Turning Back the Pages

30 Years Ago – January 7, 1983

  Nearly two weeks after the Blizzard of ’82, the snow remains and continues to plague Gilpin’s various road departments. Cold temperatures have frustrated the weak attempts of the sun to melt the icy mounds of snow. This week, just when people’s tolerance was wearing thin, the winds came. Roads across the county became covered with deep snow drifts, making some of them impassable. Drifts on Highway 119 were three to four feet deep, the worst one being just north of the Bureau of Standards building in mid-county. Bobby Clay, supervisor of the Gilpin County Road and Bridge Department, said King Flats Road, the road to Smith Ranch west of Central City and parts of Dory Hill are still closed. Clay said he’d managed to get a plow through the Kings Flats area but by the time he drove a short distance, turned around, and came back, he had “lost the road.” The drifting was so bad that snowplows could not push many of the drifts. The county had to bring in graders and dozers to clear the snow. A mammoth drift near the old town of Gilpin was six feet high and 15 feet wide, blocking the entire road. There were four vehicles stuck in it.

Leslie Williams of upper Apex Road has been appointed by Governor Lamm to the 16-member State Advisory Council on Emergency Medical Services. Williams is the former commander of Gilpin County Search and Rescue and is the county coroner.

A power surge or failure during Tuesday night’s winds knocked out the hot water pump and the backup pump for the heating system at Gilpin County School. Superintendent Fred Meyers said there was some heat, temperatures were between 55 and 65 degrees inside the school, but no water was being pumped. Meyers said his biggest problem was getting the students back home. He said that with winter road conditions being what they are every year in Gilpin, he would suggest that the school year be changed so that the vacation period would run between January and March.

Arvey Drown, the head of Central Gold Corporation, who faces a jury trial for allegedly swindling investors out of more than $7 million, asked a federal judge this week to appoint a public defender for him because he doesn’t have enough money to pay a private attorney. Drown’s request was granted, as he was found to be indigent.

Two letters of resignation were accepted at the regular county commissioners’ meeting on January 3. Leland Baker resigned from the Gilpin County Board of Adjustment, a board appointed by commissioners to hear variances from the county’s building and zoning codes. Jerry Braden resigned his position as county social services director and has taken a position with Colorado Counties, Inc.

The gross building permit income for 1982, the result of 113 building permits issued for the year, was $32,766.87. About $20,000 of that was from the ventilation project currently in progress at the Moffat Tunnel. There were 30 permits issued for new houses, down about 50% from 1981. There were six permits issued for solar units, three for wind generators, one for a greenhouse, three for stove installations and five for repairs on burned houses.

Sandra Lee Gervais, 25, of Central City, died last Friday, December 30, 1982. She married Raymond Gervais in 1975 and they have lived in Central for about a year and a half on Spring Street. Donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation.

Gilpin County Commissioners received, by mail, a notice from Steven Lee Bradley, accused in the murder of David Dockery, of his intent to bring suit against Sheriff Rosetta Anderle and the County Commissioners.  Bradley cited the policies and practices concerning his medical and psychiatric care, and the physical condition of the Gilpin County Jail, which he claims violated his rights. He is seeking a total of $300,000.

County commissioners passed a resolution discontinuing any responsibility for the maintenance of roads within Golden Gate State Park, and then passed a second resolution entering into an intergovernmental contract to maintain the roads within the park on a contract basis, not to include any asphalt work.

A lot of women had a lot of fun at the Glory Hole Tavern on December 29 as they watched five men from the Magic Dance Company of Denver stage an all-male review. Some women reported to have found the idea of men dancing in brief, uh, briefs gross, disgusting and revolting, but a reporter and editor of the Register-Call thought it was good clean fun and the most fun they had had in ages.

