COBWEB CORNERS: Artifacts in front of us

By Mel McFarland

       Over at the History Center, they collect all sorts of artifacts from Old Colorado City. I recently had a note from a neighbor who lives not far from the paper, on Bott. He found something in his yard and got curious - perhaps it was from a business that was on his property. I thought today I would stir up this pot of curiosity.
       How many of you have an old rock garden in your yard? Several items of interest can be found in these gardens, or even in parts of the houses around us. Before they were protected, the rocks in Palmer Park were collected and put in gardens, and used in houses. The rock is not as strong as the red rock quarried over here. It generally has a sandy feel, and crumbles into gravel if you handle it much. Several houses over on Tejon, Weber, Nevada and Cascade were built of this Austin Bluffs or Palmer Park stone, as well as some on Colorado Avenue and Pikes Peak.
       The other item was what the call was about, chunks of green glass! Many of these pieces came from the late-1800s glass factory up the hill in Glass Town. There are still chunks to be found, but as the area gets filled in with houses, these spots are now in people's yards. The fun part was trying to find other colors. I have seen a few pieces that were clear or white, and some from rose to very dark rich red. The dark brown and almost black glass is really rare. I have even seen some incorporated into fireplaces. One had been painted over and was not found until a new owner stripped off the paint and found a gem. As a kid, even in the 1950s, there were places to dig where you could find chunks the size of a soft ball. I have seen them as big as a basket or bowling ball. This was glass from the factory, some of it raw material, some remains after the fires. The glass regularly was seen in rock gardens, but as its value increased it disappeared. I have seen good chunks in antique shops, but not in a long time.
       If you have the remains of a rock garden in your yard, you might find chunks of Colorado City's glass. You might even dig it up in your yard sometimes, like this gentleman did.