COBWEB CORNERS: Diner stories and the wrong-way ride

By Mel McFarland

       This column has a few stories about eating establishments. One has to do with a diner I'm trying to find out about. It was on Colorado Avenue, down in the 600 block. I have seen a picture of it, but it must not have lasted long. As a kid, I remember George's Pet Supply in this spot. Looking in an old City Directory, I did find an earlier listing which could have been the diner. A gas station was there in the 1930s and '40s. A lot of diners were at gas stations. This diner, which used a street car body, I think, is still being difficult to find.
       Another diner worth recalling was on North Nevada Avenue, just north of the bridge over the Rock Island railroad tracks. It had either a street car or railroad car body. The odd thing about it was the owner, whose name was McFarland, but was not a relative. I understand the husband worked for the Rock Island railroad and was killed in an accident on the line somewhere. The wife then set up the diner, in the 1940s I think. It was there into the 1960s I am told, but I do not even remember it!
       This next little item I expect happened more than once. In 1913, a fellow rode a train down from Denver. The train, upon reaching the Santa Fe station, had cars bound on the Midland railroad for Leadville and points west. The way it worked back then, a Midland engine from Colorado City would pick up these cars and leave the Santa Fe station a bit after noon. The fellow, knowing his Midland train would be leaving in about an hour, took the opportunity to use the station's dining facility. It was a Fred Harvey Lunch Counter. The Santa Fe used the Harvey system facilities all over their line. It was well known for the food, long before there was a movie about their girls. After his meal, he went back to where his train was sitting and in a few minutes it left. Too late, he realized he'd boarded the wrong part of the train, the part that was going away from Pikes Peak toward Pueblo! His belongings and bags were on their way to Leadville. At Pueblo he was sent back to Colorado Springs, hopefully to rejoin his baggage.