Turning Back the Pages

30 years ago – July 7, 1989

Sparklers were clutched in small hands and flags fluttered from porches, poles, and the handlebars of motorcycles as Gilpin County citizens turned out to celebrate Independence Day on Tuesday. A large crowd lined the sides of the “Oh My God” Road in Virginia Canyon to take advantage of the outstanding view of the Idaho Springs fireworks display. Where else but in Colorado’s high country can you enjoy the sight of fireworks bursting in mid-air below you? Local merchants celebrated the holiday to the tune of ringing cash registers as tourists filled the town’s streets and shops. Warm temperatures and sunny skies attracted numerous visitors to the area.

The first ever Little Kingdom Pack Burro Race is scheduled for Sunday, July 16, beginning at high noon, with ribbons waving at the starting line on Main Street in Central City. The first in what is to become an annual event affords a unique and exciting form of human and animal team racing, and is something you won’t want to miss. One of several pack burro races throughout the state, this will be Central City’s first sponsorship of such a race. The World Championship will be held in Fairplay on July 30, followed by an international race in Leadville, August 6. There will be three more races after that, so the fun goes on and on. There are official rules and regulations each contestant must meet. For example, the pack saddles must weight a minimum of 33 pounds, and the lead rope can’t exceed 15 feet. The course is 11.3 miles long and, thankfully, not only the burros, but their human counterparts as well, run. The course will begin on Main Street and continue up County Road, next to St. James Methodist Church. It will follow the tramway bed toward Columbine Campground. Following Bald Mountain Road, it passes the cemetery and the base of Pisgah Mountain before leveling out at King Flats for the final descent through Nevadaville and back into Central City. “It may not be the longest race in the state,” said a burro racing official, “but it’s the prettiest.” Cash prizes will be awarded with much ceremony, so don’t miss this exciting event.

Verner and Eunice Sorensen, formerly of Central City, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 4th, 1989, with a reception and dinner in Fort Collins. The couple met in 1937, when Verner worked at the Woolworth store in Loveland, and Eunice Cope worked across the street at the Rialto Theatre. Two years after they met on a blind date, the pair was married at the home of Eunice’s parents. They lived in Montana until Verner left for the South Pacific during World War II. Upon his return they opened and gift shop in Estes Park, then moved to California in 1951 with their infant son, Rock. One night in 1953, Eunice woke her husband in the middle of the night. She had just had a dream that they should move to Central City, which they had only visited once in their lives, and open a store there. There was a good business location in her dream, and it was available for lease. Convinced that it would be a good move for the family, they packed their bags and left for the high country shortly afterwards. Either by coincidence or by destiny, the building that now houses the Bonanza was for rent. They rented the shop and opened Silver Dollar Gifts. The following year, 1954, they bought a building at the intersection of Main and Lawrence streets and opened the Chandelier House of Gifts, which they operated for 32 years, until their retirement in 1986. They moved to Fort Collins upon their retirement. Also living there are son Rock, a practicing attorney, and grandsons Bradley, 7, and Christopher, 5. Central City holds many fond memories for Vern and Eunice. They saw many changes in their three decades in the Little Kingdom. And to think it all started with a dream!

60 years ago – July 17, 1959

Central City Nuggets:

Over 1,200 former residents and visitors were in attendance at the homecoming services at the Methodist Church last Sunday. Two services were necessary to accommodate the attendants: one at 9 a.m. and the other at 11 a.m. Among the visitors were noticed Mr. and Mrs. Charles Auger, Mrs. Elsie Matthews, Mrs. Elma Auger, Mrs. John McGrath, Mrs. Mae Bertagnolli, Mrs. George W. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Wurtz, Mrs. Albert Kruse and daughter, Mrs. Joe Merritt, Mrs. Victor Lampshire, Myrtle Stevens, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Altvater, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lindsey, Dr. and Mrs. Lester of Idaho Springs; Mrs. W. Mellor, Mrs. Loretta Mellor, of Arvada; Mrs. Ernest Roarer, a sister of Bert Johnson, of California, and scores of others whose names we did not get.

Peter Montgomery and uncle, of Boulder, were in Central for a few hours Saturday morning on a fishing trip to the lakes near Corona Pass.

Mr. Walter E. Scott, Jr., was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in the Fowler ambulance Sunday afternoon, suffering from an attack of pneumonia. Latest reports are that he is slowly convalescing, which is pleasing news to his many friends throughout the state.

Several aluminum trash cans have been installed in the downtown area, the purchase of which was sponsored by several businessmen and others. The purpose, obviously, is to try and keep Main Street from being cluttered by unsightly milk, and popcorn cartons, and other trash. However, the intent has not been too satisfactory, as I noticed the following day after they were installed, the main streets were just as unkempt as ever. Street Commissioner Joe Menegatti and helpers are now bolting the cans to the sidewalk so that tourist hunters cannot remove them for souvenirs or something to be put away in a hope chest, but no matter how secure anything is made, some tourist wants it.

Black Hawk Gold Dust:

Mr. and Mrs. T.W. Whitman and two daughters of Fairport, Mo., are house guests of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Hendricks.

Mrs. Dallas Howard and Becky came up for Homecoming Service at the Methodist Church and spent the day with Mrs. Fritz and Carol Kent.

Arriving Monday from Gallina, New Mexico, was Mrs. Jean Jacobson with two friends. She seen several days at the Robins’ farm and also visited her mother, Mrs. Helen Robins, at Crestview Nursing Home.

