Turning Back the Pages

30 Years Ago – June 17, 1983

  The courthouse is overcrowded; the school has unused property in Central City, and grant money may be available. These three factors have encouraged the Gilpin County commissioners to offer to purchase Clark School, the gym, and the lot east of the school for $200,000. The school board’s reaction to the offer was mixed. It turns out there is an investment company, which was not named, that has also made inquiries about the property, though no firm offer has been made.

Gilpin County voters will be going to the polls on September 13 to approve or disapprove the one percent county sales and use tax.

There were slick-looking race cars, functional cars, rolling wienies, outhouses and lawn chairs, all competing in Central City’s Second Annual Gravity Grand Prix last Saturday afternoon. The three-wheeled, engineless vehicles rolled off a ramp at the top of Main Street and tried to achieve maximum speed while staying intact. Denverite Dan Boyle was the winner for the second year with a time of 14.68 seconds.

Last November, Bill Lett and Ken Cole, independent contractors, both of Black Hawk, landed a $1.9 million contract with the Cornerstone Partners, John Feinberg and Harold Pyle, to restore four commercial Central City properties. Lett and Cole have now incorporated and adopted the name Gilpin County Construction, Inc., and are one of the few companies in the state that specializes in restoration work. With the completion of the Golden Rose Hotel, Lett estimates that they will have completed close to 200,000 square feet of restoration work. They are currently employing from 25 to 30 employees and have had as many as 35 with a monthly payroll of $35,000 to $50,000. The “best quality everything” has gone into the hotel, Lett said, including hand silk-screened wallpaper imported from England, solid brass plumbing and light fixtures, granite from Brazil and marble from Italy. The work on the Golden Rose is expected to be completed this week, and according to Lett, their major emphasis will then shift to the Teller House and the Knights of Pythias building.

Terry and Ruth Burke of Lakeview are pleased to announce the birth of their first child, a boy. Joshua John Burke was born on May 25, 1983.

Painters of buildings in Central City now have a broader palette from which to choose, and it’s about time. Tuesday, the city’s Historic Preservation Commission adopted 40 more color chips that will be available for home and business owners when picking paints.

Tom Robb and Don Mattivi, veterans of the last Gilpin County High School football team, reminisced about the difficulties and fun of playing football on the rocks or in a cow pasture. The secret of tackling, they say, was to jump on top of the opponent so there would be a cushion for the fall. The team played in Dry Lake, just above Central City. There were so many rocks that all the students were bused out to the field the day before a game to spend the afternoon with wheelbarrows and rakes, trying to smooth it out. It didn’t work. The rocks would be back the next morning. It was great strategy though. When the visiting team arrived and took a look at the field they would be playing on, it gave the home team a psychological advantage. The other team was in shock. The other teams put up such a protest that Gilpin was forced to find another field. The team moved from Dry Lake to a field on Victor Braecher’s property in mid-county. Braecher kept cows in the pasture, but would usually move them by 2:00 in the afternoon so the boys could practice after school. One day he forgot. “The cows were great blockers, but one bull didn’t like our uniforms and he charged us all the way back to the bus,” Robb remembered.

AD: The Ladies Auxiliary of the High Country Fire Department is again having the Flea Market at the Etzkorn home on South Beaver Creek Road. June 18 & 19. Hot Dogs, Nachos, Pop, Coffee & a Bake Sale. All proceeds will be used by the Ladies Auxiliary to buy equipment needed by the High Country Fire Department.

High Street residents claim their 100-year-old Cornish walls are crumbling, and their houses are shifting due to blasting from the Black Hawk water project and they want them fixed. Black Hawk city council, on the advice of the city attorney, Chip Owen, together with an independent engineering report commissioned by the council to determine if the damage on High Street is in fact due to the dynamiting for the water lines, decided it could not conclusively blame the contractors, so it had little choice but to force the homeowners to pay for the repairs.

60 Years Ago – June 12, 1953

Our national debt, which now is close to $263,000,000,000, could be paid off immediately. All that is necessary is for each and every family in this country to donate $5,874.

A woman’s age is never a debatable question. It is whatever she would have you think it is.

We rather liked the communication sent to the Denver Post by Wm. Russell, in which he called attention to the misspelling of the word “Cornishman,” as written in that paper, the word appearing “Ornishmen.”

The forms are being made and concrete poured on the retaining walls of the new gymnasium. The entire building is to be completed by July 15th.

