Historic town of Morrison and The Morrison Inn
The historic town of Morrison, originally called Mt. Morrison, was conceived and developed in the 1860’s by George Morrison, a stonecutter from Scotland. The original town consisted only of 20 to 25 people, a few houses, & a couple of tents. The town soon grew & became a natural stopping off place for those headed to the mines in South Park & also served the tourists to the Red Rocks area & the workers involved in quarrying the rich local deposits of building materials.
In 1872 a group of Denver businessmen headed by Colorado Governor John Evans incorporated the Denver & South Park Railway and plans were made to build a narrow gauge railroad from Denver to Mt. Morrison. The line was completed in 1874. The Morrison Branch of the Colorado and Southern Railway made four round trips daily from Denver until 1918. The fare was 60 cents round trip. The train made its final “scheduled” run on March 15, 1925. The railway was abandoned after the floods of 1933 since two of its bridges were washed away.
Mt. Morrison became known as Morrison in 1950 and in 1976 was recognized as a Colorado Historical District. The population of Morrison today is 427 people & it is home to many restaurants and antique stores.
The Morrison Inn opened in 1979 in its original location at 301 Bear Creek Avenue. 301 Bear Creek was built ca. 1880 & began as The Pike & Perry Mercantile. It burned in 1919 & the building had to be repaired. Mazie & David O. Gage then operated a dance hall. After the 1938 flood, the Schneider family moved in & ran a drug store business until 1973.
In 1983 The Morrison Inn expanded into 303 & 305 Bear Creek Avenue. 303 & 305 Bear Creek was built ca. 1880 and began as Henry F. Wolf’s Pool Hall, Tobacco and Barber Shop. It then became a mercantile owned by Levi H. McGill in 1892, and 1906 it became the Pike and Perry Mercantile. It was the first filling station to have a one hand pump on the sidewalk to fill cars with gas, this was about 1916.
In 1987 The Morrison Inn opened its outdoor patio area and then in 1991 enclosed half of it into what we now call the sunroom.
In 2002 The Morrison Inn expanded once again into 307 Bear Creek Ave. This added what is now our retail store space and restrooms as well as expanded the patio out back. The building at 307 Bear Creek was built in 1876 by Pete Christenson and originally opened as Pete Christian’s Shop. It was later a shoe store run by Pete Schneider.
As of January 2015, The Morrison Inn will begin its 37th year of business. We began in 1979 serving only 25 meals our first day. We now pour 15,000 gallons of our famous margaritas and serve 50,000 pounds of complementary chips and salsa every year.
Town of Morrison website, Jefferson County Archives and Records, Colorado office of Archaeology & historic Preservation, Memory album Morrison Colorado by Horton & Crain