Turning Back the Pages

30 years ago – March 4, 1988

“We were very lucky,” said Sandra and Jim Martin of Martin’s Log Products on Monday. A fire destroyed the Martins’ log cabin office in mid-county on February 28. Although the fire was quickly contained, the office was totally destroyed. Another building next to the structure had minor damage. “We can’t thank the fire departments enough,” Sandra Martin said. “The response was so quick.”Pat Carr, a resident of Forest Hills, was on his way home when he saw the blaze at the sawmill. Carr said that he closed his business in Central City about 6:30 p.m. and was en route to his house. Once he reached his residence, he notified the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department of the fire. According to the dispatcher log, the call was received at 6:43 p.m. David Thomas, chief of High Country volunteer Fire Department, reported that fire fighters were on scene at 6:51 p.m. Dawn Kimber, a member of HCVFD, who is a resident in the immediate area of the fire, was at the site prior to the arrival of other fire fighters. Thomas is 99 percent certain that the fire started in the office as a result of an unattended wood heating stove. Total damage to the eight by 10 foot structure is estimated at $1,100, including the office contents. Sandra Martin said Monday that if the fire had gone undetected “we could have lost everything.” The destroyed office was in close proximity to the storage building that received minor damage. However, next to the storage building is stacked wood and remnants of lumber that led to the saw mill building and equipment. Jim Martin recently had cataract surgery, his wife explained, which is why lumber in the area was not as safely stacked as it should be, and is normally. “We are taking care of that now,” she said, expressing concern that Jim was doing too much by operating the loader on Monday. Presently, the Martins reside in Lakewood. No one was at the sawmill site when the fire erupted. The sawmill opened in Gilpin County last summer.

“It was a difficult decision. One of the hardest things I’ve had to do,” said Glenn Bittner, principal at the Gilpin County RE-1 School. Bitter said that although he is not mentally ready, health problems will be forcing him to retire in late August. Major health problems began last fall and culminated in his decision. Bitter became principal at the school effective November 1986. He plans to remain at the school until August to aid in the transition of a new principal and to get all of the paperwork updated, he said. “I hope I made a positive contribution while here,” he commented. “This is a delightful place to close a career. I have a lovely wife, and spending time with her is what is important now,” he said. Bitter and his wife, Louise, are planning to move to the home they purchased two years ago. The house is located on two and a half acres, near Texas Creek, about 35 miles southwest of Canyon City. “Whatever you do in life should be fun… teaching, coaching, or administration,” he said. “Now, I am looking forward to spending time with my grandchildren and wife.”

Died: John Leroy Patterson, formerly of Central City, died at his residence in Parachute, Colorado, on February 24, 1988. He was 70 years old. He was born on March 21, 1917, in Trinidad, Colorado, to John L. Patterson, Sr. and Selina (Prescott) Patterson. Patterson worked for the U.S. Postal Service in Denver for a total of 36 years. He stated in 1940 and took time out to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. He later retired from the postal service in 1982. He married Helen McInturs on July 26, 1947, in Reno Nevada. The Patterson’s made Central City their home in 1958, where they lived until 1986. After leaving Central City, the Patterson’s moved to Parachute, where John resided until his death. John had several hobbies which included traveling, collecting stamps, and flying. He was very proud of his private pilot’s license. He was a member of the Central City Lion’s Club, the Central City Elks #557, and won driver of the year awards for the U.S. Postal Service on many occasions. Survivors include his wife, who continues to reside in Parachute; his son, Gene Samson of Riverdale, California; two stepsons, William Arthur McGaughy of Greensboro, North Carolina, and Gene Robert McGaughy of Torrance, California; two sisters, Thelma Copy of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Marjorie Webb, of Littleton, Colorado; nine grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. Graveside funeral services were held March 1, at Bald Mountain Cemetery, with Reverend Robert A. Ellis officiating.

60 years ago – March 7, 1958

Central City Nuggets

Joe Menegatti left Wednesday morning by plane for Orland, California, called there by the death of his older brother, Charles, who died Sunday. Charles was 66 years of age, was born in Black Hawk, where he spent his early years, later going to Alaska, where he remained some thirty years. He has been a resident of California for the past seven years, having a laundry business. He is survived by two sisters, Mrs. Rose Dale, of Denver, and Mrs. Mary Carnolo, of California, two brothers, John, of Los Angeles, and Joe, of this city.

