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Turning Back the Pages


30 Years Ago – July 22, 1983

  Bobby Clay and Kent Blake were called upon to clear the snow off the Rollins Pass road last week. The entire job took about three days. It’s the middle of July, the snow drifts reach to 20 feet and are so long that when the plow operator starts in, that he can’t see where he should come out at the other end. Gilpin County Road Supervisor Bobby Clay and the retired Harry Snyder are the only people who know how to find the road in all that snow. There are no markers showing where the road lies. Clay made the first cut through each drift with the county’s D-6 plow and then widened the cut enough for Blake to get through with a D-7 on loan from Boulder County.

A young Denver couple, injured in a traffic accident in Black Hawk, won a million dollar settlement against the driver who caused the accident and the ownership of the Gilded Garter bar which had served the driver before the accident.

Some locals will go to any lengths to become an opera star, as evidenced by one-man horse, a/k/a Lew Cady. Cady is displaying his versatility by performing both the front end and the other end of a horse in “The Elixer of Love.” The only extra in the opera this year, Cady does not simply have a walk-on – or even a trot-on- part. As a member of a traveling medicine show he passes out potions while he picks customers’ pockets and he entertains by dancing to music provided by a trumpet-playing bear.

Deputy David Martinez investigated a report of a loud explosion outside of a Dory Lakes residence. Upon investigation, it appeared that the mailbox had been blown up, possibly by fireworks.

The Black Hawk Theater Company continued its 1983 season last weekend with the opening performance of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” From the opening poker game to the closing hand, although not much poker gets played, this comedy of urban wit and characters, though sometimes jerky on opening night, mostly rolled with its quick-paced dialogue and sequence of events. The opening night crowd of approximately 40 people loved it. The production features John Brown Chesebrough as Oscar, the sloppy one, and Richard Emmert as Felix, the compulsive one.

A Central City resident was issued a summons, charging him with the unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, by Officers Dirk Vaughn and Mike Brewer. The resident allegedly used a loaded shotgun to threaten a person who was going the wrong way on a one-way street.

The roof has been leaking at the Gilpin County Arts Association Gallery in Central City for years. In fact, it has been so bad at times that gallery managers have had to run down and take paintings off the wall during middle-of-the-night thunderstorms. That’s all over now. July 10, a new roof was dedicated in memory of Marjory Rentz, a longtime supporter of the association. The new roof became a reality due to donations, the most substantial coming from the Adolph Coors Company.

Vandals hit Gilpin County School Sunday night. The object of their vandalism was the brand new, highly controversial landscaping effort on the front of the school grounds. About 55 yellow-tipped pftizers which had just been planted a few days before, were torn out of the ground and thrown aside. The bushes had been planted by Chet Grapes as part of a $6,520 landscaping project. Grapes is a student at RE-1, and has been taking a landscaping class at Warren Tech. The bushes were back in the ground the day after the vandalism, thanks to Chet, his mother Joann Grapes and the school maintenance men. If the bushes do not survive, the school will submit the damage to its insurance company. The sheriff’s office is investigating in the hopes of identifying and prosecuting the vandals.

As county road crew employee Ken Fader was trying to dump a load of road fill, the load unexpectedly shifted. Luckily, the bolts holding the dump truck box broke as the truck tilted, so the cab did not roll over and Fader was uninjured. The disconnected truck box tipped up and fell sideways, landing on the ground just behind the driver’s door. Damage to the truck is estimated at $15,000.

Central City resident Mertrand Knoll passed away Tuesday, July 19, 1983, at Mercy Hospital in Denver. She was born August 9, 1909, in Tacoma, Washington. In 1915 she moved with her parents to the Rudolph Ranch in mid-Gilpin County. She attended Thorn Lake School and Gilpin County High School. She was married to Dominic Mattivi in 1925. He passed away in 1952. In 1956 Mert Mattivi married Howard Knoll. She operated the Old Fashioned Eating House at 111 Eureka Street in Central City for 27 years. The café was famous far and wide for its homemade bread and pies and cinnamon rolls.

Lyle Sawyer Sr. of Corona Heights died May 13, 1983 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver. He was born February 13, 1908, in Denver. He lived in Corona Heights for the last 20 years. He worked many years as a security guard, working at Remington Arms Factory in Denver. He also worked for the Pullman Car Company and helped build the Moffat Tunnel when he worked for the Rio Grande Railroad. After he moved to Corona Heights, he became a Gilpin County deputy sheriff and patrolled the area around Manchester Lake.

