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History

Turning Back the Pages


30 years ago – July 17, 1987

The 55th season of the Central City Opera Association started with a bang – compliments of a rather significant blast of dynamite. The season opened July 11, with the formal presentation of the Flower Girl debutantes in the opera garden between the Teller House and the Opera House. Each of the girls descended from the stairway to the garden where their escort awaited. The Opera House ushers and usherettes awaited their cue on the steps of St. James Methodist Church. As they marched down Eureka Street, in front of the Opera House, the guests were informed of their duties in song. An abundance of people attended the event including the first couple of Central City, Mayor Bruce Schmalz and his wife Sandy E. Atwill Gilman, chairman of the board of the association. J. Landis Martin, president, and John Fleming Kelly, former president and former chairman of the board, attended and spoke at the lavish event. Kelly was master of ceremonies. At the conclusion of the ceremony, people adjourned for dinner, later returning for the performance of “Madame Butterfly.” The Yellow Rose Ball followed the opera performance at the Teller House. It was a day that will be long remembered by the many guests, debutantes, escorts, ushers and usherettes.

After 14 years, CO State Highway Patrolman Dave Woodring has retired. Traveling on the state highways in Gilpin County is not going to be the same without seeing Woodring’s familiar face, is smile, and usual wave of his hand. Woodring, who retired effective July 2, says, “I’m going to miss my job. I’ll miss working with the guys on the state. I’ll miss the people.” He began working of the Colorado Highway Department full-time on July 1, 1974. He actually started in January, working on an hourly basis. Prior to working of the state, Woodring was the street, road, and water commissioner for the City of Central for about six years. Woodring is a man of many talents. He has worked in Gilpin as a custodian and jailer for the county, a hairdresser, and as a bartender. Woodring and Janet, his wife, have lived in Gilpin County since 1980. They resided in the county until 1974, moved to Lawson, and then returned here. Dave is taking on a part-time job working for the Georgetown Loop Railroad. He has worked for them off and on for years. He will be missed on the roads by many Gilpinites!

Gilpin County RE-1 School is considered a “rich” district by the state legislature. Recent changes in the School Finance Act classify a district with a high authorized revenue base (ARB) as “rich.” The ARB, according to Board President John Rittenhouse, is “the average dollar amount we spend from our general fund per student.” At the regular monthly meeting of the school board on July 9, Rittenhouse explained one reason the school’s ARB is “artificially high” is because the school has a high debt service expended from the general fund. It was done to get the money equalized by the state and is “perfectly” legal. The “rich” classification means a one percent increase in the school’s ARB from the state, instead of the three percent given to “poor” districts. In terms of total money, it is a loss of approximately $28,000 from state funds that the school could have received if it had been correctly classified. Rittenhouse told the board that State Senator Sally Hopper and Dan Steward from the Colorado Department of Education both agree that RE-1 is not a “rich” district. Hopper said recently that once she realized the error, Rittenhouse was notified. It is presently unknown what effect the loss of funding may have on Gilpin County taxpayers within the RE-1 district. In the next few months the school board plans to explore possible solutions to change the RE-1 status.

Born: Kip and Philip Katterhenry of Mountain Meadows are happy to announce the birth of their first child. Abra Jourdan was born in Boulder Community Hospital at 5:07 p.m. on July 10, 1987. She weighed seven pounds three and a half ounces, and measured 20 inches in length. Her paternal grandmother is Patricia Katterhenry of Wapakoneta, Ohio. Abra’s paternal grandfather is Dick Hatterhenry of Huntsille, Ohio. Maternal grandparents are Robert and Wendy Runyon of Lancaster, Ohio. Paternal great-grandparents are A.E. Peterson and Dasie Katterhenry of Wapakoneta, Ohio.

60 years ago – July 26, 1957

Central City Nuggets

Across the Crossroads by A.F. Mayham: During the past ten days when the weather blew hot then cold, we celebrated by remembrance the occasion of old King Nebuchadnezzar, who after two years of battling busted open the gates of Jerusalem and hocked all the golden vessels to treat his army to hard cider. After 12 years, he then busted into the City of Tyre, but later paid the price when the hand wrote on the wall: “Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.” His kingdom was split and divided amongst the Medes and Persians, and old King Neb had to go out to pasture with the sheep and goats and eat grass. So it is written that we are here today and gone tomorrow, and that all flesh is grass, and all grass is hay. The Russians so far, haven’t claimed ancestry to Neb, but give ‘em time; they may claim to propagation of the Missouri mule.

