Turning Back the Pages

30 years ago – June 13, 1986

  The 39th annual Gilpin County Arts Association exhibit opened in Central City for the summer on June 8. The exhibit presents a variety of art work including paintings, CoeurD'AleneMine_CC_0616photography, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, stained glass, fiber, and hand blown glass. This year’s winner of the William E. Snyder Award, for the best representational painting, is John P. Cullen of Boulder, for his pencil drawing entitled “Last of the American Cowboys.” There is also a soft sculpture, named “Maggie” by Susan Heaton of Commerce City. The Gilpin County Arts Association, located on Eureka Street in Central City, is open to the public daily from 11:00 in the morning until 6:00 in the evening. The gallery will be open throughout the summer until September 14. Admission to the exhibit is free. All of the works of art are for sale.

A weekend long training session for the Gilpin County Search and Rescue turned into an actual search on June 6. Originally, the members had scheduled a training session, but according to Joe Rittenhouse, commander of search and rescue, he received a call at 10:22 p.m., on June 6, from the Clear Creek Sheriff’s Department. Alpine Search and Rescue needed help in finding an 18 year old, Richard Chisolm. Apparently, Chisolm was to do a solo hike from St. Mary’s Glacier to James Peak and back. He failed to return to a certain designation by the scheduled time and the authorities were notified that he was missing. Gilpin County Search and Rescue was asked to cover the backsides of James Peak, Kingston Peak, and Mammoth Gulch Basin into the Echo Lake area, in case Chisolm had wandered into those areas. Rittenhouse said that by 11:00 p.m., 12 people had shown up for the search. The group was split into three teams, with each team covering a certain area. At 2:30 a.m. He said that team two had sighted a light on the east ridge of James Peak. Before they could reach the area, where the light was seen, bad weather had moved in, and the terrain was covered in fog. Rittenhouse said that Alpine confirmed that none of their people were in that area. According to Rittenhouse, by 4:00 a.m. they could not find the light and the three teams headed back to the base. Then by 7:30 a.m. the search party reported to the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department that no one had been found. Rittenhouse said that he was informed later Saturday that Chisolm had been found where Mill Creek Drainage crosses Fall River Road, about five miles south of Gilpin County. Dick Allen, a member of Gilpin County Search and Rescue, said that apparently Chisolm had followed the creek, which had led to the road. Rittenhouse said that he was “extremely happy with the response we got at 11:00 p.m.” And that the three teams “we’re performing very well” considering the bad weather they encountered and the terrain they had to cover. Rittenhouse explained that their only difficulty was in communicating with each other. He said that they needed better portable communication devices.

Rudy Fahrni, city worker for the City of Central, was injured on June 5, when a wall of dirt and clumps of pavement caved in on him. Fahrni, along with other city workers, was working in a hole about three and a half feet deep, that was not shored. They were placing a new culvert across Eureka Street in Central City. According to Eric Klemp, street, road, and water commissioner for the city, moisture in the ground caused the dirt to cave in. Klemp explained Tuesday that the accident might have been prevented had the walls been shored up, but that it was not normally done at that depth. He said that “we have our share of accidents.” Fahrni said Tuesday that his foot was broken as well as receiving several cuts and bruises as a result of the accident. Klemp said that all accidents are reported to either the Central City Police Department for damage to property, or to state compensation for bodily injury. If the accident should be a combination of both, then both departments are notified.

60 years ago – June 15, 1956


Mr. and Mrs. Bill Spellman have moved from a Denver apartment to their home on Swede Hill to escape the heat. Bill works at Montgomery Ward.

Mrs. Jennie Zancanella was in Golden last Thursday where she visited her daughter, Mrs. Marguerite Chase. A nurse from Mayo’s hospital is caring for Marguerite, who will be in a cast for two months.

A representative of the Ivy Kennel Club in Denver was up Monday and bought the four wire haired terriers owned by the late Ramon Smith.

Carol Kent, hobbling around with a broken ankle, and brother, David, spent Saturday and Sunday with their Grandmother Luella Fritz.


The fire siren awakened the residents of Central City, Monday morning at 4:15 o’clock, when a fire was discovered in the old Smith Mill at Mountain City. The building has been occupied as a stable during the past year, and the fire was apparently caused by the spontaneous combustion under the floor. However, it was reported that several boys had been seen in the building on Sunday, and may have dropped a smoldering cigarette. The fire was quickly extinguished by out efficient volunteer fire department and no damaged resulted the only loss noted being several hours of shut eye.

Don Pablo, of Scottsdale, Arizona, well known Indian trader and collector of antique bicycles was in Central City, Tuesday, visiting Mr. and Mrs. Wm. C. Russell, Jr. He visited the Diamond Lil tunnel and museum, and was much enthused with the thousands of interesting antiques and relics of early days that have been collected by the owner during the past ten years.

Word was received in Denver the first of the week of the death of James L. Reynolds, who died of a heart attack at his home in Oak Park, Illinois, at the age of 65 years. Jim was born in Central City, attended those grammar and high schools, was a pal of Earl Quiller and Ye Olde Editor, and his death brings sadness to his many old friends. He leaves a wife and sister.

90 years ago – June 18, 1926

  Tom Mix in “The Yankee Señor” and a Fox News reel will be the picture program at the Opera House Saturday evening, June 19.

In a game of baseball, played last Sunday at the Black Hawk grounds, on Clear Creek, the Central team was defeated by the team representing Black Hawk, but the score of 23 to 11. It was a fairly good game up to the seventh inning, but after that Black Hawk had everything their way, scoring 13 runs in the 8th inning. Poor pitching, poorer support, and dissension among the Central players were the causes for the defeat. However, the same teams will cross bats again on the local grounds in the near future, and it is not impossible that the score can be reversed.

