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Turning back the pages

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AngeloDiBenedetto30 years ago – April 25, 1986

The new interior of the rec-center in Central City is a work of art. The drab brown paint on the walls has totally disappeared and has been replaced with a background of bright yellow paint and designs in colors of vibrant red, blue, green, and pink. The Museum of Modern Art has made an appearance in Central City through the expert guidance of artist and local resident Angelo diBenedetto. Starting on March 15, the walls were scrubbed down by hand in preparation for the paint job. The entire painting project took almost four weekends or eight days to complete. It was finished, except for some touch up work, on April 20. The work was completed by 50 residents in Gilpin County, plus 12 people from the Denver, Boulder, Golden, and Littleton areas. Some of the project was done by former students of diBenedetto’s. All of the work was done by volunteers. On Wednesday, diBenedetto said that he wants to see the windows on the south side of the building replaced. Apparently several of the windows are cracked and have been painted and the paint is peeling. The entire project has attracted attention from several other communities that are interested in doing similar volunteer projects. After seeing the inside of the building it is no wonder that other communities are anxious to start a project in their area.

Black Hawk to get a Park: The park lease agreement became final with the signature of Black Hawk Mayor Bill Lorenz who signed the agreement on Tuesday, at the city council’s work session. The lease agreement is between the city of Black Hawk and Gilpin County. The parcel of land is owned by the county which the city intends to use as a park. The lease is for $1 a year for 25 years. Council Member Joanne Lah, who is the park commissioner, stated this week that she had “no idea” as to when work on the park would begin, but in the meantime, the city will be asking for donations and volunteers from local organizations and local residents to help keep the costs to a minimum. The city has approximately $14,000 to use for the park, Lah said. The city intends to use as much as possible of the original plans that were drawn up by students from the University of Colorado in Denver over a year ago. The plans include benches, a barbecue area, a horseshoe pit, flowers, trees, playground equipment, restrooms, picnic tables, and redesigning the shape of the pond. Additionally, the plans include a safe entrance to the park, rock retaining walls, and mining objects with information pertaining to the objects. The city must have the park upgraded within five years or the land reverts back to the county.

View from the Casey: By Esther Campbell: Field trip number four of the bird watching class I am taking was held at the Barr Lake State Park. This wonderful wildlife sanctuary is near Brighton. It was created in the beginning of the 20th century as an irrigation reservoir. Now the habitats of grasslands, forest, lake, and marsh are occupied by birds, deer, skunks, red foxes, and more. While we were watching a herd of 20 deer, one of the leaders sighted a medium sized bird perched in a willow bush about 100 feet from the trail. The leader was so excited because she could not identify it. The students with binoculars focused, but were not much help. The bird was between the size of a robin and a sparrow. The brown head and back terminated in a long brown tail that dangled low from the branch. There were white wing bars, a streaked breast, and a medium slender bill. Quickly the other leader focused his scope (a small telescope carried by some professional birders) on the bird sitting on the branch. The leaders were able to identify the bird as a sage thrasher. This bird belongs to the bird family called Mimidae, which includes the norther mockingbird, gray catbird, and brown thrasher.

60 years ago – April 27, 1956

A school election will be held Monday, May 7th, for the election of a President for District No. 1. The election will be held at the City Hall and polls will be open from 3 to 6 o’clock in the afternoon. The present incumbent, Charles Anderson, who was appointed two months ago to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mrs. Francis Russell, per County Superintendent of Schools Mrs. Edith Carter, has proven himself as being vitally interested in schools and should be retained in this office.

Mrs. Louis Dukes and Mrs. Hilton, of Denver, were up last Saturday to attend the funeral of the late Noah Williams and looking over their respective summer homes.

Mrs. George Ramstetter is home again after a siege in a Denver hospital for several weeks, and is much improved in health.

A television talent contest, sponsored by the Summit County Lions’ Club, will be held at the Dillion school gymnasium, Saturday evening, May 5th. Any child or adult, or group in the mountain counties may participate and winners will appear on KOA television and radio.

Ye Olde Fashioned Eating House will open for the summer season on Saturday, April 28th by a banquet prepared for the members of Nevada Lodge of Masons, and will remain open until September, for both delicious lunches and dinners, with the exception of Mondays.