Central City Officer Daniel Boone responded to a call as back-up for Gilpin County Deputy Sheriff Steve Foellmer to a call at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, that someone was “racing up and down the cemeteries and digging holes” with a trencher. Boone and Foellmer found a Dodge van parked on the mine dump and went to investigate. Boone saw a mine shaft and stayed clear of it. What he didn’t see was that the van was backed up to a “pit” and when he went around to the back of the van, he fell into it. Along with numerous scrapes and bruises, Boone smashed four fingers on his left hand, sprained his left elbow, partially dislocated his left shoulder, and dislocated his right thumb. At least, Boone said, “I got to call my own ambulance.” And, why didn’t Foellmer call one for him? “I think he was too busy laughing,” Boone claims.

60 Years Ago – July 17, 1953

  Today is our 91st birthday, and we start another year with Volume 92, No. 1, with never an issue being missed, either daily or weekly. It is a peculiar coincidence that the Daily Miners Register on Friday, July 17 and this date is the same. Rest assured the Register-Call will continue on, and even though the present editor is not here, it will still carry on, upholding the traditions of the founders of those early days.

Homecoming services were held at St. James Methodist Church and at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church last Sunday.

Charles Moody, of this city, who had recently taken a lease in partnership with Ed. Evans, of Black Hawk, of the Stroehle Machine shop, in Black Hawk, was seriously injured last week when he fell from the top of the Stroehle building to the ground, receiving a broken pelvis, and numerous cuts and bruises. He was putting in window panes and slipped down the steep roof to the ground.

There was a hot time in the Gold Nugget last Thursday evening. A gang came in after the Opera and let out with some songs that shook the 1870 chandeliers. “Old Man River” has always been one of the most popular songs in the Gold Nugget. Every year it is sung by some member of the cast, but Leon Lishner tops them all with his singing of this favorite song.

Between 80 and 100 riders, members of the Round-Up group, were here Wednesday on their trek to Elk Falls Park. Tuesday evening they camped in Boulder Park, coming here via Jenny Lind gulch and Apex. The visit here is an annual event, and there was many hundreds of thousand dollars of horse-flesh tethered to a rope extending from the corner of Main Street west to opposite the Court House, consisting of Bays, Iron Grays, Whites, Roans and Palominos. Their camp was established at the foot of Bald Mountain, and when reaching their destination on Elk Creek they will disband for this year.

A yellow convertible rental car, which was parked almost in the center of Eureka Street, obstructing traffic from down and up the street, was towed to Black Hawk and an assessment of $5.00 was levied against it. Dezso Ernster, star of the opera “Merry Wives of Windsor,” when looking for his car, was informed it had been towed and if he wanted to recover the vehicle, he would have to pay the costs of towing, and perhaps other costs assessed against it. He replied in a most haughty manner he would not pay any fines or costs, and if any were assessed against him, he would refuse to sing that evening. What a childish act. It would be the same if you took away a lolly-pop from a small child, he would say – “Give it back to me, or I’ll not go to Sunday School.” Maybe Dezso believes he is the reincarnation of Enrico Caruso and is allowed privileges here he cannot receive in New York. However, he paid the towing charge, and he sang that evening.

90 Years Ago – July 20, 1923

  For the past ten days there has been about an average of two floods per day in Apex. For a wet July month it is a rival for honors with the July of 1896.

The Central City clerk was instructed to write to Peter McFarlane in regards a building near the foundry that is hanging over the flume which is considered dangerous.

The fellow with a loose tongue soon empties his head.

Gen. H. Lord, director of the budget, announces a federal surplus on June 30 of $310,000,000. We take ours in the form of a reduction in taxation.

Born: In Black Hawk, July 17, 1923, to the wife of Charles Robins, a son.

Born: In Russell Gulch, July 15, 1923, to the wife of Mr. A. Zancanella, a daughter.

Born: In Central City, July 18, 1923, to the wife of Richard Champion, a daughter.

William Kirk is hauling cinders to be spread on the highway near his home in Russell Gulch, a much needed improvement.

The country should be congratulated on the big improvement in the health of the people between 1900 and 1920. During that 20-year period there was a marked decrease in the death rate for typhoid, malaria, scarlet fever, diphtheria and croup, tuberculosis of the lungs, meningitis, bronchitis and all forms of pneumonia. There were increases in the death rates for influenza, whopping cough, cancer and other malignant tumors, diabetes, cerebral hemorrhage and softening and organic diseases of the heart.

Joe Casper is hauling milling ore from the Jupiter Belmont Mine, Russell District, to the mills at Black Hawk.

The Yellow Pine Mine at Sugar Loaf, Boulder County, has been contributing its small but regular quota of smelting silver ores mined by lessees, as has the Caribou Mine, at Caribou. The installation of new milling machinery at the old Boulder County mill promises production from the milling ores that are planned to be blocked out at the group of consolidated properties at Caribou.

Lightning took a piece out of the transformer at the Becky Sharpe Mine near Russell Gulch on Monday, and on Tuesday gave it another jolt which put it out of commission.

The bakery wagon from Boulder arrives Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Griffiths’ and bread on alternating days from Denver.

