Turning Back the Pages

30 Years Ago – February 25, 1983

  The old barn on the Eureka Valley Ranch, owned by Louis A. Morrone, along the King Flats Road, finally relented to the winds early this year after leaning dangerously over the road for close to a year. The structure is thought to have been built in the 1860’s-80’s period. It was built with mortise and tenon construction methods.

Kenny Staruk, a local stonemason employed by Gilpin County Woodworking, squared up a newly-formed door, broken through a two-foot thick stone wall in the basement of the Golden Rose Hotel in Central City. The doorway is in anticipation of the proposed public restrooms and an addition to the Central City Police Station.

Union Rural Electric Association, Inc., a consumer-owned cooperative which supplies electricity to the rural areas in Gilpin County, recently sent questionnaires to its mountain customers to learn the interest level to a proposed cable television service.

John Henry Clark, incarcerated in the Gilpin County Jail since last August, has brought a million-dollar lawsuit against the Gilpin County Board of Commissioners and the County Sheriff over what he feels are cruel and unusual conditions. It is the second lawsuit filed over jail conditions this year.

A group of 33 disgruntled investors, mostly Canadians, are suing Arvey Drown and Central Gold Corporation, claiming they were bilked out of their investments. They are seeking $12.2 million in damages. The civil suit was filed Tuesday, less than a week before Drown’s criminal trial on fraud charges was scheduled to begin in federal court in Denver.

President Ronald Reagan has signed the Small Tract Bill, giving the U.S. Forest Service the right to sell parcels of land that are 40 acres of less, that are not adjacent to other federal land, and that have an appraised value of under $150,000. Gilpin County has so many patented mining claims that are arranged in a jumbled pattern, that there are numerous small pieces of federal land mixed in between them. If the Forest Service sells them, then there is a potential for the new owners to build on them without going through the standard subdivision process. Gilpin County Commissioners met with representatives from Congressman Tim Wirth’s district office and were vociferous in their objections to the bill. They urged strongly that some of the hearings to be scheduled prior to the new law going into effect, be held in Colorado and Wyoming.

Gilpinites are still not satisfied with the Post Office. Letters that are mailed in Central City and addressed to Black Hawk are cancelled in Denver and take four days to be delivered to Black Hawk. Mid-county residents believe the rural routes should start in Black Hawk, not Golden. The rural route carrier does not deliver anything until he is past Black Hawk, but still gets paid mileage up from Golden. People who have the Golden addresses have to pay more for automobile insurance because the insurance companies base their rates on the Golden address.

Tom Glass, Gilpin County’s state senator, has announced that he will sponsor a bill in the Colorado Senate to amend the provisions of the territorial charter of Black Hawk. The amendment provides for the creation of special improvement districts for the purposes of funding. Black Hawk, Central City, and Georgetown are the only remaining Colorado communities operating under territorial charters.

Jerry and Carol Cantor of Central City are proud to announce the birth of their first child, Dara Gay Cantor, born on February 20, 1983.

Joann Partridge-Freshour and Frank Freshour of Black Hawk are the happy new parents of Frank Robert, Jr., born on February 17, 1983.

Total sales in Gilpin County for second quarter 1982, over second quarter 1981, showed an 8.6 percent increase. Increases occurred in the categories of food stores, 48.3 percent; automotive, 75.8 percent; furniture, 33.3 percent; manufacturing, 44.1 percent; and transportation, communication and public utilities, 23.5 percent. Decreases occurred in the categories of building material sales, down 43.8 percent; apparel and accessories, down 16.2 percent; eating and drinking, down 14.4 percent; and miscellaneous services, down 22.8 percent.

The Booster Club at Gilpin County School voted to make $135 available for the purchase of a word processing program for the computer. Teacher Judy Schuster presented the funding request from the staff of the school newspaper, the Eagle Eye, and said the staff feels the program would give many students invaluable experience and make the newspaper staff’s job much easier.

Anyone having ideas for, or wishing to volunteer time or expertise for a playing field at the Gilpin County School, is asked to please attend an organizational meeting at the school on February 28.

Mark W. Blatter, Navy hull maintenance technician fireman apprentice, son of Kenneth and Shirley Blatter of Gilpin County, has departed on a deployment to the Western Pacific aboard the oiler USS Cimarron.

The Weekly Register-Call, Colorado’s oldest continuously published newspaper, can now be proud of something new. It has just received the Colorado Press Association’s first-place award for “Best News Story of the Year” for Class I newspapers (those having a paid circulation of less than 1,500). There are over 50 weekly newspapers in this category. The winning story was written by Janet Davis and Kathryn Heider Mason about the alleged gold mine scam of Arvey Drown and Central Gold Corporation.

60 Years Ago – February 20, 1953

  The Central City Opera House Association set its sights higher Friday as members of the finance committee began solicitation of funds among friends of the Central City festival. The committee is seeking $75,000. A major portion of the money will be used for capital improvements on the property in Central City owned by the association, including $8,000 to remodel and renovate the balcony in the opera house so that all action on the stage can be seen from every seat. A new system of stage lighting, including installation of a complete and flexible switchboard, will cost another $5,000. Further renovation planned for the Teller House is estimated to cost between $12,000 and $15,000.

