Turning Back the Pages

Christmas Truce 1914, as seen by the Illustrated London News.

30 years ago – December 14, 1984

Last week there was a personal in the classified ad section of the Register-Call that said all dogs and cats running loose in Forest Hills would be shot. It also reminded people there is a leash law in Gilpin County. That has created some flak for the Sheriff’s Department, and Undersheriff David Martinez says the department does not condone such behavior. In fact, anyone shooting dogs and/or cats, in Forest Hills or elsewhere in the county, “will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” It would be considered cruelty to animals, Martinez said. If caught, the person could be liable for restitution for the animals and could have a civil law suit filed by the animal’s owner. Martinez’s warning is for anyone in Gilpin County thinking of taking the law into his own hands.

The grant for development of a park in Black Hawk continues to be on hold since a decision has not been made by Gilpin County Commissioners Don Diltz, Van Cullar, and Jerry Ward on whether or not to lease the land to the city. The park site Black Hawk is proposing is county owned property. Council members agreed that they plan to continue negotiating for the park site once Commissioners elect Leslie Williams and Alan Baird assume office.

Paul Felton, street and water commissioner for Black Hawk, updated City Council about the water plant. He commented that the filter plant was inspected by the state and met specifications. The plant is producing an average of 71,000 gallons of water and he is using about 20 pounds of diatomaceous earth a day. Backwashing is now done every other day. Felton stated that he needs a tap at Linda Smith’s, the Dornbrock’s, and the Conoco station. He added that a valve is needed on Main Street and he will need some advice. Felton continued that he would be working with Bill Lovingier on repairing the automatics. He also plans a “map book” which will identify all of the valves in Black Hawk. Lorenz complimented Felton on all the work he has done and the progress he has made. He added that the public service bill has been reduced to $260 a month. All council members agreed with Lorenz and expressed appreciation to Felton.

By Esther Campbell: Saturday, while driving on Hwy 119 to the Gilpin County Library, I saw a most delightful sight. He or she was a little animal, long and white, with head held high, carrying what looked like a small mouse in its mouth. It was obviously a member of the weasel family in its winter coat. I know weasels are bloodthirsty and one of the most effective predators of my new friends, the wild rabbits. They can cause a rabbit to have a nervous breakdown when they come near because they are so feared. But the sight of that jaunty wild animal coming across from the beautiful valley by the Evening Star Ranch threw a jolt of joy through me. I am so thankful to be able to live in this area where we can see a wild rabbit, great horned owl, deer, elk and even a weasel cross our paths if we keep on the alert.

By Catfish: Old cat lyin’ on my neighbor’s woodpile, eyes closed sleepin’ awhile. For the color of crackling dry weeds, eyes like amber glass beads. Sprawlin’ in a rare warm winter sun, waitin’ for my car to come. There’s good down the road, but heck, if the chow’s here, why make the trek?

60 years ago – December 17, 1954

One of the unique and useful calendars received at this office last week was one from Mae’s Liquor store, in which it portrays a pretty girl entering a bus with her arms loaded with groceries. The wind is blowing from the open door and her skirts are being flared to the breeze. She has dropped her pocketbook and several articles of groceries, and is decidedly embarrassed as she has dropped something else, most important, her one part of her raiment that covers the lower extremities, and which is worn by some and not by all. It reminds me of a time while dancing at the Armory Hall many years ago, the same thing happened while I was dancing with one of the glamorous girls of that time, and she nonchalantly stepped out of the them, and hurriedly pushed them into my pocket. I was more embarrassed by it than she, but the irony of it was that I was not allowed to replace them. Wonder what the bus driver on the calendar did in this predicament?

We are extremely reluctant to announce that Mr. and Mrs. Fred Thomas and son left last Saturday for Boulder to make their home. Fred is the author of the “Rumor Groomer,” which has been a valued column in the Register-Call for several years past, and we and hundreds of subscribers will miss his column. It was a column written as he would have said in person, was brimful of philosophy and psychology, and portrayed those little incidents which mean so much to us of mature years. It dealt chiefly with the home life, not only his own, but portrayed by incidents that we all could remember. Fred is most versatile in his writings and should continue, as we prophesy that he will make a name among writers that will be most laudable. So it is with regret and sadness that we bid them good-bye, but as Central City has now lost these fine people, so Boulder will gain.

Mrs. Florence Liedinger of Denver was a visitor at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Otto Blake last Thursday.

Due to ill health Mr. Ramon Smith has resigned as principal of the local school. The young man engaged to take his place is Mr. John Molello of Penrose, Colo.

Mrs. Charles Robins left Thursday for Stockton, Calif., where she will spend two weeks with her daughter, Ida Mae Birtwhistle and family.

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Gray, who have been living in Phoenix, Ariz. for several years, have moved back to Black Hawk. Welcome home!

Mrs. Stella Anfang, her nephew, George Furhman, and her sister, Viola, were up from Golden last Sunday visiting friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Eiven Jacobson, who have been with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Robins for five weeks, left Wednesday for High Rolls, New Mexico, where Mr. Jacobson is employed by the Federal Bureau of Roads.

Mr. George Anderle left Monday for Greeley. George will enter the hospital there to undergo an operation.

Mrs. John Anderle was home over the weekend. She says John is improving from his serious accident and will soon be released from the hospital.