Married: At Idaho Springs, June 13th, Father McCabe officiating, Mr. John Eddy, of Central City, and Miss Mary Pallaro, of Russell Gulch. The couple have many friends in Gilpin County who extend congratulations and hearty wishes for a happy and prosperous future. They will make their home in this city.

Died: In Denver, at the residence of his son, Thomas, June 13th, James Atkinson, aged about 72 years. Mr. Atkinson had been a resident of Gilpin County for almost half a century working in the mines as a miner and contractor, and was well known by all. Of late years he has been unable to follow his vocation and has been recuperating at the lower altitude in Denver. He is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Richard Bennett and Mrs. Ralph Cotton, and two sons, Thomas and Ben Atkinson. Funeral services were held at the Thompson mortuary parlor so on Tuesday last, interment in Fairmount Cemetery.

Died: In Central City, June 16th, Mrs. Elizabeth Ann Thomas, aged 43 years and 26 days. While in the back yard of the home Wednesday afternoon about 2 o’clock Mrs. Thomas suffered a stroke of apoplexy and dropped to the ground. One of her little children saw her lying on the ground and attempted to rouse her, but was unsuccessful, and called to Mr. J.S. Kimball, a neighbor, to come over and see what was the matter. She was unconscious and unable to carry her into the home alone, Mr. Kimball telephoned the court house for help, which soon arrived and the lady was taken into the house. Dr. Shultz was summoned and did all that was possible to bring her out of her comatose condition, but without avail, and she passed away shortly after five o’clock that afternoon. The family resided in Nevadaville for many years, Mrs. Thomas arriving there when she was twelve years of age from England, later marrying Mr. Thomas, who passed away a number of years ago. For a number of years past the family had been residing in this city. Surviving deceased are five boys, the two eldest being Lawrence and Gordon, and three sisters, Mabel, Elva, and Janet, and her mother, Mrs. Thomas Chapple. Funeral services will be held from the Episcopal Church Sunday afternoon at 2 o’clock, Mr. B.E. Seymour officiating. Interment in Bald Mountain Cemetery.

120 years ago – June 12, 1896

  On Wednesday afternoon at the Lee stamp mill, Yankee Hill, John Lee had his left hand terribly crushed while oiling some machinery. He was brought to town, where Dr. Ashbaugh made an examination and found that all the bones clear across the hand had been broken. The accident was a very unfortunate affair, and at present it is not known whether amputation of the hand will be necessary or not.

A new game called the Editor’s Delight is played this way: Take a sheet of ordinary writing paper, fold it carefully and enclose a bank note sufficiently large to pay up all arrearages and one year in advance. Keep an eye on the editor, and if a smile adorns his face, the trick worked like a charm. Now is the time to play the joke.

Louis Tiger, the popular shoe merchant, took his wife, at least we mean his bicycle to Denver on Sunday and had a spin along those streets which are the pride of all cyclists.

  1. Lid dictate came up on Tuesday and will remain here a short while, in order to give Ed Harris a chance to go fishing with his friend, Joe Preville.

Miss Louise Tyler, the accomplished violinist of Denver, is in the city, the guest of Mr. Richard Harvey, residence on Casey Avenue.

Mr. J. Frank Jones, connected with The Review of Decatur, Illinois, made us a pleasant call on Wednesday last. He is enjoying a month’s vacation among the Rockies and came up from Denver with his family overland, with the intention of looking at life in the various new camps in this section of the state. He has a sister, Mrs. George Alger, of Black Hawk.

Died: In Central City, June 7th, 1896, T. Warren, aged 2 years and 6 months, of scarlet fever, daughter of Mrs. S.A. Warren.

146 years ago – June 13, 1869

  From the Weekly Central City Register: At the Rocky Mountain National Bank yesterday, we saw a beautiful  gold retort weighing twenty six ounces, taken from a lot of Calhoun’s surface rock, reduced in G.B. Reed’s mill, in Russell Gulch. The retort was remarkably clean and fine, reflecting much credit on the skill of the mill man who produced it. Mr. Reed informs us that he experienced no difficult in procuring a full supply of ore to keep his mill running to its full capacity. He has a first class 15-stamp mill, and his foreman, Mr. Wm. Todd, has had a great deal of experience, and enjoys the reputation of being one of the best mill men in the country. Miners can rely on having full justice done to all ores sent to this mill for reduction.  The mill is at present being run, one battery on Delaware ore, which pays very well, one battery on Galveston surface rock, which yields almost eight ounces per cord and the remaining battery on surface ore from a mine near the mill. The last lot of Calhoun ore cleaned up ten ounces per cent.

Mr. Eugene Teats showed us a magnificent specimen of silver ore, Saturday from the Coaley lode. It was a mass of zinc blends and galena carrying a large quantity of native silver. It was estimated by good judges that there was five dollars’ worth of native silver in sight on the specimen and there was at least twice that amount in small pieces, knocked off in taking it out of the mine.

Passing across the “Patch” on Quartz Hill on Saturday, we found several parties at work raising ore from different lodes that have been idle most of the time for several years past. Messrs. Kinney and Co. Are working the old Sugar Plum and raising fine ore. Their pay vein is from one to three feet in width and yielding good results. Quail and Aldrich are working the Roderick Dhu, raising ore that yields eight to ten ounces per cord. There are four stamp mills, with sixty five stamps in operation, all fully supplied with all the ore they can crush. Three of these have been started within the last two weeks, from a Lutheran sleep of several years’ duration. There does not seem to be any danger of their going to sleep again very soon for want of work, as there is enough paying ore in sight on the Patch to keep them busily employed for the next year at least.

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