COBWEB CORNERS: Relocated house had railroad family
By Mel McFarland
The long trail has to do with the old house looking for a new home. The little house at 2102 W. Colorado Ave., which was moved to 1128 Calvert St. this week, is well known to me. I lived up the street on Kiowa, but I learned about the house when I started looking into the Midland railroad. It had been the home to the Sonnekson family a hundred years ago. Chris Sonnekson worked for the Colorado Midland starting in 1887. He held a variety of jobs over the years, but was an employee all that time until 1920 when the line west of Divide was torn out. There is a picture of him in my “Colorado Midland” book. Some of his children worked on the Midland too,
I met a daughter of his when I was writing my book, and she let me know a bit of the family history. She had even worked on the Colorado Midland's Wildflower Excursion trains as a teenager. She worked in the car where they fixed lunches and drinks. One of the specialties was Manitou water and lemonade made with the water. My mother was in the beauty shop business from the 1940s, and this lady was one of her customers until my mother retired in the 1970s. When this lady left the railroad, they gave her a dining car tablecloth. After she was married, the tablecloth only came out on special occasions, such as when the couple hosted bridge nights! In the 1970s, the couple moved from their home into a small apartment and had to clear out some of their collected valuables. An antique shop helped sell these items.
A close friend of mine called me with a real "find." The tablecloth was for sale. Within the hour it was mine, but I did not know where it came from. A few days later, the lady called me with an interesting offer. She was looking for someone to care for her father's pocket watch. He had used it when he worked on the Midland. Within an hour, we sat at their dining room table and she told me of their move and their disposal of items. They were surprised and happy to hear that I already had the tablecloth.
I sometimes carry the old watch when I do special Colorado Midland talks, and the tablecloth comes out on VERY special occasions too, but I do not play bridge. It is in a picture in my "Colorado Midland" book with pieces of Colorado Midland china and silver on it. These two items spent time in that 2102 W. Colorado house. I hope its new location turns out to be a good one.