Turning Back the Pages

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30 years ago – May 26, 1989

Recently the Public Service Company of Colorado kindly donated a three member crew to help the Gilpin County Historical Society relocate several large and extremely heavy items. One of the items was an old ore car. Jeff Casey, historical society board member, moved the car from the basement of the museum to the front lawn, which is where it was positioned and may be viewed by visitors.The Gilpin County Historical Society Museum opens daily beginning this weekend through Labor Day, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The admission contribution is $3.00 for adults, which is tax deductible, and children under 12 are admitted free. Many volunteers have worked diligently through the winter months rearranging the museum and cleaning it in preparation for the summer months. It’s well worth a visit by locals and tourists alike interested in the history of Gilpin County.

Buildings, as with people, eventually succumb to age, however, age plus neglect is the worst fate of all. Recently another section of the historic Mack Brewery collapsed, which is sad to see parts of Gilpin’s history crumbling into what one day will be only dust. Built in the 1990s by Martin and Jack Mack, what remains of the building can be seen west of Central City. In its day, it was not only a brewery, but also included a beer garden for customers. The brewery flourished until the turn of the century after many wagon trips across the mountains delivering beer to neighboring towns. Upon Martin’s death, Jack pulled up stakes and left the area, hopefully for greener pastures. One treasure from the past that remains today is a mural from Mack Brewery. It has been preserved and is on exhibit in the main hallway of the Gilpin County Historical Society.

City water worker Ted Brott was promoted to the position of Public Works director by Central City’s Board of Aldermen, effective May 11. Brott, who has been employed as water treatment plant operator since June 2, 1988, recently earned his Class D water treatment certificate. Establishment of a preventive maintenance program for both the water plant and the city’s street is high on Brott’s list of priorities. He is also seeking donations of paint and lumber to use in upgrading the 25 year old water plant. Stiff new regulations to be issued in June may require new plant construction, Brott said, although he is hopeful that improvements will bring the facility up to snuff. His crew has already begun restriping the downtown streets and he has established a new work schedule for the summer. Workers will be on the job at 6:00 a.m. in order to complete as much work as possible before visitors show up. Brott anticipates ending the work day in the middle of the afternoon. He is now accepting applications for a road crew worker and is looking for someone with strong experience in motorized repair and street maintenance.

There were tears and there were cheers as the Class of ’89 received the diplomas that mark the close of their high school careers at Gilpin County School. While graduation is the end of high school, it is also the beginning of the future, and the looks on the faces of the latest group of local grads were a mixture of anticipation and nostalgia. Commencement speaker Ron Hinton, formerly a math teacher at the school now working in Indiana, spoke of both the past and the future. Invited by the graduating class to present his first commencement address ever, Hinton advised them to do the best they can in whatever endeavors they elect to pursue and to spread happiness wherever they go. In an era of go-get-‘em aggressiveness, Hinton’s advice was a bit of down to earth, refreshing honesty. Hinton noted that graduation was perhaps the only time anyone would have the opportunity to catch Ann Farrer in a dress, and Brenda Schlep recalled the retiring teacher Marge Quiller gave her the first “F” and now she had given her last. Andy Rohrer, not surprisingly, wore a pair of shorts beneath his graduation robe. Apparently he’ll have no trouble taking Hinton’s suggestion that the students not take themselves too seriously. The kids have plans for the future that will take them to places they’ve never been before. Their hopes and dreams reflect the idealism and freshness that comes when the future lays ahead and the world opens up to welcome one. Valedictorian Darren Warn addressed the class at graduation on May 19 and spoke the importance of his spiritual life. Brook Anderson, class salutatorian, spoke of a desire to create a better world. Our futures, as well as their own, are in the hands of the 1989 graduating class. They seem ready to do their best.

60 years ago – June 5, 1959

Central City Nuggets:

