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Turning Back the Pages


30 years ago – February 14, 1986

Starting this week, petitions are beginning to be circulated for those people seeking office to represent the city of Black Hawk. On April 1, an election will be held for Black Hawk residents to select a mayor and six city council members. They each will be elected to serve a four year term in office. Petitions can only be circulated from February 10 to February 28 so they can be filed no later than 30 days before the election. Each petition should contain the name and address of the candidate seeking office. To be nominated for mayor or councilman, candidates must obtain no less than 10 signatures from registered voters residing in the city of Black Hawk. According to the Colorado statutes, “no registered elector (voter) shall sign more than one nomination petition for each separate office to be filled in his municipality…” In other words, it is the voter’s responsibility to sign only one petition for the position of mayor and no more than six petitions for city council. Petitions are open for public inspection after they have been filed. The last day to register to vote in the election is March 7. Residents who are not already registered to vote can register at the Gilpin County Courthouse or at Black Hawk City Hall. The Black Hawk election is only open to those registered voters who reside within the city limits of Black Hawk.

Nancy Sandrock, a Republican, has thrown her hat into the ring for the office of Gilpin County Commissioner. She filed a paper in the courthouse Tuesday saying she will seek the District #2 seat. She will formally announce her candidacy at the Republican’s Lincoln Day Dinner on February 28.

Judy Dornbrock, a Democrat, wants to become Gilpin County’s Clerk & Recorder and is running for that office in this fall’s elections. The current Clerk & Recorder, Judy Smith, has announced that she will not seek re-election to another four year term. Dornbrock has worked in the Clerk’s office since April 1980, so she is no stranger to its duties. “It’s an interesting job,” she says, “and I feel I’m good at it.” Dornbrock is first deputy in the office, second only to Smith.

During January, Bill, Kay, and Jeff Lorenze visited Helen B. Warren in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the wife of the late Royal Warren. They owned the Lone Star Ranch in Gilpin County that was originally the Eccker and Rohling homestead. Bill Lorenz said that she is now 83 years old and is “doing well.” She lives in the Tandy Lane Retirement Home which he said is very nice.

Viola Laird is at Christopher House, in Denver, and would appreciate hearing from her friends.

Ruth M. Blake, of Black Hawk, died February 5, 1986. Mass of Christian Burial was said February 8 at St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church in Central City. Burial was in Dory Hill Cemetery. She was born December 12, 1908, in Montreal, Canada. She came to Black Hawk as a young girl with her parents Lillian and Edward Miller. January 2, 1932, she married Otto Blake. He preceded her in death in 1982, shortly after they celebrated their 50th anniversary. Ruth and Otto Blake owned and operated the Gilpin Hotel from 1945 to 1951. They also owned and operated the Corner Grocery, located where the First Interstate Bank of Golden-Gilpin County facility is located now. She was a very active and interesting person. She served on the Black Hawk City Council for several terms, the Black Hawk School Board and was a life-long member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Above all, she was a dedicated mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. A very fitting tribute to her is, “Mothers never die, they just move in with God and keep house in the sky.” She is mourned by daughters Dolores Spellman, Elizabeth Branecki, and Linda Armbright, six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and countless friends.

60 years ago – February 17, 1956

A bishop was taken to a fashionable party at which all the women’s gowns were cut very low. “Have you ever seen such a sight?” asked his hostess. “Not,” answered the bishop, “since I was weaned.”

The streets are snowy and slippery and still the “beautiful” continues to drop its white mantle here. Mrs. Rose Miller fell in front of her home on the ice Saturday morning, incurring a broken arm. We want just a little bit of warm weather to melt the ice that is now under the snow, and allow us to negotiate the slippery streets without breaking our precious necks or other parts of our anatomy.

