COBWEB CORNERS: Introducing 'Cobweb Corners'

       I am Mel McFarland, and on these pages I will occasionally share with you a bit of history. It will not be earth-shaking news, and usually will be odd bits of history that have been swept into a forgotten corner. That is where the name of this column comes from.
       I spent 27 years as a school teacher. History was not my subject. I did, however, get interested in our history. I wrote several books on the railroads of Colorado, like “The Midland Route” about the Colorado Midland, and “Cripple Creek Road” about the Midland Terminal. Now I work on the railroad up Pikes Peak as an engineer and sometimes as a conductor.
       In this column the railroad will appear regularly, but not always. Colorado City will be the subject, mainly, as this was a railroad and gold milling town. You will not find much in it newer than about 1950. Now I do not claim to know it all. I spend a lot of time digging these old cobwebs out. If you have something interesting to share, let me know.
       In this visit, did you ever wonder about why it is School District 11? I came across a list of the school districts in El Paso county in the early 1890's. It is interesting, because at the time what is now Teller County was part of this county. At the time they all came under a county superintendent. Some 40 years ago the majority of them had grown large enough to have taken over some of the adjoining districts, and each had a superintendent. The county superintendent was abolished at about this time.
       Each district covered a community. There were 60 districts in the county. Most of them were one-room schools. District 1 was Colorado City. District 3 is still Widefield. District 12 is Cheyenne. District 13, Florissant, is in Teller County now. District 14 is still Manitou. District 15 was Bijou Basin, northeast of Black Forest; and 20 was then Edgerton - a town on the south part of what is now the Air Force Academy. On the plains, 21 was Eastonville north of Falcon, 22 at Big Sandy near Peyton, and 23 at Peyton, 24 Bierstadt is now part of Falcon. Woodland Park was 31 (now RE-2). Glen Eyrie, just north of the Garden of the Gods was District 35. This short list is enough for now. If this interests you, I hope to see you here next time!

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