Mrs. William Marshall left Sunday for Denver where she will visit her daughters.

The Black Hawk Cleaners are now located in the Rohling Block and are ready for business.

90 years ago – December 19, 1924

Guy Laub, the eccentric poet who occupied a cabin near Empire Station two years ago and made frequent visits to Georgetown peddling chickens, was burned to death in his cabin two miles from Idaho Springs this week. The body was found burned to a crisp on Wednesday by Dan Ulrich and Chester Brown. They had been sent to investigate a report of a fire in the vicinity. It is believed the tiny cabin of the hermit caught fire from an overheated stove about midnight Thursday. The structure was burned to the ground and Laub’s charred bones were huddled in a corner of the ruins. Laub bought the plot of ground and cabin several months ago and lived a secluded existence, spending his time writing rhymes. He mother lives in Pennsylvania and he is said to have a sister in Los Angeles.

The Gilpin County Dramatic Society has finally decided to give their three-act comedy, “When a Feller Needs and Friend,” on New Year’s Eve. This play promises to be the best the local society has ever put on, is brimful of comedy and perplexing situations and is a play that will be enjoyed by everyone who attends. The length of this comedy is two hours playing time, so it will be over in ample time to attend the dance given by the local firemen the same evening. Due to the fact that this a royalty play, necessitating a cash royalty to be paid to the author, and also an added expense at the Opera House it is hoped that a crowded house will greet these local thespians. We warrant the previous plays produced by this society have been worthy of attendance and equal to many of the plays produced by professionals. The same prices will prevail as heretofore, 35 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. You are assured of your full money’s worth.

Mrs. H. J. Goddard, son and daughter left for Denver Saturday morning to show the little ones the many Christmas attractions at the stores, and do some shopping, returning Sunday evening.

County Treasurer Henry P. Altvater left for Denver Saturday morning, on a short visit with relatives, returning Sunday evening.

Mr. O. L. Patterson was a passenger to Denver Saturday morning, on a short visit returning Sunday evening.

Mr. A.C. Vincent took the flyer for Denver Sunday morning for a short outing, returning on the evening train.

County Attorney W.C. Matthews, County Commissioners Thomas P. Atkinson of this city and John Robins of Black Hawk, have been attending the annual session of the county commissioners of the state, being held in Denver.

Mrs. C. Schroeder and friend and Miss Lulu Davidson who have been visiting relatives and friends here for several days, returned last Friday to their homes in Denver.

Clayton Fraser came up from Golden Wednesday evening on a visit with his mother, sisters and brother.

120 years ago – December 14, 1894

As a skatist, Gottfried Merz is not a success, as was demonstrated by him a few days ago in his attempt “Peter-like” to walk the frozen waters of the lake recently constructed by him on the Dennis Ranch. In his gyrations with skates an “air-hole” trapped him and he fell into the water arm-pit deep. Gottfried says that he is now a full-fledged Baptist of the free-will persuasion and says he is happy to have taken his semi-annual bath.

A teacher of the public schools of the county a few days ago gave her scholars a lesson to mark on slates, the Roman numerals from 1 to 12. In about three minutes one of the boys held up his hand signifying that he had accomplished the work. “Why, Johnny,” said the teacher, “you are real smart. None of the other scholars are half done. Now tell me how you came to finish so quickly.” Johnny in great glee replied: “I copied them from the clock on the wall up there.”

The cabin of Mr. Schultize, on Quartz Hill, was burglarized last Wednesday morning by unknown parties, who got away with a gold watch, $38 in money, a suit of clothing, grip sack, and certificates of deposit in one of the banks of this city. Entrance was gained by a back door. Suspicion points to a man with a black beard who wore a gray hat. The officers are on the look-out for him.

John Burns wants their dollars. Booth wants their souls. Between the two there is little chance for escape for the workingman.

The Register-Call is indebted to Mr. Grenfell, agent of the Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf Co. at Black Hawk or the information that 202 cars of ore were shipped last month from that city to the Denver smelters and concentration works at Idaho Springs. This is an increase of 34 cars over November 1893.

Dropping in at the Gilpin Stamp Mill in Black Hawk last Tuesday morning the mining reporter was shown a gold retort from three cords of stamp mill ore which yielded 12 and 1/2 ounces. The ore came from the Monitor Mine in Nevada District, which is being worked under bond and lease.

The following is a pretty fair description of the old time stamp mills build in Gilpin County in the 1860’s. They were made entirely of wood, the mortar being a box built of heavy timbers and having the bottom filled with stone. The stamp stems were 12×12 inch timbers, 15 feet long, squared, having an iron band around the end and a hole cut in one side to act as a tappet. The cam shaft was an octagonal stick of timber about 16 inches and connecting directly to a water wheel. The cams were sticks driven into cam shafts. There were eight of them for each stamp, thus making eight drops for each revolution of the shaft, which made three revolutions per minute or 24 drops. The heads of the stamps were soon choked up with rock. The pulp was run over a wooden surface which had a number of riffles filled with quicksilver, the only manner of catching the values contained in the quartz or ore crushed.

Died: On Ralston Creek, Jefferson County, December 8, John Hollow, aged 56 years old. Native of England.

Died: In Steamboat Springs, December 9, James Hoyle, editor of the Steamboat Springs Pilot, aged 41 years, 1 month and 9 days.

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