A drill hole 1,700 feet deep, from near the top of Virginia Canyon to the level of the Big Five Tunnel, may be the key that will unlock ore in the far reaches of this two mile long tunnel, which has defied all methods to date to successfully and profitably mine it. The hole was spudded in this week by a crew of men operating a drilling rig which was hauled to a site Friday near the top of Virginia Canyon. It is positioned directly over the Big Five Tunnel 1,700 feet below the rig. A Canadian company, which has been financing the exploration program that has been in progress in the Big Five tunnel for the past couple of months, will pay some $30,000 to $35,000 to have the hole drilled. The purpose of the hole, which is to be 8 inches in diameter, is to provide ventilation in the long tunnel which will carry away rock dust and powder fumes as miners drill and blast out ore 8,000 to 9,000 feet back in the tunnel where lack of ventilation has thwarted all earlier efforts to mine this ore. Bad air made the tunnel a man-killer for miners who through the years have sought to dig out the riches of the ore bodies by working through the laterals and upraises far back from the portal of the tunnel. The Big Five Tunnel enters the mountain at the west Idaho Springs city limits boundary and heads under Bellevue Mountain, Virginia Canyon, and toward Russell Gulch. The drillers will attempt to sink a hole which they want to hit the 7 foot wide tunnel far below them, but if they come within 20 feet of it they will consider they have done very well.

Mrs. David Hoover and baby left Saturday for Miles City, Montana, after a two week’s visit with their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Elbert Lawry.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles Rice and Mr. and Mrs. L.J. Williams of Denver were in attendance at the homecoming services at the Episcopal Church, Sunday.

There’s not much local news this week. Sure, this column could be filled with new of quarrels in homes, traffic violations, teenage violations of law, etc., but we deem it apropos that such incidents are non-essential, and accordingly will not mention them as news.

Black Hawk Gold Dust

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Cull and daughter Barbara arrived from St. Louis, Mo., last week and are staying at the Cull House in Chase Gulch.

The Mine Shaft Bar at the Gilpin Hotel is now open for business under the management of Mr. Albert Goodwin.

Mrs. Henry Klein, her sister Eva Nievum Carins, and other relatives, were up from Denver Tuesday visiting Dory Hill Cemetery. Mr. and Mrs. Carins reside in San Francisco and have recently returned from Canada.

When Marla Civet and Esther Rings started for work Wednesday morning, they discovered that thieves had stolen the front wheels of their car, which was parked on well lighted Clear Creek Street, facing the sidewalk, between several other cars. The insurance company and law officers were notified and it is hoped that the brazen culprits will soon be apprehended.

Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Mess, who recently celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary, were up from Golden Sunday visiting friends.

Born: Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lutz are the proud parents of a baby boy, born July 15th, 1957, at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver. He has been named Dean Matther.

90 years ago – July 22, 1927

Black Hawk Jottings

Mr. and Mrs. Paul Powers returned from Denver Tuesday evening from a visit with relatives and friends.

John Rohling and wife, accompanied by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Noah Mitchell, who have been visiting them for a month past, came up from Denver, Saturday evening, the latter returning home Sunday evening.

The Women of Woodcraft closed their monthly game of cards on Wednesday evening of last week at Fritz Hall, which was followed by a picnic lunch. At the close of the card game, the first honors went to Mrs. Julius Nordlien, the second to Miss Hazel Tabb, and the consolation to Mrs. Wm. Hamilton.

John Stroehle and sons William and Clarence, accompanied by Mr. C.O. Richards and Henry Scholtheiss, of Central, left Wednesday morning for Middle Park, on a fishing trip.

Charles Weidenhafter, a miner, was injured on last Thursday when an explosive of some kind was discharged in his pocket, and his right leg between the knee and thigh was injured, as well as the hand. The injured man is puzzled as to the cause of the explosion. He has been mining for fourteen years and declares that he never carries any dynamite caps in his pockets, as he knows the danger. If there were any caps in his pocket, he does not know how they came to be there. The wounds he received appear to be the result of a dynamite cap. It is thought a cap of this nature came in contact with his pocket knife and was discharged while he was walking over the rough ground.

