Post by Doris McCraw
aka Angela Raines
|Photo from Find a Grave|
Of the many things that Colorado Springs is known for, one of the most unique, given the fact that Colorado Springs sits in a High Plains desert, is that one Col. George De La Vergne had a series of fish ponds.
An article in the local paper, Colorado Springs Gazette, from March 27, 1879, discussed visiting his business. The following is a description of the reporter's visit to these ponds.
"We first saw a pond in which there were about 70 mountain trout, caught by the Col. himself in the mountains, and brought to this place. Other ponds contained about 200 more of these trout. Most of these are two years old, and of good size for eating, but they will be kept for reproducing purposes. They reproduce very rapidly, one female trout laying at least 500 eggs. Near the mountain trout is a hospital where the sick trout are successfully treated on allopathic principles.
A little distance off are three other ponds containing about 1300 brook trout which were bought a few months ago in Denver from a party who had brought them from the East. The brook trout are decidedly the "gamest" of the trout species. We were much interested in seeing them partake of a little lunch of beef liver. Some of them would jump clear out of the water to grab a piece held over the water, while over the long pieces there would be a terrific struggle for full possession between two or three trout who might have hold of it.
Next we went into the nursery, a covered stone building, which was filled with youngsters. There were about 55,000 baby brook trout and 3,500 Lake Trout. It will be about two years before these fish will be large enough to send to market."
Col. De La Vergne was born in New York on October 18, 1800. He died in Colorado Springs, CO. on January 15, 1893, of pneumonia. In his lifetime De La Vergne was more than just a fish farmer, but for Colorado Springs, this was an interesting way to make money.
His son, Edward Morton De La Vergne, is known as one of the first men to invest in what became the Cripple Creek Mining District. His story will follow later.
Until Next Time Stay Safe & Stay Well