Mrs. Orville Gardner returned Saturday from a three week vacation in Grand Junction where her husband is working. The Gardners expect to reopen their Lunch Room on May 1st.

Mrs. Mary Blake and her daughter in law, Mrs. Dowell Blake, have been in Pagosa Springs for the past two weeks visiting relatives.

Last Friday dinner guests at the Kenneth McKenzie home were Mr. and Mrs. George Nelson of Longmont.

Mr. M.E. Mulloy was up from Denver last Saturday inspecting the Billings Mine which he owns.

Thanks: We would like to take this opportunity to thank our neighbors who so graciously helped us take care of the final arrangements for Noah Williams. While it was stated with specifically in some papers that Mr. Williams was a friend of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Thomas, they gave us a false impression, as Noah was a friend of everyone he ever met. Signed, Gwen & Gordon Thomas.

90 years ago – April 30, 1926

Tom Mix in “The Best Bad Man,” and a Fox News reel will be the pictures shown at the Opera House on Saturday evening, May 1st.

Six inches of snow covered the mountains Tuesday morning, but by night all had disappeared, the greater portion on the way to the valley and for use of the farmers in their irrigation schemes. That which remained found its way into the mines and many of them have been operating three shifts to keep it under control.

The local order of Odd Fellows celebrated their anniversary with a banquet Monday evening, to which lodge members and families were invited. A number of Odd Fellows and their families from Central and Black Hawk were in attendance.

Judge J. Northcutt and wife, of Denver, arrived Saturday evening on a short visit, while the Judge looked over his holdings in the Atlantic Mine, at Hughesville.

James Williams, who has been spending several weeks here, left Wednesday morning for Denver, being called back for work on the Moffat Road.

Miss Loraine Williams was up from Denver Saturday evening on a visit with relatives over the Sabbath.

Mr. James Cody came up from Denver Tuesday, and reports his brother Thomas as being in a serious condition, with very little hope for his recovery. He suffered another stroke of paralysis a few days ago, which paralyzed his whole system. Mr. Cody left for Denver yesterday morning.

Her Friend: “Was Jack heartbroken when you jilted him?” She: No. He was perfectly horrid.” Her Friend: What did he do?” She: When I gave him back the ring he took a little file out of his pocket and made a notch on the inside.” Her Friend: “What was horrid about that?” She: “There were five notches in it already.”

120 years ago – April 24, 1896

Killed by Foul Gas: Tom Zadra lost his life in the Chase Mine, near the Saratoga property, last Monday morning about 9 o’clock, being overcome by bad air. The unfortunate man was showing Joe Dallapicola through the underground workings of the Chase Mine, where Zadra had worked steadily for five years, but which has been closed down for two years last. Dallapicola was looking for a place to tribute in. At the 300 level their candles went out, and Zadra called to his partner to look out, as there was bad air in the mine, and had no sooner said this than Dallapicola heard him fall away. He then hastily climbed out of the mine and ran to the Saratoga Mine, where help was obtained and the dead body of the unfortunate man was taken out. Zara had fallen only about two feet, and was undoubtedly suffocated by the deadly gases. Coroner Bourke and Undertaker Harris were immediately notified, but the former did not deem it necessary to hold an inquest. The unfortunate man lived in Russell Gulch. He was an Austrian by birth, but has lived in Gilpin County for many years, and was always known as an industrious workman. He leaves a wife and four children and was in his 41st year. His funeral took place on Wednesday morning, services being held in the Church of the Assumption at 8 o’clock. Deceased being a member of the Society Catholic Tyrolese-Italiene, this lodge turned out in full force. Interment was made in the Catholic Cemetery.

Born: In Central City, April 21st, 1896, to the wife of S. James, a daughter.

Married: At the residence of Chas. Trenoweth on High Street, April 22nd, 1896, Rev. J.W. Linn officiating, Mr. R.S. Harvey to Miss Nellie E. Thompson. The Register-Call extends congratulations to the newly married couple and wishes them a long lease of life and happiness.

Married: At the residence of Father Raber, Central City, April 22nd, 1896, Samuel I. Lorah and Mrs. Mary Agnes Monahan, both of Central City. After the wedding ceremony had been performed which made them man and wife, the wedding party adjourned to the Church of the Assumption, where mass was said. The wedding breakfast was given in the future home of the bride and bridegroom, there being only a few intimate friends present. The happy couple left on the afternoon train for Denver, where they will spend the honeymoon.