After spending two weeks with her parents at Pagosa Springs, Mrs. Dowell Blake and children returned home Thursday.

Born: A baby daughter was born to Mr. and Mrs. Gene Peterson at Rocky Mt. Hospital on Tuesday. Grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. M.K. Peterson, are taking care of little Kim until mother and baby return from the hospital.

Died: Word was received of the recent death of Will Singer at Steamboat Springs. He was an uncle of Gus Rudolph and an old pioneer of the Guy Hill District.

90 years ago – July 12, 1929

Mrs. Verner Haynes came up from Denver Friday to assist at the post office during the absence of Postmaster Henry Stahl, who is attending the Elk convention in Los Angeles, California.

Dick Magor and wife, accompanied by his father in law, Henry Mayhem of Reno, Nevada, motored up from Denver Friday afternoon, and spent a few hours visiting old friends. Mr. Mayhew was looking fine, enjoying good health, and will spend a portion of the summer in Denver with the Magor family.

Undertaker Ed. L. Harris, of Denver, made a short call on his old friends in Central, on Saturday last.

Mr. Fred Pitkin, in the employ of the Public Service Company, was over from Idaho Springs Tuesday for the purposing of inspecting all of the electric light meters in Gilpin County.

Mr. and Mrs. John M. Miller and son, of Seattle, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Zancanella and wife and daughter, Miss Vera of Loveland, Mr. and Mrs. Green and children, and George Goldberg of Littleton were in Central Tuesday, on a visit with friends.

How to Make Spiced Prunes, by Nellie Maxwell: Wash a pound of prunes and cover with three cupfuls of cold water. Let stand overnight. In the mornings simmer gently in the same water until tender. Remove the pits, add to the liquid the juice and rind of a lemon, one half cupful of vinegar, a cupful of sugar, a teaspoonful of ground cinnamon and one half teaspoonful of cloves and allspice. Simmer for five minutes, drop in the prunes, and cook five minutes. Remove the fruit to sterilized jars and boil down the syrup for five minutes. Pour over the fruit and seal while hot. This is an excellent standby as it can be made at any time.

120 years ago – July 14, 1899

Mr. John Best returned from Denver Thursday, accompanied by Alfred Hooper, of Detroit, Michigan, one of the largest owners of the Saratoga group of mines in Russell District.

Mrs. Lt. P. Davies and daughter, Miss Edwyna, of Denver, and her friend, Mrs. Graves of Wisconsin, arrived in Central last evening, on a visit with friends.

Major Hal Sayre and family arrived in Central Thursday evening, on a short visit with friends.

Mr. W.C. Fullerton, wife and family left on Monday for their ranch in Middle Park, where they will locate during this and the coming month.

Jacob Leidinger and wife, of Sheridan Hill, returned from Cripple Creek the first of the week.

The jury in the case of Mrs. Battle vs. the Vendor Mining Company for damages in the death of her husband, while working the Black Hawk flume, failed to agree, and were discharged by Judge DeFrance.

Miss Emily Richards has resigned as bookkeeper for Wagner & Askew, Russell Gulch, and is now studying for the coming examination at the teacher’s institute.

Ed Kinzy, of the Cook Mine, has a photo which he values very much. It was taken on Pike’s Peak on July 4, of this year, at an elevation of 14,137 feet above sea level. It shows a group of passengers standing on the platform beside a coach and engine of the cog railway. Nearly everyone of the party was well wrapped up as though the weather was cold, and Ed’s word was that it was. One young man had a bunch of flowers, gathered from the mountainside, in one hand, and a big snowball in the other. Another man is building a pile of snow on the top of his straw hat.

A force of 17 men are at work in the Lotus Mine, in Lake District, 11 of whom are doing development work, while the balance are taking out ore. The mine is producing a good grade of ore, and the last carload shipment from the 300 and 400 foot levels gave values of $131 per ton.

Born: In Central City, July 2nd, 1899, to the wife of William H. Mitchell, a son.

Born: In Central City, July 6th, 1899, to the wife of Michael Powers, a son.

Born: In Central City, July 11th, 1899, to the wife of John Dimler, a son.

Born: In Central City, July 11th, 1899, to the wife of James Rule, Jr., a daughter.

Born: In Lake Gulch, July 13th, 1899, to the wife of Robert McCaull, a son.

Married: In Denver, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Rev. George Vosburg officiating, Mr. Thomas Tucker of Central City and Miss Leah Davies, of Denver.

151 years ago – July 16, 1869

Mr. A.C. Smith was erecting a 16 stamp mill on the ditch on Quartz Hill, near where it crossed the road to Idaho Springs.

When City Marshal Robert A. Clark, of Black Hawk, with a constable, attempted to arrest the Cramer brothers, former residents of Peck Gulch and Nevadaville, in a barn on Dory Hill where they were located, Clark was shot through the head and instantly killed. Sam Cramer was arrested in Central City later in the day, but Thomas Cramer, who did the shooting, escaped. The City of Black Hawk offered a reward of $1,000 for his arrest, and the county commissioners offered a similar amount.

The Briggs Company in Black Hawk were working on a vein 14 feet in width in their mine.

Colonel Schofield was a visitor to Central on Monday to make preparations for the proposed visit of his brother, General Schofield, who was a resident of Colorado in 1861.

The Golden Transcript said some miners working four miles west of Golden had a tussle with a she-beast, which drove them into the camp and kept them there.

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