COBWEB CORNERS: The story of Old Pots

By Mel McFarland

       Over in Manitou, a hundred years ago, the town was filled all summer with tourists. All winter it was empty. Today I thought I would share a story that goes along with some of the characters that you could find over there.
       There was a lady potter who traveled up from New Mexico, just where is unknown, but she brought up Indian style pottery. She had a wagon, like a medicine show, but it was mainly her traveling home, gallery and store. On the side it merely said "Pots," and had pictures of her wares. She would deliver pottery each spring that had been ordered the previous summer. Occasionally she would have a customer disappear over the winter, so there were extras. Sometimes she would even set up on grassy lawns and do a few pots right there. She had long dark hair, a tan, and looked like an Indian. On one occasion someone added "Old" in the dust on the side of the wagon. She and her customers thought it rather funny, and she had an artist make it official.
       She was an interesting lady, usually traveling alone, but it was said she had daughters all over the west, one in Colorado Springs. She reportedly had nerves of steel. On one occasion while traveling in the mountains on a quiet afternoon ride a mountain lion strolled across the road in front of her wagon. Neither the lady nor her horse lost a step.
       There was a tale that years before she had worked on a ship, and that she would have loved to be a sea captain, but a hundred years ago that was out of the question. As a bit of a sideline, have you ever heard of Captain Jack? She was a grizzled old gal who lived in Manitou for a while in the 1870s and later lived up on the High Drive near Jones Park. She would regale the traveling tourists with all sorts of tales and even shooting exhibitions.
       On the other hand "Old Pots" moved from the area, and was gone a few years, but she returned, continuing her trade with the shops along Manitou Boulevard into the 1920s. She finally traded her wagon for a Model T Ford, but it was modified to use the same old wagon body. If you have Indian style pots from old Manitou, you might want to see if it is signed, "Old Pots."