COBWEB CORNERS: It has always been like that!
By Mel McFarland
I collect postcards and old pictures. It has been interesting over the years tracking down old pictures. Like John Fielder, the Denver photographer, I have looked for old picture locations, mainly from right around here.
As I research a spot, I am often asked "Watcha doin?" I usually show whoever asks the old picture I am checking. I have seen children look at an old scene and say, "It never looked like that." But they never saw it when it did. When I give programs about the area's history, I sometimes hear a bit of disbelief when I show a then- and-now photo. Sometime I even find myself amazed as I locate the modern version of an old picture.
When I read old newspapers, I find mention of this or that and it stirs a memory that often winds up on this page. I still find interesting stories about many of the industries here in Colorado City. We had several breweries, the bottle works, paint factory, brick-making kilns and a plaster works. Many of these were south of Colorado along the Denver & Rio Grande railroad, which ran freight trains west to Colorado City until the 1940s. You may have read my stories, or the one a while back about Clark's gas station.
A hundred years ago the big news was the stove and furnace factory. I checked the old newspapers, and the ads never said where the plant was. The old phone books and directories did not tell either. FINALLY, I found reference to a location. It was on South 23rd at Vermijo. This was near the Rio Grande's Colorado City station. The railroad had several yard tracks that reached a plaster works and a brick kiln in that area. The Conoco bulk plant on 21st was built about that time too. The pictures of the stove factory do not match anything standing in the area now; it may have burned down. That is yet for me to find as I read the old papers.
In my collection, I still have pictures of buildings and hills that look familiar, but I just have not nailed down exactly where they are located. Years ago I put such a picture in one of the Denver papers because I did not know where in Colorado it might be. I got five answers, all different, and went looking. In the end, four were wrong. The one that was right was the fifth on the list to check!