The Teller House is undergoing a complete cleaning, with clean curtains on the windows, halls and furniture wiped clean from the dust of winter, and generally being put in shape for the opening of the Festival.

The newest of the Bancroft Booklets – quite an imposing list now by the able historian Caroline Bancroft, will doubtless prove to be one of the most popular of the series, valuable not only to our tourists but to everyone who treasures the colorful history of Colorado. It is the story of the Matchless Mine and Baby Doe Tabor.

The American Legion Auxiliary, Cody-Thomas Unit, wishes to thank all who made the sale of poppies a success, which netted a total of $63.33.

The snow at East Portal is now dwindled to almost nothing and it has enabled Bill White to plant his garden.

Traffic violators are astonished these days at the treatment they receive in Tucumcari, NM. Instead of fine and the jailhouse, they are given coffee and a printed list of traffic don’ts. The idea was originated by Police Chief Houston Bragg. When a motorist is flagged down for a violation, a policeman hands him the list of “don’ts” and a coupon for a free cup of coffee for themselves and passengers at the nearest eating place. The chief explains the coffee period gives the motorists time to read the list and realize that speeding and other violations are thoughtless disregard for the rights and lives of others. In the five months it has been in force, “Operation Coffee” has definitely helped the speeding problem, Bragg says. Traffic offenses have fallen off sharply and the town’s friendliness is being repaid in good will and better-behaved drivers.

90 Years Ago – June 15, 1923

The Moffat Tunnel positively will be bored. The last legal barrier to the greatest forward step ever taken by any section of Colorado was removed Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the legislation providing for the construction of the tunnel thru the Continental Divide is constitutional. Actual construction work will be begun in from thirty to ninety days. Work will start simultaneously at both eastern and western portals of the tunnel. Bids for the sale of the $6,720,000 bond issue for the construction of the tunnel will be advertised for immediately. The maximum interest rate permitted on the bonds is 6 percent.

Three hundred sixteen students, the largest number in the history of the University of Colorado, received degrees at the commencement exercises this morning.

What is the matter that the State Highway Commission does not make the State Road from Tolland to Apex, a state highway to connect with the State Highway at the Quartz Valley school house? It is certainly unsurpassed in the state as a scenic road.

A thirty-six hour rain started here on Friday night and kept it up at good speed all that time. A part of time snow was mixed up with the rain clouds and we had a nice combination. No damage was done here, but the valley towns and ranches were flooded and much damage resulted. Monday evening a nice hail storm wandered this way, which did some damage to vegetable and flower gardens.

Contractor Stroehle is making good headway in excavating for the flume in Black Hawk, and next week will add a large number of men and stone masons. He will tear out another 100 feet of the present flume and take advantage of the large stream of water now going down to wash out the dirt and small rock now in the creek bed.

The heavy snow of Saturday caused the telephone company considerable work in Russell Gulch, as eight lines on the main toll line were down.

Never allow troubles to worry you, especially when they belong to the other fellow.

The road to 12 Mile from Apex is now open for auto traffic.

Clear Creek is booming, and in some places out of its banks. With a few days of hot weather it will make a record for itself.

John Emerson and Anita Loos in “Red Hot Romance,” in six reels will be the picture at the Opera House on Saturday evening.

Ed. O’Meara of Black Hawk went to Denver Friday last to attend a meeting of the Spanish-American War veterans.

Messrs. Parteli and McDonald are replacing the missing telephone poles to install a new line to American City.

One of the largest mining and smelting deals transacted in months in the state of Colorado is that of the American Electric Smelters & Refining Company, a new local concern, in taking over the Newhouse and Argo Tunnel properties between Idaho Springs and Central City, and the electric smelting plant built by the Iron Mountain Rare Metals Company at Utah Junction during the war.

Joe Casper is hauling ore from the Morning Star Mine, Russell Gulch, this week.

It was a smart little boy who obeyed his mother when she told him not to eat the cake in the pantry while she was gone. He ate it in the kitchen, instead.

Last Friday it rained all day in Apex, with snow Friday night and Saturday. Reports from Elk Park and American City are that twenty inches of snow fell, the worst June storm since 1912.

