COBWEB CORNERS: The big storm in May of 1904

By Mel McFarland

       I ran across this story in a Colorado City newspaper from May of 1904, which may relate to those wondering if this is going to be another dry summer. I have added information to it, so you can relate to modern places.
       "The worst storm in this section in many years took place Sunday night, Monday and Monday night. Streetcar traffic was seriously interfered with. On the Manitou line the regular heavy cars were used no further than Adams Crossing [near Colorado Avenue and Columbia Road] on account of the soft condition of the roadbed along Fountain Creek. Passengers transferred at Adams Crossing and rode the dinky cars on to Manitou."
       These were the streetcars usually used on Ruxton Avenue that I wrote about April 25.
       "The Denver and Rio Grande and Colorado Midland roads suffered seriously between Colorado City and Manitou. The Rio Grande bridge near Washington Avenue between 9th and 10th was partially washed out."
       That is between 29th and 30th now. The bridge was over Camp Creek.
       "The Midland was washed out so that 100 feet of track was in Fountain Creek. The creek had moved from its regular bed over 200 yards near the Midland's rail yard. The wagon bridge at 11th was washed out, and all the others over it were either damaged or destroyed."
       Those yards were between 21st and 30th. That bridge went to the Colorado-Philadelphia Gold Mill.
       No trains on either railroad ran west of Colorado City for three days, until the bridges could be repaired. An excursion from Chicago was stranded on the Rio Grande at Manitou until the tracks could be repaired. The excursion train was seven Pullman cars and a baggage car. Today that train would be replaced by three or four tour buses!
       In south Colorado Springs, the Short Line's bridge over south Nevada collapsed as a short train was passing over it, and five men were injured, one seriously. A Colorado Midland passenger train had just passed over it.
       Above Cheyenne Canyon, the Short Line had trouble with gravel being washed over the tracks.
       Reports from the summit of Pike's Peak were that the summit house was buried in the snow and that the inhabitants were in darkness.
       Much damage was done to the cog railway by snow and landslides. The cog had opened in late April 1904, a bit early for the season. It seems like every year the cog opened early it would get nailed in May or even June by one of these storms.