How to Make Lemon Ice by Nellie Maxwell: Take one and one third cupfuls of sugar, three cupfuls of water, and one and one half cupfuls of lemon juice. Boil the sugar and water five minutes, add the lemon juice, and cool. Freeze as usual. This will make one quart of ice.

Married: At Colorado Springs, July 15th, 1927, Albert T. Altvater and Miss Dorothy D’Amico. The groom is a brother of Henry P. Altvater, of this city, and spent many of his early years here, and is well known among residents here. The couple came up to Central on Monday last, as guests of Henry Altvater and wife, returning to Denver Tuesday afternoon, where they will be at home to friends.

Died: In Denver, July 16th, 1927, Mrs. Mary Ann Liddecoat, aged 89 years. The family ere residents of this city many years ago, Mr. Liddecoat following the vocation of a miners and worked in many of the mines in in the county, passing away some twenty odd years ago. During these intervening years, deceased has been making her home in Denver with relatives, who have done everything possible to make her declining years as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. She is survived by a son, Thomas H.W. Liddecoat, of Los Angeles, California, and was grandmother of Mary Liddecoat from Los Angeles, California, and Minnie Sampson and Margaret Wilder, of Denver. Funeral services were held from the Ollinger Chapel, in Denver, yesterday afternoon. Interment was in the Crown Hill Cemetery.

120 years ago – July 23, 1897

Mr. James Stevens, of Nevadaville, who was imprisoned in a mine cave-in in Arizona for twelve days, was rescued on Saturday morning at 7:30 o’clock. All the night before, the miners had heard Stevens signaling to them, and they could hear his voice as he begged them to make haste. Just before the last blow was struck, which broke through and into the drift where Stevens was such, he shouted, “I am burning with thirst!” and in another moment he was in the strong arms of the brave miners who had worked so hard to save his life. Mr. Hall, the son of one of the owners of the property, and a doctor, were hurriedly lowered into the drift, and at once gave stimulants to Stevens. He talked rationally with his rescuers and told them how he had kept track of the time since his confinement, how all along he could hear them working towards him, and he had worked several feet towards his rescuers. He was very weak, however, and reports said he had dropped from a healthy man of 160 pounds to almost a skeleton of 90 pounds. A dispatch from Phoenix, dated July 20, said, “The convalescence of Stevens, after his thirteen days of fasting, has been a rapid one. He has already left his bed, having gained 15 pounds in three days, and will leave within the week for Nevadaville, to join his family.”

Everything indicates that there will be no floods in this section of the country during the coming summer as the weather is entirely too cool for such “novelties.”

John Dennis of Black Hawk had two of his fingers on his right had smashed in a machine at the residence of Al. Rogers, on Friday last.

Mrs. Kittie Sisson, of Black Hawk, left Tuesday afternoon for Salt Lake City, Utah, having received a telegram that her husband, Charles Sisson had died suddenly that morning from heart failure.

Born: In Black Hawk, July 15th, 1897, to the wife Hans Peterson, a daughter.

Married: In Golden, July 15th, 1897, Rev. Harry Smith officiating, William S. Beall, of Central City to Miss Emma Perley, of Morrison.

Married: In Central City, July 22nd, 1897, Rev. A.E. Clay officiating, Mr. Hugo Kruse to Miss Margaret Nason, both of this city.

Married: In Central City, July 17th, 1897, Rev. G. Raber officiating, Mr. G. Zadra to Miss M. Zadra, both of this city.

Married: In Nevadaville, July 21st, 1897, Rev. A.E. Clay officiating, Mr. Eugene Cesario to Miss Anna Henry, both of Nevadaville.

Died: In Central City, July 16th, 1897, Richard Penpraze, aged 47 years.

Died: In Central City, July 17th, 1897, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Prisk, aged 2 months.

Died: In Black Hawk, July 18th, 1897, Mrs. E.T. Forster, aged 45 years.

Died: In Central City, July 20th, 1897, son of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh McCafferty, aged 6 months.

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