Charlie Wilkinson writes in the column Tall Tailings: “Ah, but I have big plans for January.” That includes never staying up for the 10 o’clock news (“If it isn’t on at five, it can’t be that important.”); eating a lot (“didn’t gain one lousy pound over the holidays so is going to make up for it); going out for the mail only once a week (let the junk mail lie there in the box, lonely); brushing their long-haired Persian cat every day (wouldn’t a whole month without hairballs be lovely?); writing all those friends the long letters promised in short notes with Christmas cards; writing the Great American Novel  (that will  make “Grapes of Wrath” seem insensitive); playing that saxophone; and reading all the books bought in 1982.

County Commissioner Victor Braecher, left alone to sign papers, was visibly surprised when the commissioners and a large portion of the county staff came back into the commissioners’ room of the courthouse for a last farewell. Jerry Ward awarded Braecher a bronze plaque from commissioners in appreciation for his four years of service to Gilpin County.

Dear William C., Janet, Kathy, Tom, Ernie and Donna: Congratulations! Since the Rocky Mountain News failed to publish an edition the Saturday of the big blizzard, I guess that means that Colorado’s Oldest Continuously Published Newspaper is now the Register-Call. Seems to me the News ought to adopt a new slogan: Published Whenever We Damn Well Feel Like It. (Lew Cady)

Katz & Brusco: The Super Bowl Tourney is on. Getting right to the games… and how we like them: The Browns made history by being the first NFL team to make the playoffs with a losing record. They may make history again by how badly they are beaten by the Raiders. The Dolphins seem to be an illusion! On paper they are not impressive, and their dual-QB situation is very unorthodox for the NFL, but, they win. The Redskins have the best record in the NFC and the Lions will have a long plane ride home after this game. The Cards have let us down every time we’ve picked them and the Pack has played hot and cold so this game is a toss-up, but we’ll take the Pack. We liked the Jets for the Super Bowl, but the Bengals should be too much for them. The Steelers have a prayer, but the Charger offense gives them a win. The Bucs, our best underdog selection, over the Cowboys. The Falcons are a mystery team but the Vikes could be the surprise of the NFC. They will beat the Falcons.

60 Years Ago – January 9, 1953

Miss Helen Laird, this editor’s cousin, who sang the part of Barbarino in the Marriage of Figaro at the Opera House here last summer, is to sing the title role in her operatic debut with the Little Orchestra society in Weber’s opera “Euryanthe,” which will open at Carnegie hall in New York City, Jan. 13th.

A telecast likeness of the head of the Black Pyre murder victim, whose remains were found some four miles below Black Hawk several months ago, brought a flood of calls and letters from all parts of the United States to both the Denver Police Department and Sheriff McKenzie, of Gilpin County. McKenzie said that after the television show ended at 5:30 p.m., he had received close to 300 calls before 8 o’clock, asking further information regarding the murdered woman. The reconstructed head, with fiber muscles and other features added to the original skull, was shown in the hope that someone could identify her.

Figures released by the Colorado Council of Adult Education showed that Gilpin County, with only 508 persons old enough to vote, turned in the best record in the state to get out the vote. Only seven people eligible to vote failed to go to the polls. With 98.8 percent of the voters casting ballots, Gilpin County had the highest in the state. Well, Gilpin County has always been the highest in the state, in mining, culture, dramatics and operas, so we take this new laurel with a polite bow.

1952 – The worst polio year in history.

The increase of pupils in the Black Hawk School has warranted the addition of another teacher. Miss Marie Garwood has been engaged to teach the upper grades while Miss Elsie English will continue as the primary teacher.

The new congress appeared primed to join with great gusto in President-elect Eisenhower’s promised drive to slash federal spending. Republicans and Democrats alike voiced overwhelming sentiment for budget cuts ranging from $5,000,000,000 to more than twenty billion.

Colorado is closing what will be the most successful year in her history. Her tourist trade has been the greatest she has ever known. This, because of the increased travel to see Mr. Eisenhower, who had his national headquarters here for several weeks. It is doubtful if the state will ever receive the free publicity that she received this year because of the enviable position she held in the race for the presidency.

The most popular orator is the one who says the least and doesn’t delay in the saying. He never tires his audience.

90 Years Ago – January 5, 1923

  1923 greets you – and will soon leave you.