The funeral services of Mrs. Mabel Richards, whose death was recorded in last week’s paper, was held Saturday afternoon at the Methodist Church, services being conducted by Rev. Hawks. She was born in Clifton, Michigan, and was eight years of age when she came with her parents to Central City, where they occupied a house on the site of the court house on Eureka Street. She was married to Charles O. Richards in 1898, whose death occurred in 1940. She had been a member of the Methodist Church for the past 65 years and was the pipe organist there for over 25 years, and a member of the Eastern Star for 52 years. She was a most philanthropic woman, and her death will be mourned by all who knew her. She is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Luella Fritz, of Black Hawk and Mrs. Helen Dull, of Meeker; one son, Wilbur, of Syracuse, N.Y.; a brother, Wilbur Rule of Grand Junction, Colorado; and two sisters, Beatrice Del Laughter, of California, and Maude Ludwig, of Englewood, also several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

There is little of personal interest in this column due to wintry blasts and snowy roads during the past week. Talking about snow, County Commissioner Wm. Grenfell tells me that over 50 inches of snow is piled on the roads between Tolland and East Portal, and it is almost impossible for the grader to make a path to the latter place, and children attending school in Rollinsville from East Portal are taken down each morning on the handcar along the Moffat Road. County Commissioner Art Crow, of Rollinsville, has made herculean efforts in keeping this road open, but it is almost impossible due to weather conditions.

90 years ago – February 19, 1926

Mr. Orren Allen, of East Portal was initiated into the mysteries of the Elks Lodge on Monday evening last, and at the close of the work all present enjoyed a banquet which had been prepared for the occasion. The lodge had as visitors that evening Mr. James Daley, of East Portal, T.R. Hennahan, deputy mine inspector, of Denver, Mr. Woodward, Will McCallister, editor Dobbins, of the Gazette, and Thomas McGrath and son of Idaho Springs.

Miss Florence Mills came up from Denver Saturday evening on a short visit with her parents, returning on Sunday.

Henry P. Altvater and wife returned from Denver Thursday evening, where the former had been interviewing a dentist, and enjoying that gentleman’s mode of operations.

Mr. Collin Becker came up from the city of lights Tuesday evening on a visit with his sister and family, and to look after mining interests.

Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Teller were passengers to Denver Wednesday morning on business matters.

Mrs. Thomas Davey, of Central City, and daughter Mrs. Oscar Bolitho, of Denver, were Sunday guests of Mrs. Grace Waters.

By Nellie Maxwell: How to Make Parisian Sandwich Filling: Soak one cupful on prunes overnight, drain, remove the stones and put through a meat chopper with one cupful each of dates and figs. Add enough orange juice to make a paste that will spread easily. Butter graham or whole wheat bread and spread with the filling. This will keep some time if covered and is very good for a cake filling.

“The Fighting Heart,” in seven reels, a special all-star production, and a Fox News reel will be the pictures shown at the Opera House Saturday evening, February 20th.

120 years ago – February 14, 1896

Train 51, of the Gulf, bound for the Loop, was blown bodily from the track near Georgetown on Sunday at 12:10. At Fisher’s Gulch, one quarter of a mile on this side of the station, the strong wind blowing through Clear Creek Canyon met the blast shrieking from the pass leading from Silver Plume and formed a hurricane of the wildest fury, the air being laden with branches, rocks and debris of the mountain sides. The train, which left Denver at 8:15 Sunday morning, was composed of engine No. 107, with William Brown as engineer and Peter Mackin fireman. The baggage car, No 30, with Mail Clerk W.H. Pegg and John Freezie, baggage man and express manager. The smoker and chair car followed making a train of three cars. Conductor Ryan was in charge. The passengers were mainly bicycle men from Chicago. A party of thirteen men had failed to materialize when the train left Denver, only six Chicagoans arriving up at the depot. The injured are Fred W. Van Sicklen, severe cuts on head and neck, chest bruised and back wrenched; Mrs. Van Sicklen, gas over right eye, long cut on thigh and nervous shock; Mrs. C. D. Hill, of Chicago, numerous bruises; W.H. Pegg, injured spine; W.C. Gouty, of Fort Wayne, Ind., shin barked and body bruised. The absence of fatalities makes the escape marvelous. When the train entered the whirlwind at the mouth of the ravine, the couplings broke like sticks and the three cars described a circle in the air, rolling down the bluff into the half frozen Clear Creek. The engine remained on the track. The passengers were thrown in all directions. Mr. Van Sicklen was thrown to the roof of the car, gashing his face on the small windows, and being thrown unconscious to the floor. His wife lay beside him unconscious, her thigh being cut by contact with a seat. The other passengers clung to anything in reach, and beyond a few bruises were uninjured. The unlucky tourists were taken to the Barton House in Georgetown. A wrecking train and crew were sent out from Denver and the passengers reached that city at 8:50 Sunday night. Mr. and Mrs. Van Sicklen were driven to the Albany, Mail Clerk Pegg was taken to St. Luke’s.