Died: In Central City, April 19, 1896, Richard B. Williams, aged 48 years. After lingering for over four days after the terrible tragedy of April 15, in which Samuel Covington shot City Marshal Kelleher and Mr. Williams, the deceased passed away quietly in the midst of his family and most intimate friends, on Sunday evening at 7:30. Before his end came he was fully prepared for it, and was extremely rational as regards several minor details, which he wished to attend to. He said: “I have stayed with you as best I could,” and after this said he was ready to die. He bade all of his family goodbye, speaking a kind word to each, and then slowly sank away and passed into the world beyond as if falling into a deep slumber. The deceased was born in Devonshire, England, in 1848, and when he was quite young his parents left that country and came to Michigan, where they resided at Eagle River. In 1865 he left his home and came to Gilpin County, but did not remain long, returning to his home. However, he returned to Gilpin County in 1867 and commenced mining with his father, which occupation he followed until 1874, when he opened a meat market at Nevadaville. While in business at Nevadaville, he was elected mayor of that town, which office he filled with every satisfaction. In 1879 he was elected county sheriff, which office he held for three consecutive terms, covering a period of six years. While in this position his name was a terror to evil-doers, and this county was not troubled with any of their ilk. In 1885 he engaged in the livery business in this town, which business he kept till 1888, when he moved to Denver and engaged in the stock business. His love for Gilpin County, however, brought him back again in 1891, and he resumed his livery business. In the same year he was elected county commissioner, which position he held for three years. In April 1895 he was elected mayor of Central City, and his term had only expired during the present month. He leaves a wife and five children to mourn his loss, and has a father and mother still living in San Jose, Calif. As a father, he was kind, indulgent and loving, and as a citizen, he was fearless, open-hearted, and generous to a fault. His friends were everybody and his enemies none. He filled all his positions as an office holder in this county with every satisfaction, and as a private citizen his demise is deplored by all, no matter what their nationality, religion or politics. He willingly gave up his life in the effort to save another, and his memory will long be cherished by the people of Gilpin County. Funeral services were held at the Opera House on Wednesday afternoon, Revs. A. E. Clay, of the Episcopal Church, J.W. Linn, of the Methodist Church, Father Raber, of the Catholic, and S.W. Richards, of the Presbyterian officiating. No church in the city was deemed large enough to meet the demands of the crowd that was known would be present to pay their respects to his memory and the Opera House was packed and hundreds were compelled to remain outside. The funeral was the largest ever witnessed in Gilpin County, the procession numbering 116 carriages and 27 horsemen, besides the members of Sons of St. George and the firemen on foot. Business was entirely suspended from 1 to 4 p.m., the Sleepy Hollow, Americus, Central City and other mines closing down at noon in order to give the miners the opportunity to attend the funeral. The procession formed and was soon on its way to Bald Mountain Cemetery, where his remains were laid at rest beside his children and brother.

Died: At Nevadaville, April 19th, 1896, James Grenfell, aged 60 years. Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, interment being made in the Bald Mountain Cemetery.

Died: In central City, April 23rd, 1896, Samuel Evans, aged 69 years. Funeral will take place on Sunday, April 26, services to be held at the Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m.

146 years ago – April 22, 1896

From the Weekly Central City Register: Cuban affairs appear still to be an absorbing topic, and it is even hinted that an extra session of Congress will be called to consider Cuban affairs and arrange for the annexation of the island to the United States. It is doubtless true that a large majority of the insurgents desire the movement, and would do anything in their power to bring it about. It is probable that their representative at Washington has already been asking as much. To accept them at the present time would be certain to involve us in a war with Spain, and this we do not want. It is true enough that the action of that power during the rebellion, affords ample ground for such a course, but we should probably lose more than we should gain by it. It is due to ourselves, however, that the national honor be vindicated from the insults and injuries heaped on us during the time of our misfortunes. If other nations fail to show us due respect they should be taught its necessity. Again, the cause of humanity would be advanced by the admission of Cuba. No people of the civilized world have been worse governed than those of Cuba. Their government has been and is an engine of cruelty, tyranny, and oppression. The people are ground down by taxation to the utmost, and have no voice in their government, and they look over the narrow sea which separates them from us with longing eyes to the better state of things they see with us.

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