The heavy rains of the past week have done very little damage in the Black Hawk vicinity, and steady work has been maintained on the flume, which has now reached a point under the railroad bridge.

How times do change! In the old days before the war, foreign princes and dukes and barons had only to cast their eyes calmly over the marriageable women of great wealth in America and take their pick of the flock. Now about the only pick they can grasp with their delicately manicured hands is the pick that turns up dirt.

Acting city marshal and water commissioner of Central City, Neil McKay reports that the flume has been cleared from the reservoir to the Black Hawk city line, the academy reservoir would hold six feet of water, and that he has put in 21 posts at the city cemetery.

The mail carrier to Apex wore such a broad smile on Tuesday, and was so confused in his work that everyone wondered what had happened, and finally he announced that the stork had arrived at his home in the small hours of the morning and left a fine baby boy.

120 Years Ago – July 21, 1893

  The Georgetown Miner in speaking of the situation in that place says, “The closing of our ore markets the latter part of June, by the great fall in sliver, necessitated the closing of our mines, thus throwing out of employment nearly three-fourths of the wage earners of Georgetown, and Clear Creek County.”

All the silver mines in Colorado and the west remain closed, the miners are out of work, and many of their families are suffering for the necessaries of life.

Prices: Silver = $70.50; Lead = $3.50

A dollar goes a long ways just at the present time, and if you have one, don’t be afraid to put it in circulation.

Gold retorts are being turned out by the stamp mills at Black Hawk every day, the value of which is put in circulation as soon as they are deposited in our banks.

Mr. E. C. Barber, of Idaho Springs, came over to Central last Wednesday on a brief visit with friends, and to take a view of the situation in Gilpin County. He reports that since the silver mines closed down, the miners have all gone to work gulch mining in the bed of Clear Creek, and predicts that more gold will be obtained from this source, during the present summer than ever before.

Much interest is being taken in the revival meetings held at the Presbyterian Church in Black Hawk. If ever a mountain town needed an outpouring of the holy spirit, it is the Quartz Mill City.

A much needed improvement is being made at the intersection of Bourion with Pine Street, rear of the new residence of Mr. J. S. Beaman. A substantial retaining wall is being put in and filling put in back of it. It is the intention of street commissioner Kelleher to widen both streets at the point of intersection, making the turn from Pine to Bourion Street much wider as well as a great deal safer.

Born: In Central City, July 14, 1893, to the wife of Daniel Munday, a daughter.

Died: In Central City, July 13, 1893, John B. James, aged 73 years, native of England.

Quite a sensation occurred last Saturday evening in the usually quiet city of Black Hawk, caused by the leaving in a very sudden manner of a married woman who was too gay for her liege lord. Not content with taking their offspring along with her, she also secured some $600 of his hard earned money. In company with a younger sister, she went to Central and on Sunday morning went over to Idaho Springs and on up to Georgetown. The husband followed, and it is said that since that time the would-be absconding wife has returned and that husband and wife will soon take a trip across the pond to England. The circumstance caused no little comment among gossipers of the Quartz Mill city, in which a married man came in for a large share of criticism.

Gold quartz has been found on Fortification Creek, Routt County, 25 miles from the Wyoming line, due south of Rawlins. It is said to assay $130 per ton.

Col. John Q. A. Rollins is getting the Rollinsville and Middle Park wagon road in splendid condition for travel.

Central City stands in need of a public drinking fountain in the square at the head of Main Street.

William Martin and son on Tuesday last were raising quite an amount of lead ore from their Little Treasure Mine on Two Sisters Hill. It was from the lower 125-foot level. The lead ore is being piled up awaiting better prices for lead and silver, while the stamp mill dirt is sent to the Polar Star Mill in Black Hawk. The latter yields about 3 ounces gold to the cord.

There is a handsome piece of mineral at R. B. Williams livery stable from the Little Anna Mine at Tip Top, owned by Mr. Williams, Nick Sams and others, and while coarse grained with iron, runs well in the precious metals.

Richard Oates, a miner in the employ of the Sioux City Gold and Silver Mining Company, Russell District, on Wednesday afternoon while engaged in arranging some timbers in the main shaft, a board upon which he was standing slipped and he was precipitated down the shaft a distance of 110 feet, where he landed head-foremost on a trap door. He was placed in a bucket, raised to the surface, and brought to his residence on Nevada Street, this city. Dr. E. F. Lake was called, who found that his skull was fractured in several places. It is very doubtful whether he will recover. Friday, July 21, 7 o’clock a.m., Richard Oates died last night, never having regained consciousness.

The south road leading up Peck Gulch to Yankee Hill has been placed in good condition. It is shorter and a much better road than by the Grizzly Gulch route.

Notwithstanding the hard times and bad breaks all around, Central City goes on in the even tenor of its way. Business is fairly good, and hope fills the breast of her citizens. Let us keep cool heads, carefully look after our finances and all will be well.

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