This postcard shows off what is quite possibly the most awesome city park in the United States, if not the world, and gives the Burlington Route the opportunity to brag that it was donated to the city of Colorado Springs by Burlington’s former president, Charles Perkins. Perkins ran the railroad for twenty years before selling it to James J. Hill for $200 a share, a $60 premium over its market price, in 1904.
Unfortunately, whoever colored this card had never seen Colorado’s “red rocks,” which are in fact more orange than red, as shown in the photo below by Colorado Springs photographer Dave Soldano (who is nice enough to put his photos on Flickr with a Creative Commons license). The rocks are even pinkish in this photo of the same scene, taken at a different time of day.
The postcard below was issued by Burlington, but the photo on which it is based was commissioned by the Great Northern. In 1905. Louis Hill saw an exhibit by Portland photographer Fred Kiser at the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition. He was so impressed that he offered Kiser a private railcar, outfitted with a darkroom, if he would take photos of what would become Glacier National Park. Kiser spent six summers there, and a 1909 exhibit of his photos in Washington DC is credited with helping to persuade Congress to designate Glacier a park in 1910.
This particular photo is dated 1912 and was reprinted in many black-and-white photo postcards (such as the one below) before Burlington published this colored version. There are many recent photos of Morning Eagle Falls on the web, but none are taken from the same angle as Kiser’s; this one perhaps comes closest. The person standing in the foreground of the Burlington postcard was added by the colorist, as no one is in Kiser’s original photo.