COBWEB CORNERS: Streetcars: Not just for travel
By Mel McFarland
Did you know there is a home in our midst that is built around a street car? I will not tell you where it is, but those who live there know what I am talking about. You would never know by looking. You can drive right past it and never suspect what is inside the house. It is an old Colorado Springs and Interurban car, but there are others around.
The Street Car museum has one that used to sit behind a house off of Cheyenne Road. For almost 40 years it was a nice little apartment. The people over at the museum hope to have it restored to its 1900s appearance some day. Amazingly, it was never seriously modified. I know some that were.
A streetcar arrived in Fountain in the early 1950s. Denver had taken its yellow street cars out of service, replaced by buses. This car was on its way to serve a different purpose. Over half of its length hung off the back of the trailer. Those lining the streets were amazed that it did not break in half. The truck found its way to Main Street. Once the streetcar was set in place, a very efficient one-bedroom apartment was built inside, without changing the size and shape of the car. The seat stuffings were used for insulation in the walls. The nails and boards were all reused. Nothing was wasted. If you look at it today, there is little to give away its original use. It even has another one stacked on top as a second floor!
In Green Mountain Falls, there is a Colorado Springs streetcar that was a diner for many years. One in Florissant is still part of a restaurant. There were others in Colorado City, but most have been destroyed. The most unusual item used to sit near 19th and Uintah streets. It was a B-29! Years ago, Chambon's Surplus City handled all sorts of strange items, but this was never in the store! I'm not sure where it came from, or where it went when that strip was redeveloped, but I do know that one crashed in the early 1950s near present-day East Middle School.
I can remember other such odd sights around, but most are just memories now. Some of these stories will show up here as I get reminded of them.