COBWEB CORNERS: A mystery street from the early days
By Mel McFarland
There are various tales of the streets of Colorado City. A long time back, I told a bit about this street, so let's look at it again (without revealing its name just yet). When Colorado City was just a wide spot on the Ute Pass Road - or the Front Range Trail, to use a modern term - there was mainly one east-west street in town. The second street was probably this street.
When Manitou was started in 1872, one of the next logical steps was to connect with the railroad. The Denver and Rio Grande was busy building south to Pueblo, and Manitou was not going to get a railroad anytime soon! It would not be for some five years before anything was done on it. Dr. William A. Bell, General Palmer's close associate, was behind building the line, for too many reasons to cover here. I already told the story of the arrival of President Grant, so anyway the line was built. The Rio Grande tried to avoid building along Fountain Creek, even though in the Red Rocks area they could not, and as soon as the line was built a flood washed it out!
Colorado City was well above the creek, south of the business district (if you could call it that). There was a street, but it was only lightly used, and tracks would not be a problem. A little station was built - a location now long lost, but probably near today's 25th or 26th streets. It was not until the Midland arrived in 1886 that things got popping. The town grew south and that street became busier. It was known then as Washington Street. Along it a few businesses dealing with construction popped up as well as newly added warehouses. Along several blocks houses appeared. In one block in particular these were smaller, cheap houses.
In the 1890s things were really bustling in town, and the town wanted a new railroad station. The Rio Grande station was now in the "industrial" part of town and the citizens thought a better spot might be found; plus, some of these houses had new residents which caused concern for some of the business leaders in town. Tune in next week for more on this street's history!