Whereas Nevada School District No. 2, has, for the full period of one year, failed to maintain a school, and to keep up its organization of officers, and make Annual Report as required by law, Nevada school district No. 2 is declared annulled.

Whereas Hughesville School District No. 6, has, for the full period of one year, failed to maintain a school, and to keep up its organization of officers, and make Annual Report as required by law, Hughesville School District No. 6 is declared annulled.

The roads in Russell Gulch are again clear of snow, they having been shoveled out by a crew of men.

More presents were purchased this year than last. This is the conclusion of Post Office department officials based on reports from 50 of the largest post offices in the country.

Charles E. Barrick received a telegram message at 4 o’clock Monday morning from his daughter, Mrs. Wm. H. Griffith at Portland, Oregon, wishing him a “Happy New Year,” and many of them. This message is from the longest distance ever received at Apex, and Mr. Barrick was more than pleased over the greetings from such a long distance.

Gustav N. Meyer, who has been caretaker at American City for the past fifteen months, left Monday for Denver to recuperate and get the benefit of a lower altitude. C. R. Baer will look after the premises during his absence.

December has gone out as the windiest month of the year, although no colder than November, and snow fall about the same.

Chas. S. Robins has completed his first six months as the Star Route Mail Carrier, and has not missed one trip during that time. If he cannot make the trip to Apex with a conveyance, he walks.

The “Sea Lion,” a Hobart Bosworth picture in five reels will be shown at the opera house on Saturday.

“Cancel the war debts,” is the latest wail that comes from across the seas. It was also the first and it will not be the last.

The funeral of Jim Richards, who died in Denver last week, was held in Russell Gulch on Wednesday afternoon.  Mr. Richards died at the home of his sister on December 29, 1892, of miners consumption. His age was 51 years.

There ought to be a law barring all pedestrians from the public highways. They interfere too much with reckless motorists.

Women’s skirts have been considerably lowered as a result of the season’s styles. But fortunately they did not come off.

The City of Black Hawk’s committee on unsold properties advised the City Council to rent the Polar Star Mill to the highest bidder, Messrs. Peter and Charles Rundquist. That party will pay $20 per month for said mill with the condition that at any time the City should sell such property, that the renters will have thirty days to clean-up and vacate.

The Case and The Girl, by Randall Parrish, a mystery romance with a thrilling plot, full of extraordinary people in extraordinary situations, spiced with fancy and written in a style that is unusual, is the Weekly Register-Call’s upcoming serial.

Sympathy often leads us astray. We are constantly asking people how they feel, and thereby reminding them of their woes.

On the ground that the Colorado Supreme Court held constitutional a law that first should have been submitted to the direct vote of people in the district involved, an appeal will be taken immediately to the United States Supreme Court in the Moffat Tunnel case by the attorney representing Mary Milhelm and Frederick Metcalf, who brought the original action attacking the constitutionality of the tunnel law.

John McKay, manager of the Jenkins-McKay Hardware Store, Black Hawk, met with an accident last Friday, which is causing him considerable pain and loss of sleep. He stepped through a hole in the floor in the storage room, and in his efforts to protect himself from a fall, dislocated the knuckle joint of his left hand.

Cheer costs nothing, and perhaps that is the reason why so many people hang onto it.

The soviet government of Russia has executed 1,766,000 people – proof positive that in the land of bolshevism, it is cheaper to execute than it is to feed.

Hustle! Hustle! Nineteen twenty-three is already slipping away. Write it 1923 – but don’t skidoo.

120 Years Ago – January 6, 1893

  $32,342,571.00 – The total of Colorado’s yield of precious metals for the past year; a decrease in the production of 1891 of $1,206,363.

Take Notice: Any person or persons depositing any live ashes within the fire limits of the City of Black Hawk, except as provided for by the city ordinance, will be prosecuted according to the law.

At the last meeting of Company D it was unanimously voted that the company attend the inauguration ceremony at the capital next Tuesday.