Messrs. Flynn and Snyder, of Central, are hauling lumber and mine timbers from Tolland for the Evergreen Company, the lumber to be used to re-timber the shaft. The Denver Steel & Truss Co., of which John A. Crook is president, has the contract to furnish the steel and iron structure for the Evergreen smelter. Blake Bros., of Black Hawk, have the contract for hauling the same. John Floyd brought out a load of shingles last Friday for the Evergreen Company. They are for the new roof on what is known as the Snyder cottage on School Street. Mrs. John Floyd came up from Black Hawk on Wednesday to see what the opportunity is to conduct a boarding house.

AD: As you travel through Rollinsville, stop at Redman’s for gasoline, motor oils, grease. Quick service, lowest prices and courtesy all the time.

120 Years Ago – June 16, 1893

Again the little boy has laid aside his book and slate and has taken up his bat and ball, or fishing rod, determined, for a season, to have his allotted share of the unrestrained joys of youth.   

The Board of County Commissioners at its meeting held last week very properly concluded to place a man on the road leading from here to Yankee Hill, and keep him there until the road is again put in repair. At present it is impossible to get up the south side of Peck Gulch with a ladened wagon, the travel now being confined to the north road crossing Peck Gulch above the Mexican Flat and thence over to the Grizzly Road. The latter is, comparatively speaking, in good condition, but is a much longer route and a much steeper grade. The trade of Yankee Hill is well worth looking after by the businessmen of Black Hawk and Central.

Born: In Black Hawk, June 14, 1893, to the wife of Michael Carey, a son.

Born: In Russell Gulch, June 11, 1893, to the wife of Henry Hore, a daughter.

Thomas Gibson, who published the first paper in Gilpin County, the Gold Reporter, at Mountain City, back in ’59, died at Los Gratos, California, May 9th, aged 73 years, 10 months and 9 days. He was buried in that place by the Masons, of which order he was a member.

Mr. C. M. Shaw sent down this week from the Belmont Mine in Russell District to Morris Hazard, a block of smelting ore weighing 100 pounds that will form a part of the collection of ores that will be exhibited at the state building of Colorado at the Worlds’ Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The ore has a net value of over $200 per ton.

Sells’ Circus arrived in Black Hawk from Denver early this morning, from which point everything was brought to this city on the company’s wagons to the grounds of the City Park, where performances will be given this afternoon and evening.

Last week Mr. Louis P. Arrighi in drifting at a depth of 40 feet on his Dump Lode just north and alongside of the Gregory Lode, took out several very beautiful pieces of quartz which are literally bespangled with gold. The time is coming when the Dump will be properly developed and make a record as a gold producer that will astonish some of the chronic croakers in this bailiwick. The reader can put this down as a prediction that will be verified much sooner than some anticipate.

A warrant was sworn out yesterday on the complaint of Mrs. Crowley for the arrest of Mrs. Lavina Rippin, of Russell, charging her with creating a noise and disturbance of the peace. Armed with the warrant, Sheriff Hooper went over to Russell, arrested her and brought her before Justice Jones, who fined her $10 and costs – a total of $40. She paid the fine. Some of the language she used in the court room was more forcible than elegant.

A pool of six home men is being formed to develop the After Supper Lode, situated back of the Black Hawk Foundry. The property has been idle for several years. By many it is considered as the northeasterly extension of the Fiske Mine.

Jacob Tascher and John Gobbel & Co. are cleaning out a shaft on the Storm Lode at the foot of the southerly slope of Two Sisters Hill in Eureka Gulch. The shaft was pretty well filled up with sand and other debris. They will develop it. The Storm has not been worked for the last ten years.

A few days ago the mining reporter of the Register-Call accepted an invitation to take a trip to Yankee Hill. Instead of one log building and a few scattering tents, which indicated the camp in the head of Cumberland Gulch last October, the reporter was very agreeably surprised to find that fourteen other buildings had been erected, besides a 20-stamp mill and a very neat and tidy restaurant which has only been open to the public for a short time. Some of the properties visited are the Golden Lily Lode, Gold Wire, the Whale Lode, Golden Star, the Polaris Lode, the Lombard, and the Lessant. The various companies who have become interested in locations made last summer and fall, are on the ground engaged in erecting shaft buildings and opening up roads for an outlet to their properties. Among these are the Orphan Boy Mining & Milling Company and the Golconda Company. Mr. Mathias Mack has secured a lot in the new town of Yankee Hill and intends to erect a saloon building on the same as soon as the lumber can be procured.

It is said that fat girls are coming into fashion again; that the aesthetic tastes for lean ones has been rejected, and that “willowy, willowy, oh!” girls are rated second choice.

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