The cost of producing “Carmen” and “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” the two operas which will be presented this summer, will be $170,000 not including advertising and other necessary items related to these productions.

Ruth Rice reports that the recent County Polio Fund Drive resulted in total collections amounting to $101.73.

A total of $170 was realized from sales of the Community Birthday Calendar last year and this amount is being applied on the purchase price of a visual aid projector for Gilpin County Schools. For the very nominal sum of 25 cents it is possible to have your birthday listed upon this calendar, itself costs but 50 cents. Leafing through this calendar you will also find listings of birthday dates of your friends and neighbors, anniversary dates, dates of important local meetings throughout the year, and the names of local lads who are serving in the armed forces. On the back of the calendar can be found the accepted flower and birthstone for each month of the year, the dope on the correct wedding anniversary gifts from paper to diamonds, and spaces for your favorite and important telephone numbers. Orders are now being taken.

Dr. Rodeck’s splendid lecture, given at the Grade Auditorium last night, concerned an unknown tribe of Indians, known as the Mimbres tribe since they were known to have inhabited the Mimbres Valley in Southern New Mexico.

Under the capable coaching of Don Mattivi, the Eagles of the Gilpin County High School, have been winning many games in basketball, having won three out of four games last week. The team is handicapped in having to play in the old Presbyterian Church in Black Hawk, no hall being available in this city, which is a dire calamity and we hope that next year the school board will find means of erecting a hall of full size in this city.

Mrs. J. D. Nassimbene has been appointed Red Cross Fund Chairman for this county and with her assistants will soon start the fund raising campaign.

The largest gain in steel capacity ever made in a year – an increase of nearly 9 million net tons during 1952 – has raised the annual capacity in the United States to a record high level exceeding 117.5 million tons of ingots and steel for castings, as of January 1, 1953.

For the first time in history, the United States has more women than men and faces the prospect of an ever greater disparity in numbers between the two sexes.

90 Years Ago – February 23, 1923

  The Russell Gulch School gave a program in honor of both Lincoln and Washington at the school on Thursday afternoon.

The moving picture shows heretofore carried on at the Opera House will be discontinued from this date forward, and until further notice.

Flying in the face of opposition from right-minded citizens in Denver and throughout the state, the House of Representatives passed on third reading on Wednesday, a bill which legalizes gambling in Colorado. This after the people of the state had expressed themselves as positively opposed to the passage of the bill.

William Ziege, who attended the session of all the assessors of the state at Denver last week, returned home on Tuesday evening. He was in bed several days, suffering from Quinzy, but a surgeon, with the aid of a sharp knife, gave him relief, and he is feeling all right again.

Estimates by army engineers that the cost of constructing a new isthmian canal through Nicaragua would be nearly $1,000,000,000 led to an announcement by President Harding that the project had been abandoned for the present.

Born: In Black Hawk, February 18, to the wife of Mr. G. Brisbois, a daughter.

The fellow who brags about his birth generally has nothing else to talk about.

Messrs. Julius Nordlien and Edward Quinn returned from Black Hawk to American City on Tuesday, where they are doing remodeling work on the Snug Harbor cottage.

The Apex and Elk Park residents have been enjoying the February thaw from last Friday until Wednesday, the snow having settled considerably. The mail during the warm spell was on time every day.

There are two ways to win a woman. One is to spend money on her. So is the other.

The American antelope is threatened with extinction, according to officials of the Department of the Interior. There are probably not more than 3,000 antelope remaining in the United States and the total number in Yellowstone Park is now 350 whereas in 1908 that number was estimated as 2,000. Unless extensive protective measures are taken, officials declared, an animal widely admired for its coloring, delicate proportions and zephyr-like movements, soon will be seen only in museums.

The third annual meeting of stock growers of Jefferson and Gilpin counties, was held in Black Hawk on Monday afternoon, and was well attended. In the evening a dance was given which was well attended and all had a good time.

Mr. Cavnah, superintendent of the Atlantic Mine at Hughesville, is loading a car of concentrating ore for shipment to the Idaho Springs concentrator. A car of second class ore will be loaded by the end of the week for shipment to the same place.

A bill has been introduced in the Senate and passed second reading making drunkenness in a public place a crime against the state, and upon conviction the party shall be punished by a fine or imprisonment in the county jail.

  “They hanged a woman in China.”


  “No, not very.”

120 Years Ago – February 24, 1893

  Society people of Black Hawk, Nevadaville, Central City and elsewhere throughout the county have been agog ever since the announcement was made that Company D, of the First Battalion, Colorado National Guards, would give a grand military ball on Wednesday evening, February 22nd, the night of Washington’s Birthday. The evening’s enjoyment commenced with the grand march which occurred at 9 o’clock, seventy-eight couples being in line, many others arriving during the march. The march ended, a “quadrille” was announced in which about 100 couples engaged. From that time on until 4 o’clock the next morning dancing was kept up excepting a short intermission given the orchestra of the Black Hawk Silver Cornet Band, who furnished the music.