Among the many new laws and statuary amendments to be presented to the legislature in Denver will be several relating to mining. Not least important perhaps, being those for government of mining companies.

The miners and mine-owners in Colorado were swindled out of nearly $12,000,000 by the gold bugs of the east, who control and regulate the price of silver.

A perfect working model of a Gilpin County mine, in which can be seen sixty diminutive men engaged in drilling with hand and power drills, picking, shoveling, timbering, pushing cars on and off the cage, hoisting and lowering buckets, etc., showing the underground working to perfection, and also a stamp mill, engine, pump, air compressor, and hoisting machinery in operation, is the cleverest piece of mechanism and will be placed on exhibition in the band room, first door above the Black Hawk Post Office.

During the vacation the male scholars of the public schools have had a splendid time in skating at every point where ice has accumulated along North Clear Creek. There never was a time when skating was as good as it is now on Missouri Lakes.

A Black Hawk woman who missed clothes from her line happened to go unexpectedly into the kitchen of a neighbor and saw the missing articles hanging there to dry. The guilty woman hurriedly gathered them up, threw them into a closet, set a trunk upon them and denied having seen them. She finally returned a part of them, and so far has escaped prosecution.

Frank Matusick, an Austrian miner well-known in Central and Black Hawk, was held up at one of the houses of easy virtue on Pine Street last Sunday evening and robbed of $95. Matusick said he had gone to Nelly Walker’s with John McGinnis and Frank Cheatley. After being there a few minutes he opened the door and stepped out onto the stoop in front of the door when McGinnis caught him by the arms and Cheatley struck him twice over the head with a bottle or a hatchet, couldn’t say which. While he was dazed, his pocketbook was taken out and $95 taken from it and the pocketbook was placed back in his pocket. Sheriff Hooper last night received a telegram from Cheyenne that McGinnis and Cheatley were under arrest there. The sheriff left this morning for Cheyenne and will return tomorrow with the prisoners.

The masquerade carnival at the Gregory Ice Skating Rink on Monday evening last was well attended, notwithstanding the numerous other attractions that occurred that evening.

Died: In Central City, December 31, 1892, William, son of Mrs. William Mills, aged 3 years and 6 months.

Died: In Nevadaville, January 1, 1893, Idwell, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. O. Williams, aged 6 months and 22 days.

The registry fee on letters and parcels is now 8 cents instead of 10.

The Spur-Daisy Mining Company have taken two 25-stamp battery sections at the Bobtail Mill, and started them up Tuesday on ore from the Two Sisters Mine near Central.

The only difference between the turkey and the after-dinner speaker is that one is stuffed with chestnuts after death and the other before.

The new plant of machinery received by the National Mine Pool is now in position at the mine and steam was raised for the first time on Monday. As soon as the water is taken out, miners will be put at work in sinking. Mr. John Nichols, the underground foreman, expects to put men at work in the bottom next Monday. Three 8-hour shifts of miners will be employed in sinking and 200 feet of shaftage will be sunk as rapidly as possible.

The fall term of the Central City schools ended December 23d, and the next term will begin on January 9th. The number enrolled, to date, 454.

The New Year’s Ball of the Nevadaville Fire Department given last Monday night at Cannon’s Hall in the Town of Mines, was attended by over 70 couples.

There are 91 students enrolled in the primary department of the Bald Mountain Schools; 58 students in the Intermediate grades; and 35 students enrolled in the Grammar and H.S. That brings the total enrolled there to 184.

Christmas bills and Christmas ills come hand in hand.

135 Years Ago – January 5, 1878

As Mr. Leshy was driving a load of quartz from the Specie Payment Mine down Virginia Canyon, the wagon brake gave out and the four horses were soon going down the steep road at a break-neck pace with two or three tons of ore behind them. They soon ran into a similar team ahead of them and going the same way. The result was that one of the horses was killed, and Mr. Leshy received severe bruises, but fortunately escaped with no broken bones. He said one of the wagon wheels ran over his leg between the knee and ankle, but some think this could not have occurred without completely crushing it.

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