Pikes Peak Historical Society announces its first Chautauqua series event of 2020: Mel McFarland’s “Wildflower Excursions of the Colorado Midland Railroad.” The free presentation will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16 at Lake George Charter School.

McFarland, a well-known author and historian, writes a monthly column for The Courier, “Caboose Cobwebs.” The Pikes Peak region native will present a slide presentation and host a discussion of the Colorado Midland Railroad’s popular Wildflower Excursions through Eleven Mile Canyon and Lake George.

These trips included flower-picking flowers along the route. Passengers would carry home armloads of wildflowers. The final trip was made in 1919.

The presentation includes advertising photos supplied by the railroad and pictures by the passengers.

McFarland has written two books: “Midland Route on the Colorado Midland” and “Cripple Creek Road on the Midland Terminal.” He has co-authored other books as well as several guides. He also edits the “Colorado Midland Quarterly.”

McFarland grew up near the Midland yards when the Midland Terminal was still running. He served as a volunteer conductor, engineer and track worker on the (since closed) Cadillac and Lake City line. He was a conductor and engineer on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway for 16 years after retiring from teaching.

This presentation is part of PPHS Chautauqua series and is provided as a public service. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. No reservations are required, but for further information, call 719-748-8259 or 719-748-3861. Lake George Charter School is located at 38874 U.S. Highway 24, just East of Lake George.

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