Fountain Valley News - Your Hometown Community Newspaper

Articles written by Mel Mcfarland

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 By Mel McFarland    Community 

An "Almost" Bad Accident

I recently found an old Colorado Springs newspaper report of an exciting incident which occurred on the Midland line in the Ute Pass in 1890. If you have driven the pass, you know... — Updated 9/15/2021


A Special Train

When I worked at the cog railway, every summer we had special groups. Sometimes they even filled a train. The parking lot was lined with tour buses for companies from somewhere in t... — Updated 9/8/2021


An Odd Train

Over between Aspen and Glenwood Springs, starting in the 1890s the two local railroads ran a most unusual train. The Laundry Train was run over the D&RG and the Colorado Midland.... — Updated 9/1/2021


Railroad Cars Broken Into

In 1892, all of the interest in getting to Cripple Creek was at Florissant. Lots of adventures happened there. This disappointing adventure brought up the Sheriff from Colorado... — Updated 8/25/2021


The New Cog Train Opens

On May 20, the first of the regular runs to the top of Pikes Peak left the station in Manitou Springs. The red trains are making regular trips up the new Strub System tracks after... — Updated 6/1/2021


Hole in the Mountain

I know a bunch of you know something about this hole. I have been asked about it several times over the years. I recently heard another story about it. There is a tunnel up on... — Updated 11/17/2020


Another Road Plan

The road I'm going to talk about today is actually well-known to all of us. The story I'm telling today is how it upset our community! After World War II the country was growing as... — Updated 10/14/2020


The Scenic Road

There was a plan for a new road that I find quite interesting. Not that the whole idea was different from other roads, but the plan had some interesting qualities. Before I get too... — Updated 10/7/2020


A Pioneer

Back in 1950, an event took place to mark the passing of one of the area's most historic citizens. Her name was Mrs. Irene Benedict, and she is probably unknown to all of you.... — Updated 9/30/2020


At the Race Track

Well, no, not that race track. Starting in the early 1950s, Colorado Springs had a drag strip. Some of the early racers wanted a safer place to test their cars off city streets. Now... — Updated 8/26/2020


Down at the Station

I like talking about the railroads. I often point out that in 1908, more people got on and off trains in Colorado Springs than at the airport in 2008. Today I’d like to show what... — Updated 8/19/2020



You might not expect great changes after World War II, but some things did improve that you might not have expected. During the war there were a number of hardships the public... — Updated 8/5/2020


A "Modern" Problem

First, let me say I am so happy the library is open again! I went and was quite surprised to see it was quite empty. I thought it might be as full as they will let it be! Anyway, I... — Updated 7/29/2020



An interesting situation came up in a recent Facebook posting. The subject was railroading, of course, but the question was on the name of a certain location. In the old days, much... — Updated 7/22/2020


Mystery Cash

This tale came to mind recently. A person who never heard it may get a bit of amusement out of it. It gets quite involved, and as far as I know, has never been solved. The men, whos... — Updated 7/15/2020


A Wanden Story

You may not remember Wanden La Farge, who was Fountain's mayor during World War II. I remember her quite well. I recently found a 1939 story about her writing skills. I even have... — Updated 7/8/2020


Skelton Ranch

A couple years ago I talked a bit about the Skelton Ranch as an early dude ranch. The Skelton Ranch was a mystery to me except for an old post card from "Balanced Rock" on Skelton R... — Updated 7/1/2020


The Bates Ranch

This story dates from the late 1930s, when an interesting bit of history was made public. The ranch, near present-day Security, had been settled in the early days of the Civil War.... — Updated 6/24/2020


Still Here?

Things progress. Little by little we can do the things we like to do, but not in a group! Interesting, but I thought I would reflect a bit today. Yes, I am still here. I have had a... — Updated 6/17/2020


The Weather Station

Recently I was on the top of Pikes Peak as they laid the new cog railway’s first rails. The site is just by the last remaining part of the original Summit House. The first... — Updated 6/10/2020


The Front Range

In the 1860s, there was a boom and a recession in Colorado. The boom started with the discovery of gold in Cherry Creek at what became parts of Denver. In the 1860s, the need for... — Updated 5/27/2020


Famous Places

So what makes someplace famous? I have recently talked about our local attractions and tourists. I spent nearly four years in the Air Force, mainly near a famous little town in... — Updated 5/20/2020


Entertainment on wheels

With the events of the past couple months, I was thinking about how it was a hundred years ago. Yes, in the days long before radio and television, entertainment was quite different... — Updated 5/6/2020


Staying Home

Well, I must admit times are curious! I usually talk about the past, but here we are in times that are certainly different. I wonder what they will say about us in a hundred years!... — Updated 4/15/2020



In the 20-some years that I have been doing this column, we have seen a lot of changes. Main Street is just one place that has changed a lot, especially on the south end, but my... — Updated 4/1/2020


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