Reports current are that part of the new road being built at Idaho Springs to alleviate the bottle neck, has struck a snag. State engineers are endeavoring to find a way out of building the underpass for the road leading to the Hot Springs Hotel. It seems the plans were drawn some time ago and agreed to by all concerned, but lately the financial situation concerning road building has raised its head and changes from the original plan are sought. There seems to be a small figure difference, somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000, involved and the contractor would like to change plans to suit the budget, but the hotel management is loath to accede to any changes from the original plans, on the ground that it would hamper access to the hotel and be a detriment to ailing patients, who use the hot baths for recovery from every impediment they are afflicted with. The road is expected to be finished in time for summer travels.

Black Hawk Gold Dust

Norman Blake, of Black Hawk, a state mine inspector, was reported slowly improving in Presbyterian Hospital in Denver, from effects of powder smoke and poisonous gas encountered Wednesday in the break-through of Denver’s Vasquez Tunnel, at the foot of Berthed Pass on Monday. Norman, who supervised the blast when both headings broke through, was one of several men who became ill in the three mile water tunnel, due to lack of oxygen, and was taken to Denver Tuesday, where he has been under oxygen since that time.

After several weeks in the hospital, Mrs. Alice McKenzie returned home Wednesday, but will remain for a while at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Donna Blake.

Sammy Redman was up from Denver Sunday visiting his father, Sam Redman, Sr.

Did you notice the Black Hawk picture in the Denver Post Empire recently, which showed the store front of Marguerite’s Antiques? The old stoves, the wagon wheels, and the chinaware in the window looked very natural.

Four year old Cathye Wright has been visiting her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Earl Smith in Georgetown.

Died: Harry Gallagher died last Monday at his home in Concordia, Kansas, after a long illness. Besides his wife, Ella, he is survived by four children and his 94 year old mother. The Gallaghers have a ranch in the Mountain House District, and are well known to this community.

90 years ago – March 9, 1928

According to Simon Bitterman, who recently returned from New York, there is a possibility that the immense anthracite coal deposits in this section will be developed this year. He said a group of New York financiers are ready to take over the Shelton and Dorsey tracts containing some 4,300 acres of anthracite coal. A spur railroad will be built from the coal fields to the Moffat railroad, a distance of about 10 miles. This road would come down Deep Creek and join the Moffat at Milner. Further diamond drilling to discover the extent of the deposits is necessary before the New York people will take over the acreage. This drilling is to be done this summer by Ohio men who control the property.

The local Boosters basketball team will play the strong Regis College five of Denver, this Saturday evening, at the Knights of Pythias Hall. This may be the last game of the season, and all lovers of this sport will have an opportunity of witnessing one of the fastest games of the year. The game will commence promptly at 8 o’clock, and the usual admission charges will prevail.

How to Make English Apple Pie with Huntington Sauce, by Nellie Maxwell: Fill a deep pie plate with thinly sliced apples, add one cupful  of sugar, one teaspoonful of grated nutmeg and a tablespoonful or more of butter cut into bits – or better creamed with the butter. Add one third of a cupful of cold water and cover with good pastry. Bake forty minutes and serve with the following: boil one cupful of molasses and two tablespoonful’s of butter eight minutes. Remove from the fire and add two tablespoonful’s of lemon juice. Serve warm over the pie.

Died: Thomas Coppard, a resident of this city for many years and a prominent pioneer mine operator of this district died at his home in Soda Springs, Idaho, on February 24. Mr. Coppard was a commissioner of this county several years ago and many of his splendid ideas for the general good are still in evidence. He left here about twelve years ago, finally making his permanent residence in the state of Idaho. He was a member of the Idaho Springs Elks Lodge, being initiated into the order Sept. 21, 1900. Mr. Coppard was born in England, and at the time of his death was nearing 78 years of age. He is survived by a widow, a son, and daughter.

Died: Georgetown, February 28th, 1928 – Funeral services for Harry H. Nash, 79 years old, who died here Monday evening, will be held Wednesday from the Masonic Lodge rooms with the Rev. H.S. Beavis, officiating. Nash came to Colorado with his parents in 1863, settling near Empire, and moving to Georgetown five years later. In 1874 he married Miss Barbara Selak, who survives him. A pioneer miner and prospector, Nash drove an ox team to Montana and back in 1865. He was the oldest resident of Georgetown at the time of his death. Besides his widow he is survived by two daughters, Mrs. Edith Oliver of Denver, and Mrs. Gertrude Pulsifer of Georgetown.

