming from Mars sometimes called the "Mars signals".

At the time, Loud was a pre-eminent astronomer in the western United States, and certainly in Colorado Springs.  Loud was developing an observatory in the Nob Hill area of Colorado Springs within blocks of Tesla’s laboratory.   Both Loud and Tesla were well known in the scientific community and were often published in the same publications.  The librarian of Colorado College, Manly D. Ormes, described Tesla’s laboratory in an article in the Gazette in 1924 indicating that scientists from Colorado College had toured Tesla’s laboratory.

There is some logic to believe that Tesla would have consulted the pre-eminent astronomer in the area concerning what he heard from his radio telescope.  Of course, Loud would have been at some disadvantage as the radio, amplifier, and radio telescope had not yet been invented.  Perhaps, Loud, the mathematician, had the same reaction as the Gazette, in believing Tesla to have gone mad and that he was telling the biggest lie possible.  Unfortunately, there is no evidence of any actual meeting between Tesla and Loud.  Tesla was an eccentric, and Loud extremely shy. If they did in fact meet, one can only imagine what sort of stilted, and awkward, conversations they might have had.

In any event, Colorado Springs was spared the label as the first place contacted by unidentified aliens from outer space.   Tesla, believing he had found the answer to transmitting electricity without wires, lost interest in the aliens and hastily left for New York to construct his newest invention.   

Who knows what Loud though or knew, but he likely kept anything said, to himself, to avoid the public ridicule Tesla endured. 

By 1903, Loud set up the Nob Hill Observatory on a hill to the east of Colorado Springs.  The special Cooke lens provided photography for the telescope.  Loud sold stock in the observatory that was to provide detailed images shot at high altitude.  Unfortunately, the caretaker, Lew Warriner doused the floor with coal oil, set the observatory on fire, then shot himself. 

On his retirement in 1907, Loud continued to live in Colorado Springs (1203 N. Tejon St.) and to pursue his meteorological and astronomical work.

In 1918, Loud led the observation of another solar eclipse in Colorado.

See: 128 page History of Loud by Steve Ruskin who is the expert on Loud's history:

Advancing Astornomy on the American Frontier: The Career of Frank Herbert Loud by Steve Ruskin

 Colorado College: Frank Loud

"Lew H. Warriner, caretaker of the Stellar Observatory for Prof. Frank H. Loud of Colorado College, committed suicide early to-day by shooting himself, after having first soaked the floors of the observatory with coal oil and fired it in three places."


Below: the Louds Cabin "Chipmunk Lodge". (Pictured: 2009).



Below: Believed location of the "Ruby Gleam".  (Pictured: 2009).
Below: The flimsiest evidence, literally, is the shells engraving into the tin.  Perhaps, the Simkins sisters did this in the 1900s. 
(Pictured: 2013).

John “Fez” Bryant (1908-1974). Bryant was a local jazz musician who worked at the Colorado Springs Music Company and entertained six days a week at the Shakey’s Pizza Parlor at 408 E. Fillmore Street until his death. Bryant played ukelele, banjo, saxaphone, drums, and piano and formed a trio in the 1930s with Max and John MacDonald. His nickname “Fez” was derived from “professor.”

Below: the remains of the cabin that was once 1 1/2 stories tall (location confirmed by Tom Bishop and others).  (Pictured: 2013).

 “Fez” Bryant, use the cabin as a practice location during the late 1950s.  Fez was known to have placed graffiti on the walls and throughout the cabin. 

Below: Duct still on site , showing "Fez" graffiti. (Pictured: 2013).


Below: Note the "FEZ" and the dates '58 and "59 on left metal.  At the top, Fez Bryant. (Pictured: 2013).

Below: Relics in the two dumps north of the cabins: old shovel head and pots with handles (Pictured 2013).

Parts (Pictured: 2013).

Wall at possible site of original Louds cabin (2013)