COBWEB CORNERS: Have you been to Denver?
By Mel McFarland
Sure, you say. You see the Windmill? How about the old coal mines? I was recently in Denver. I walked around the town square, saw the windmill, the garage, store, and two old churches. I covered the town in about half an hour! There were a few cars to be seen, and I did not have to search out a parking space; there were plenty at the windmill.
This Denver is over 250 years old. The windmill was built in 1835, and it ground corn and grain until 1941 when lightning knocked a couple of the sails off. It was restored after the war and today is the big attraction in town. So you never saw it. I guess you never went to King's Lynn, Swaffham or Wisbeck either. Those names not familiar? Well it is in England, about a hundred miles northeast of London. I have been there a couple times, having friends that live not far away. They were really excited the first time I visited to show me their Denver. I kind of like it. It is about the size of Divide. Years ago the principal at Midland School was named Denver.
I have also been to the Denver in West Virginia, where they have a lot of closed coal mines. Then there are ones in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and a fistful of others. Ours was named for a Kansas politician. There are even two other Cripple Creeks and eighteen other Victors, and one other well known Florissant and Goldfield. The Florissant is in Missouri and the Goldfield in Nevada. So, two Colorado Citys in this state only add to the problem.
As I talked about a while back, we remember names but sometimes forget why something has that name. Many towns in the West have names like towns in the East because someone who started the town may have come from that town back east. The person who gave it the name may not have known that the other town may have carried a name from Europe or England. Many times there was a New at the start of the name; sometimes not.
In England this happened too. There are some fun names. In an area you might find two or even four with the same central word, but one might be lesser, greater, upper, lower, or such. My favorite is Great Snoring, but I have never been there at night to see!