Across the Crossroads, by A.F. Mayham: Uncle Ed and the Old Philosopher, both having reached the age of reminiscence, get together once in a while and endeavor to offer solutions for various predicaments which seem to pester the era into which they find themselves cast. Both of them, long ago, belonged to the “Brothers of the Brush” and used the old kitchen wash basin to wash and rinse the manly hirsute appendage hanging from the chin. In their heyday, gold was an everyday commodity and not gambled with in the international market, and neither can figure out why, outside of politics, it is so valuable to a few but denied to so many. The conversation between the two drifts from one thing to another in their wanderings and the modern definition of a square is one who likes religion, the Ten Commandments, and truth; the opposite is the hobgoblin of little minds. Nature endows every mind with a choice between truth and repose, but one can’t have both. Vanity sits in strange quarters, usually displayed by the arrogant person in their mastery of ignorance and semi-illiteracy, sort of an inconsistency between deed and creed. Such an individual, they both agreed, possessed an inferiority complex built upon the foundations of emotional conflict and disturbed human relations. The cause may have been a parental let down in early life. Their life was scarred early—never outgrew their adolescent rebellion and some turn out to be a heel and fein to act like something which they are not, but live dangerously through lack of basic principles. These two old codgers seem to enjoy the present, but often think they were born 30 years too soon. Says Ed: if a woman looks young these days, she’s probably old, but if she looks back, follow her, and the best way to fight a woman is with your hat: grab it and run. Before the advent of the vacuum cleaner, the broom and dust pan were used, and sometimes the broom handle was invoked as a corrective element of implement, but the Old Philosopher says the vacuum was a valuable instrument, although he avers many woman and some men can pick up more dirt with the telephone.

Miss Patricia Calabrese was taken to the hospital in Boulder last Saturday, but is home now.

Don Miller, on way to work Monday morning, in rounding a curve below the Chief Canyon Cafe below Black Hawk, was startled by having two deer jump from the mountainside, one of them landing on the hood of his car. The deer was almost disemboweled by the impact, and damage to the car was estimated at $300. Game Warden Turner of Idaho Springs was called, and after dispatching the animal by cutting the throat, sent it to Denver for distribution to some charitable organization. Maybe the doe was disappointed in love, and decided to commit suicide, but Don suggests that at any future period they take other means of destroying themselves other than jumping on his car. He was not injured, which was most fortunate.

Mr. and Mrs. George Springer returned Wednesday morning from a week’s visit spent in Glenwood Springs. They enjoyed the baths, cavorted in the warm pool, and generally had a helluva good time.

Walter E. Scott has returned to his home in Central City after an absence of several years spent in Denver, where he was the Commissioner of Mines for Colorado. He was one of the most efficient officers that Colorado ever had, and we sincerely hope his health will improve rapidly in this clean air of the mountains.

Black Hawk Gold Dust:

Mrs. Luella Fritz returned Monday after spending Memorial Day in Denver with her daughter and family, the Dallas Howards.

Mr. and Mrs. George Crites of Denver were in town Tuesday. He was engaged wtih mining in this area a few years ago.

Died: The community was shocked to hear of the sudden death of Henry Placek, 52, last Wednesday at his home at Skyline. He had lived in this area for seven years and was the driver for the Gilpin County School bus. He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Josephine Marhsall, of Seattle; brothers Milo of Boise, Idaho and Louis and Edwin of Seattle; sisters, Blanche Placek, Viola Westrom, and Dolors Brockmier of Seattle, and Mrs. Mary Meeting of Council Bluffs, Iowa, most of whom came here to attend the funeral Friday in Boulder. “Hank,” as he was known to his friends, was a man of sterling qualities, always ready to lend a helping hand and will be missed by many. Interment was in Seattle.

90 years ago – May 31, 1929

A mental expert says that there is very little difference between the man who is sane and one who is insane. Yes, as in other cases, the big difference is in getting found out.

Miss Jeannette Waite, the music teacher in the public schools of this city for the past year, left on Tuesday for Denver, to meet a party of friends and will accompany them on a trip to Spokane, Washington, to spend part of the summer vacation, and later will visit her relatives at Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Mr. James Cody left for Denver Tuesday, to take part in the decoration of graves of relatives in the Denver cemeteries’ and visit with relatives, returning Saturday.

Attorney James M. Seright was a passenger to Denver Tuesday morning, on business matters.

Reports from St. Luke’s Hospital are that Mrs. George Fuhrman, who underwent an operation for appendicitis a couple of weeks ago and was threatened with an attack of pneumonia later, is doing nicely and reported as completely out of danger.

While helping to install the water column in the Pittsburgh shaft in Lake District, last Thursday morning, Joe Flynn was knocked down the shaft by a descending bucket and fell a distance of 46 feet, striking the rubber suction hose connected with the pump, which partly broke his fall, and then the timbers in the shaft, which saved him from dropping into the sump. His partners rescued him and had him hoisted to the surface and, after an examination was made by Dr. Schultz, of this city, and a doctor at Idaho Springs, he was ordered taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver where ex-ray pictures were taken, which showed five distinct fractures to his head and body. In falling he went down head first, and when he struck the timbers of wood, a sliver of wood, several inches in length, struck him over the eye and imbedded itself for the entire distance, but did not destroy his eyesight. He is resting as easily as one could expect under the circumstances, and is slowly recovering from the shock and injuries.

