Coming to the Pike's Peak region in 1859, Lewis N. Tappan, along with several other town promoters, met in Denver City and organized the Colorado City Town Company on August 11, 1859, founding Colorado City on August 12. A few days later, on August 15, 1859, Tappan and many of the same eager town promoters organized the El Paso Claim Club, a vigilante form of civil government, to record real estate claims and settle land disputes. Tappan not only became the Town Company's director, secretary, and treasurer, but he also became the Claim Club's director, secretary, and recorder.
As with other early entrepreneurs in Colorado City, Lewis N. Tappan and his brother, George H. Tappan, not only owned and operated a general store in Colorado City, but also operated a store in Denver. In the summer of 1860, the two brothers opened their store after constructing the first frame building in the town--two stories high.
Although Lewis Tappan was active within the business community of Colorado City and El Paso County, Tappan still found time to explore the surrounding area. In 1859, Tappan, Anthony Bott, George Bute, M.S. Beach, A.D. Richardson, several people from Golden City, and several women hiked to the summit of Pike's Peak, taking several days. At the summit, the hikers found evidence of others having reached the summit. Records indicate the members of the Lawrence, Kansas, prospecting party hiked to the summit in the summer of 1858.