AspenPointe traces its roots to 1875. It is the genesis of 16 organizations which emerged through two primary lineages: Family Counseling Center of Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak Mental Health Clinic.
1871 Colorado Springs is founded as a resort destination for tourists visiting the American West, almost at the foot of Pikes Peak, and close to the Garden Of The Gods, Cave Of The Winds, and Seven Falls. Inspired by the Rocky Mountains of the region and orchards and agriculture in Colorado's supported by irrigation in arid plains to the east region, Katharine Lee Bates, an English professor from the eastern states, pens "America The Beautiful" here. ("Oh, purple mountains majesty above the fruited plains...")
Area founder General William Jackson Palmer (left), a Civil War hero, is the engineer-in-charge of building a railroad line for the Kansas Pacific Railroad from Kansas City to Denver. (He later establishes the narrow-gauge Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, a critically- important part of Colorado's history.)
Colorado Springs is successfully marketed as a destination for tuberculosis patients due to its dry climate and thin air because of the high altitude.
1872 City of Colorado Springs is incorporated. Three years later, on March 3, 1875, the United States Congress passes an "enabling act" specifying the requirements for the Territory of Colorado to become a state. On August 1, 1876 (28 days after the Centennial of the United States), U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signs a proclamation admitting the State of Colorado to the Union as the 38th state and earning it the moniker "Centennial State."
Family Counseling Center of Colorado Springs
1875 Colorado Springs Relief Society becomes the first organization in the area to care for the "needy poor" by providing food, clothing and coal to destitute families.
1887 "Compassion" is added to the basics of food, clothing and coal. The organization name is changed to Women's Aid Society.
1890 The organization becomes known as the Colorado Springs Aid Society and is a hub for those interested in helping and those who were in need of help. Its purpose is to "aid the poor, the homeless, and the sick of the city and, so far as possible, to obtain employment for the able to work."
1898 The need for a more formal organization and the need to employ a paid agent results in a name change to Associated Charities. Work opportunities are added to other services provided.
1946 Associated Charities becomes known as Family Services of Colorado Springs. The focus shifts to helping families reunite and meet post-war challenges.
1960 Name is changed once more to Family Counseling Services of Colorado Springs.
Pikes Peak Mental Health Clinic
1929 Bemis Taylor Child Guidance Clinic -- the first child guidance clinic to be established west of the Mississippi -- is established. It addresses serious social problems experienced by many because of the Depression, widespread unemployment, and the resulting problems of families torn apart. It is funded, in large part, by an endowment from Ms. Alice Bemis Taylor*. (Portrait by Walter Blakelock Wilson)
1939 Name is changed to Colorado Springs Child Guidance Clinic. The clinic closes during World War II and reopens in 1946.
1963 Major mental health reform begins in Colorado and across the country. The Comprehensive Community Mental Health Centers Act is passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President John F. Kennedy. Monies are made available for staffing and construction of centers throughout the country. Patients are moved out of state mental hospitals to receive care in their communities rather than in institutions.
1964 The Colorado Springs Child Guidance Clinic officially becomes Pikes Peak Mental Health Clinic.
The Two Entities Merge
1970 Family Counseling and Pikes Mental Health Clinic merge to become Pikes Peak Family Counseling and Mental Health Center to establish a more comprehensive mental health center by consolidating family counseling and mental health.
1978 Name changes to Pikes Peak Mental Health Center.
1974 Workout Ltd. is founded. Its organizational philosophy acknowledges that when a crime is committed, harm is done directly to the victims and community, and this harm must be repaired in order for the victim to begin moving past the incident. Offenders are encouraged to take accountability, restore damaged relationships and repair harm caused by their crime.
1997 Connect Care, a managed services organization, and Pikes Peak Foundation for Mental Health are established.
2004 Pikes Peak Integrated Solutions is created. It provides human resources, legal, accounting/finance, information technology and marketing/communications services to Pikes Peak Mental Health,
2005 Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group is established to serve as umbrella organization encompassing Pikes Peak Mental Health Center,
2010 Pikes Peak Behavioral Health Group is rebranded as AspenPointe to help the community better understand its breadth of services and how they are connected. All organizations now carry the AspenPointe moniker: AspenPointe Health Services, AspenPointe Enterprises, AspenPointe Health Network, AspenPointe TeleCare, etc.
*Alice Bemis Taylor was born Alice Bemis in Newton, Mass., in 1877. She descended from high-spirited pioneers who sailed to America from England on a ship called the "Angel Gabriel." The ship hit strong winds and sank off the coast of Maine in 1625. Taylor's maternal ancestor, John Cogswell, and his family were literally washed ashore.
She grew up in Colorado Springs at 506 N. Cascade Avenue – just across the street from where the headquarters of AspenPointe now resides. At that time, Colorado Springs was a small resort community. There were no paved roads and fewer than 100 telephones. People rode in horse-drawn buggies, in runabouts, and occasionally in a "four-in-hand."
Young Alice Bemis, from a prominent New England family on her mother's side and pioneering "Yankee Trader" stock on her father's side, was accepted into the town's best social circle.
In 1903, she married Frederick Morgan Pike Taylor, a wealthy young man described as an outdoorsman and a sportsman. After building a home on Colorado Springs' Millionaire's Row at 1238 Wood Ave., the Taylors began a life of social service and community philanthropy.
Alice Bemis Taylor listed architecture as a hobby in Colorado's Who's Who. She was often directly involved with the architects and builders who executed her contributions of community buildings. They began with the Child Day Care Center at 104 E. Rio Grande St., the Colorado College Bemis Hall and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, which was built in 1936 to honor a valuable and extensive collection of western art and memorabilia also donated by Mrs. Taylor. The Taylor Library at Colorado College and the Bemis Art School were endowed by the Taylor family as well.
A collection of her correspondence – some 290 manuscripts and letters of British and a few American poets and writers – are on display at the Special Collections section of Colorado College's Tutt Library. The pieces are alphabetically arranged in two folio-size volumes bound in red morocco. The collection also contains a large number of portraits, including an etching by Callot with Thomas Gray's ownership inscription.