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COBWEB CORNERS: The 1921 storm

By Mel McFarland

       This has been a bad weather year for this area, but nothing compared to 1921.
       First was a series of big snowstorms. If you have been in the area very long you should know our worst storms are in the spring. We will have a good one or two in October to the end of the year, and yes, cold weather, but the real snow is in the March to April months.
       In early 1921, the cog railway was already taking people to the summit of the big mountain. Anyone who has a few years experience up there can tell you that is only waiting for the other shoe to drop. In mid-April 1921 it dropped with a thud. The storm started in the evening, right over Colorado Springs. A heavy, wet snow had the roads in every direction closed.
       In 1921 none of the roads were paved yet. The road to Pueblo was closed just south of Fountain. Several carloads of people took shelter at Buttes. To the north, the road to Monument was closed at Breed, where the south border of the Air Force Academy is now. To the east the road was closed between Colorado Springs and Falcon. To the west, you could not get to Manitou, except on the train!
       In the morning people attempted a normal day, but the storm was controlling them. Even the post office gave up mail delivery. There was no radio to tell you the schools were closed. A few teachers who lived near their schools (and most did) were sending home those students who did come in.
       Delivery men were not able to make their rounds. One example was milk deliveries, but an even worse loss was coal, which heated most homes.
       The streetcar company was out with its snow plows working to clear its line, running continuously from the start of the storm.
       It was the next day before the storm eased off. The melting snow then caused some flooding problems on Fountain Creek, but it was the rain in June which really caused major flooding.

(Posted 1/31/14)

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