Married: In Central City, May 26th, 1929, Rev. B.H. Christer of Idaho Springs officiating, Mr. Wilbur S. Parfet and Mrs. Elizabeth Hall. The wedding took place at the present home of the couple, in the former home of Mr. Henry Peck, near the old Colorado & Southern Railroad depot, which had been prepared for the occasion and was completely furnished, and was witnessed by a few intimate friends of the contracting couple. The groom is the mine superintendent for the Chain O’ Mines Company of this city, with a responsible position which is being carefully looked after in the interests of the company. The bride has been one of the teachers in the public schools in this city for several years past, both having many friends in the city and county, who extend congratulations and good wishes for a long and happy future.

Died: Mrs. Mary Tumball, mother of Mrs. Harry J. Teller, and a frequent visitor to this city, died at her home in Grand Junction, Colorado, last week, at the age of 64 years, and was buried in Fairmount Cemetery, Denver, on Monday last.

120 years ago – June 2, 1899

The co-partnership of Duncan McRae and Fred S. Bolsinger, doing a general dry goods business in this city, had been dissolved, and was to be continued by Mr. Bolsinger.

Mr. J.W. Bostwick of Denver is having some work down on the Clark Garner Mine on Quartz Hill, for eastern owners. New ladders are being placed wherever needed and it is understood that the property will be examined, so as to determine upon the future policy of operating it. The main shaft has reached a depth of 500 feet and is credited with a former good production, the ore being of a satisfactory grade.

At the Cook Mine on Bobtail Hill, the working force is now 90 men, and heavy shipments of both mill and smelting ore are being maintained. The water has been causing considerable trouble of late, and is now up to the 700 foot level and flowing into the Fisk workings. When connections are made from the 700 foot level with the Bobtail workings, it will greatly relieve these two properties of excess water.

Fred Frey is working in the lower tunnel of his Hayseed property in Quartz Valley District, and is taking out some good looking quartz and mineral which is being piled up for shipment to the mills and sampling works.

Born: In Black Hawk, May 21st, 1899, to the wife of Emmanuel Andreata, a son.

Born: In Black Hawk, May 22nd, 1899, to the wife of Frank Gabardi, a daughter.

Born: In Black Hawk, May 27th, 1899, to the wife of John Webster, a son.

Born: In Central City, May 31st, 1899, to the wife of Charles Avers, a son.

Married: In Central City, at the rectory of St. Mary’s Church, Rev. Father Desaulnier officiating, William Hart, of Victor, and Miss Anna Arthur, of Russell Gulch.

Married: In Central City, June 1st, 1899, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Rev. H.B. Cook officiating, Mr. Joseph Floyd and Miss Alice Stevens, both of this city.

151 years ago – June 4, 1869

Ed. C. Hughes, of Black Hawk, advertised mountain sheep, mutton, beef, veal, etc., at his popular market.

Fifteen inches of snow fell here on May 28th.

Several parties are working on the Jones Lode, in Nevadaville, and one lot of several cords taken from Captain Phillipp’s claim returned 26 and one half ounces gold to the cord.

Mr. W.L. Lee has resigned as superintendent of the Black Hawk Mining Company, and George Congdon has been appointed in his place.

The shipment of gold and silver bullion, including the production of Professor Hill’s smelter, in Black Hawk, for the month of May reached a total of $28,000.

An ox team arrived in town Thursday from New Mexico, and unloaded at Martain M. Seavy’s store. Among the freight was one small item of 1,800 pounds of pinion nuts.

George R. Backus, of Black Hawk, son of Judge Backus, had received the nomination as a cadet at the West Point military academy.

The Langrishe troupe closed on Saturday in “Neck of the Woods,” after a successful season of several weeks. From here they went to Georgetown, then to Denver.

The City Council at their last meeting elected D.C. Collier, J.C. Royle, Richard Harvey, Robert Teats, and Willard Teller as school directors for the ensuing year.

Married: In Nevadaville, May 30th, 1869, Rev. Francis Byrne officiating, Benjamin Slouch and Miss Leora Sterling, both of Nevadaville.

Married, at the residence of Henry M. Teller, in this city, Rev. G. H. Adams officiating, May 30th, 1869, James Lockhart and Miss Adelia McGuinn, both of Central.

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