The Sleepy Hollow Mine is beginning to look the same as it used to twelve months ago, previous to the accident of last August. About 30 men are working on the night and day shifts, and at present the company is shipping from 40 to 50 tons of ore daily. This ore is being crushed at the Empire and Bobtail mills, requiring 10 rapid-drop stamps in the Empire Mill and 15 stamps in the Bobtail Mill. The ore is free milling and averages about 5 ounces in gold per cord. In the 700 east level men are drifting east to reach a winze sunk from the 600 level. At present they are in from the shaft 115 feet, and have about 45 feet more to drive before making connections. They are also stoping in the back of this level, and have a 4 foot crevice of milling ore. The property is showing up well and with proper development, under the care of Foreman James Carbis, and it is expected that in a short time this mine will be producing its usual output of from 80 to 100 tons of ore a day.

Born: In Russel Gulch, February 7th, 1896, to the wife of Tamblyn, a son.

Born: In Nevadaville, February 11th, 1896, to the wife of John Roberts, a daughter.

Born: In Central City, February 12th, 1896, to the wife of Louis Munchiands, a son.

Born: In Leavenworth Gulch, February 12th, 1896, to the wife of John Ross, a daughter.

Died: In Central City, February 7th, 1896, aged 9 months, of spinal meningitis, the infant son of Mr. B. I. Lorah. Funeral took place on Sunday last, interment being made in the Masonic Cemetery.

146 years ago – February 18, 1869

We are to have a new hotel, or rather an old one is to be revived. Messrs. Gregory and Franks, realizing the necessity of having a first class lace of this character for the accommodation of the transient visitors who are already streaming in from the East, attracted hither by the multitude of reports concerning the beauty of our county, now going the rounds of the press, have taken this step with the full knowledge of the responsibilities attached to it, and with the firm determination to be equal to all emergencies that may arise. They say they will keep a better house than has ever been known in Central; that the rooms are nicely fitted up, cleaned, carpeted and bedded; that their table will be abundant  supplied at all times with the best the market affords and that it shall be put before their guests, well cooked and palatable; they will keep a temperance house and in all respects satisfy the public needs. We now await the issue. Should their pledges be fully redeemed we shall feel glad to accord them the full measure of encouragement, and if they don’t we shall never have a good word to say. We believe that the coming summer will bring transient patronage sufficient to warrant our hotelists in keeping first class tables and rooms, and if they don’t do it , they should not complain if they are neither encouraged by the press nor patronized by the public. We should like to see them all prosper, but we should much rather see a new and worthy establishment put up that would look like and be capable of being made into a hotel building.

Tuesday morning we dropped in for a few minutes at the Brastow Mill, in Lake Gulch, and found ten stamps pounding away steadily on second class ore from the Bobtail. Like many of the mills in Nevada and Black Hawk, this one has been very short of water, but the late snow has given them a limited supply, and Mr. Brastow will start up his other ten stamps today. He is running on custom ore most of the time, but is not dependent on that to keep his mill running as he has, besides quite a large pile of Bobtail, some 50 cords or more of Clay County ore out, and more in sight.

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