Died: Mr. Gerald Leahy died in Denver on Friday, March 2, at the age of near 84 years. He was a pioneer in Gilpin County and spent the greater portion of his years in this vicinity, leaving a few years ago for Denver, where Father Naughty secured him a place in some home there.

120 years ago – March 11, 1898

Captain J.O.D. Kelleher, of Nevadaville, went out to Moon Gulch on Saturday to look over his mining property there, which he intends to operate.

The funeral of Thomas J. Burke, manager of the Hubert Mine, in Nevadaville, who died in California, was held in Denver on Sunday afternoon. Interment was in Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

At the First Centennial Mine in Chase Gulch, employment is given to 55 men and daily shipments of 50 tons of ore are being maintained, of mill dirt and smelting ore. A number of changes are being made in the equipment by manager Rickard, and more are contemplated, all to the betterment in operating the mine in the future.

Another rich gold strike has just been made in the Topeka Mine, in Russell District, the ore being of the same character as found some time ago by Mr. Henry P. Lowe, being a white quartz, literally lined with free gold.

At the Elk Valley Mine in Elkhorn Gulch, drifting is being carried on at a depth of 60 feet east of the shaft, and which has opened up 10 inch streak of lead ore, which carries good values in silver. The property is owned by Dr. Henry Paul, of Denver.

Sinking operations are being accrued on in the West Pittsburg Mine in Lake District and a depth of 260 feet has been reached in the shaft, which now shows a four foot body of ore of both milling and smelting character, which give good returns in both mill and smelter. Cleveland, Ohio, parties are interested in the operation of the property, and are well pleased with what development work has already opened up.

Born: In Central City, March 4th, 1898, to the wife of R.C. Benight, a son.

Born: In Central City, March 2nd, 1898, to the wife of Lewis Edwards, a son.

Born: In Black Hawk, March 6th, 1898, to the wife of V. Paternoster, a son.

Married: In Central City at the M.E. parsonage, Rev. J.F. Coffman officiating, March 8th, 1898, Al. Davidson and Miss Janie Hinds, both of Eldora, Boulder County.

Died: In Central City March 9th, 1898, Mrs. Bridget Galvin, aged 39 years.

Died: In Central City, March 8th, 1898, son of Mr. and Mrs. B. Parkey, aged 2 1/2 years.

146 years ago – February 1873

Yesterday was selected as the time for testing the new Gardner fire engine, and the place chosen was the summit of Missouri Hill, where a small house – the remnant of the once flourishing Missouri City – had been purchased, anointed with kerosene, soap grease, etc., and otherwise prepared for the occasion. The engines were on the ground. The fire was lit, and the flames rolled up nearly as red and twice as warm as the shirts of the uniforms of the firemen who waited on the machine. When sufficiently ignited to indicate a successful fire, the engines were brought into requisition. It was found that water would not run up hill, and so they were placed on the hillside above the house, thereby securing the aid of the force of gravity. A feeble stream coursed lazily from the mouths of the nozzles held so near the flames that the hands and faces of the holders were scorched, and yet the flames rose higher, driving back the firemen. This state of affairs continued until the building was a heap of smoldering embers. The contest was a square between the machines and the fire, and the latter came out first best, and so far ahead that no umpire was needed to decide to which side the victory belonged. There was but one unanimous verdict, and that, that the Gardner engines were a failure. This was the verdict, we believe, in the Chase Gulch fire, only the victory of the fire was scarcely as marked there. The agent regards the failure as the result of not dissolving the soda. If this is the case, it is liable to occur again at any time. The same thing occurred, and often does occur, in the small machines, as has been shown by experience, and by the marks of the unneutralized acid on the clothing of those who used them; and herein is the superiority of the Babcock fire engine over the Gardner. In the Babcock engine the water, soda, and acid are all in one chamber, and even though the soda was not well dissolved at first, it would be dissolved by the action of the acid. The soda was put in a bucket of hot water and stirred up, but it is probable that it was but partially dissolved. Granting this to be the true source of the difficulty, it still follows that an amount of preparation and care is required which is not attainable in cases of fire where the engines are to be recharged. Whatever may be the cause of the failure, it is certain that the popular verdict was nearly or quite unanimous against them, and that it was generally felt that the necessity of some other means of extinguishing fires was demonstrated.

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