John H. Pickel of Nederland says he is anxious to see the road from Middle Park to this side of the range built via Nederland. He says it will be by far the nearest route from Middle Park to the valley and that it can be built much cheaper than any other road.

Peanuts are recommended as a sure cure for the liquor habit. But what will cure us of the peanut habit?

If the dreaded hoop skirt becomes the fashion again, the most humble women will be able to spread themselves in the matter of dress.

The doctors report that the spring fever germs are beginning to stir uneasily in their sleep. That being the case, clean up the filth around your premises.

Central City received a fine American flag this week, ordered purchased at the last regular meeting of the Council. It was swung to the breeze last Wednesday morning for the first time from the Liberty pole in the public square at the head of Main Street. In size it is 12 x 25 feet.

Silver prices = $83 7/8; Lead prices = $3.90.

Stepping into the New Gregory Company’s Bobtail stamp mill in Black Hawk the first of the week, the mining reporter found McFarlane & Co.’s force of mill wrights engaged in putting in new ore concentrators or bumping tables at the foot of the north 25-stamp battery section. The company will try a new experiment in concentrating the mineral contained in the slime from the batteries, by placing a second table below the first bumping table.

The manager of the Fiske Mine is sinking an additional 100 feet in the engine or main shaft, the present depth being 835 feet, 35 feet of which has been sunk by one shift of miners who go to work at 5 o’clock in the evening, thus enabling them to have the use of the bucket which is kept busy from 7 a.m. until that time in the evening in hoisting stamp mill dirt. The company are now employing 60 stamps, the ore yielding from 5 ½ to 8 ounces per cord.

Sinking in the main shaft of the Sleepy Hollow Mine has ceased, and plats are to be cut and stations established at a depth of 350 feet. The Sleepy Hollow is the same as the Fiske vein, and with deeper development work, there is no reason why it should not prove equally as productive as the westerly portion.

Harry Garlick & Company are working in a 90 foot shaft at the Americus Mine, west of the Fraser shaft on that vein. This week they have been having a run made at the Polar Star stamp mill in Black Hawk.

A dear old Central lady says her house has got a “spinal stair-case.”

Ellsworth Post No. 20, Grand Army Republic, this city, is about to forward to headquarters in Washington, the names of soldiers who have died in this county, for the purpose of making a requisition for headstones to mark their resting places.

The announcement that pies will cure dyspepsia is noted with interest by the crust of society.

An alarm of fire Saturday night about 9:30 o’clock called out a good number of the firemen. A dense smoke was seen coming from the three-story outhouse in the rear of Louis Cattani’s place of business. A stream of water was turned on from the hydrant at the head of Gregory Street, and the paper on fire, which caused the fire was soon extinguished.

Some men know how to be real mean. A story is going around about a certain Central City man whose wife had gone visiting and would not listen to his appeals to come home. He took a copy of the Register-Call and carefully clipped one item, and then sent the paper to her. She wrote and asked him what the missing item was about, and he refused to tell her. The scheme worked admirably and in less than a week she was at home to find out what had happened that he did not want her to know about.

Died: In Black Hawk, February 18, 1893, of miners’ disease, John Polglase, aged 48 years, native of Cornwall.

Died: In Black Hawk, February 18, 1893, of rheumatism, Toval, son of Andrew and Tine Sorenson, in the 7th year of his age. The bereaved parents have the condolences of a large circle of friends, this being the fifth child that they have consigned to Mother Earth, all of whom are buried in the Black Hawk Cemetery on Dory hill.

Died: In Central City, February 20, 1893, of miners’ disease, Thomas Henry Stephens, in the 57th year of his age, native of Cornwall.

Died: In Central City, February 21, 1893, Tessie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Flynn, aged 2 years and 6 months.

At Aspen a couple of days ago, a car-load of Giant powder, 30,000 pounds, was wrecked by a car-load of lumber running into it. The powder car was smashed, and the powder scattered in every direction, and considerable ground into dust under the wheels, but not a pound exploded. Had the whole mass exploded, there would have been but little of the town of Aspen left.

It is reported that a young lady teacher at a district school not far from Black Hawk was recently instructing a few youngsters in spelling. The word “husband” was put on a blackboard, but none of the children could pronounce it, and in order to help them out she asked, “What would I have if I should get married?” The answer was prompt and she blushed such a red that the sunlight faded.

The authorities of a Western town have ordered free whiskey for all small-pox patients. This would surely cause an epidemic in Central City.

135 Years Ago – February 16, 1878

  Gentlemen, ridicule it as you will, the woman who is good enough to pay taxes is good enough to cast a ballot, and the time will come when you’ll have to admit it.

Valuable Information – Below will be found a few of the recipes for rheumatism which we have been selecting, some of which are quite edifying. Per example: Kill a big dog and put your feet inside. Wear sulphur in your shoes. Wear silk. Wear flannel. Exercise. Don’t exercise. Pray fervently. Don’t eat meat. Eat all the meat you can. Don’t smoke. Smoke all you like. Don’t drink. Drink brandy. Carry a piece of alum in your pocket. Bathe. Don’t bathe. Wear a horse-chestnut in your breeches pocket. Rub with kerosene. Don’t swear. Put on hot poultices.

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