Turning back the pages

30 years ago – April 19, 1985

The City of Black Hawk lost one of its older landmarks Friday night when the Stroehle Building was consumed by fire. The large stone and wooden structure was built prior to the turn of the century by George Stroehle, a European immigrant. Upon coming to the States, Stroehle lived in Illinois for a while and learned the boiler-making trade. After being discharged from the Union Army, he moved to Black Hawk in 1864, and founded the Black Hawk Boiler & Sheet Iron Works. The firm later became Stroehle & Son, and a good deal of the boiler and mining equipment used in this area was manufactured in the big stone building at the foot of Gregory Gulch. Last Friday evening, a small fire was discovered around 7:30 p.m. in the building. When the Central City Fire Department responded to the fire, they were told that everything was under control. According to John Starkey and Tom Poindexter of Black Hawk, all of the debris and burning rubble was removed from the building. Around 11:00 p.m. that same evening, upon returning from Denver, the Robert Coppin family discovered that the building was ablaze inside. The alarm was sounded and the Black Hawk and Central City fire departments responded. They tried to pump water from the creek, but there was not enough water to feed the pump. They then tried to pump from a hydrant, but the pressure wasn’t great enough due to a broken water main. The efforts of the firemen continued through the night, but the building was lost. Plans now for the property are unknown.

By Esther Campbell: Across the Casey on the old cottonwood tree is a downy woodpecker working hard on the bark to extract the wood boring insects. This black and white bird has a red spot on the back of his head, so he is a male. The downy and hairy woodpeckers have been here all winter at the suet feeder. The hairy woodpecker is larger, but has almost the same coloring. Before I forget, I want to tell you that I found the mountain crocus (pasque flower) and candy tuft in bloom on April 5 this year. Last year I found it the first time on May 4.

Letter to the Editor: Why is it I can’t take a walk with my small dachshund, on a leash, on the roads around my area, without being accosted by big dogs; five of them today on a half hour walk? If the owners are gone, they are to be confined or chained, as I understand the law. And if the owners are home, why don’t they come out and control their dogs? We had a dachshund killed two years ago by two big dogs; I was also attacked another time and only saved by a man driving up in a pickup. Why isn’t something constructive being done by the sheriff about dogs running loose! Sincerely, F. Marguerite Harvey, Gilpin County.

On no, not the bridge again! For the fourth year in a row, John & Cathy Ficke of Apex Valley are having problems their bridge between their home and the road. For three years, the spring runoff in North Clear Creek washed out their culverts, one year stranding their vehicles on the wrong side of the creek. So last July the Fickes had a nice, new, and thought to be sturdy bridge built over the creek. A couple of weeks ago, a propane truck dropped through a portion of it. Since no one was home at the time, the driver placed a large tree limb in the hole to warn people of the danger.  The reason no one was around when the propane truck went through the planking is because the Fickes were vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. “Obviously, if I wanted to hire out as a bridge builder, I’d never get a job” John Ficke commented this week. Originally he wanted cross-decking on the bridge, but was talked out of it. Now, however, since the propane truck went through it, he said he will try again, and this time with cross-decking. If that doesn’t work or if the bridge washes out this spring, Ficke mentioned something about getting a helicopter.

Shane Nicholson, senior at Gilpin County School, has been selected as the Elks Student of the Month for February. He is the son of Craig & Jeanne Nicholson.

60 years ago – April 22, 1955

AD: Colorado was the second state in the Union to permit women to vote. In 1894 Colorado women voted for the first time in a general election. They placed three of their number in the General Assembly. Virtually every legislature since has seen women as leaders in Colorado’s development. The recognition of women’s contributions toward Colorado’s progress parallels the recognition of beer as the beverage of moderation. Beer belongs…enjoy it. Colorado Division United States Brewers Foundation Inc.

The radioactive disc found last week by Morris Steen in the Lake Gulch District, and later analyzed by instruments of the United Mining & Leasing Company, wherein it showed a high content of radioactive elements, had not been accurately identified up to the present time. The Department of the Interior of the U.S. Government has taken this particular “disk” for “safe keeping” and is reluctant in explaining the reasoning. The disk was described as having a window on one side, a metal clip on the other, a white powdery substance inside, and the words “Poison Inside” on the back. A Geiger counter showed it to be radioactive. Warren Ronk, a Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. worker, speculated that the disk could be similar to one he was issued while he was serving with the 500th Paratroop Battalion in Europe during WWII. The disk was issued to the paratroopers before they were dropped in Southern France, to be used for identification purposes while the troops moved on the ground at night. Clipped to the back of a man’s collar, the radioactive glow could be seen by the man behind him.

A kite-flying contest for the school children of Gilpin County from the First to the Ninth grades, will be held this Sunday afternoon, April 24th, at Kings Flats. The contest is sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce, and the kites donated by Continental Airlines of Denver. Prizes will be awarded to the one whose kite gains the highest elevation, and it will take clever manipulation on the string as to what height a kite will ascend. It reminds me (the editor) of many years ago when the spring-time brought the urge to make kites and compete with each other in seeing how far in the “blue” each kite would ascend.

Mrs. Wm. Ziege, Mrs. George Magor, Miss Catharine Hamllik and Mrs. Henry Lowe lunched together at the Ramstetter Cafe on Friday last.

The Christening of Becky Lee, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dowell Blake, took place last Sunday at St. Mary’s Church in Central. The Godfather is Melvin Blake and the Godmother, Annabelle Marks.

Among those attending an Eastern Star Meeting in Idaho Springs Tuesday night were Mrs. Emma Eccker, Mrs. Arthur Gray, Mrs. Andy Eccker, Mrs. Robert Pipes, Mrs. Carmon, Miss Kathryn Eccker and Mrs. Chas. Robins.

Mr. and Mrs. Morrison Garrick and Glenda Jo returned, Thursday, from a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Alice Ress went to Golden with a group of high school students for the School of Mines Invitation Day.

Joe Ress called from Boston, Wednesday to say that the Atka had docked there. He left for Balboa, Canal Zone the next day.

90 years ago – April 24, 1925

Mr. Radesky, of Denver, who bought the machinery and equipment in the old Pioneer concentrator below Apex Valley, sent up a couple of trucks Monday afternoon to haul the same to Denver. County Assessor W.O. Ziege happened to be out in that section of the county that afternoon and saw the men loading the same, and knowing that the taxes had not been paid off on the machinery for several years, notified County Treasurer Henry P. Altvater, who had a restraining order issued which was handed Sheriff Williams, who stopped one of the trucks in this city and the other on Spring Street, and then telephoned Mr. Radesky that there was three years taxes due on the plant which had to be paid before it could be removed. Mr. Radesky told the sheriff he would come up Tuesday and settle the matter with the treasurer and county commissioners, and when he arrived that afternoon he found there was $450 taxes due, which he would not pay, and he was ordered to return to the building all that had been taken out on the two trucks, which he promised to do, but whether he does or not remains to be seen.

Since the new postal rates have gone into effect, a newspaper the size and weight of the Register-Call now costs 2 cents to mail, whereas before two copies could be sent for 1 cent. One patron of the Apex post office has been sending the Sunday Post to New York State in the 4th zone for several years. It cost 6 cents, but now costs 23 cents. That part of the law relating to newspapers sent by other than publishers is certainly not in accord with public policy.

Thermometers read only 23 degrees above zero on Monday morning.

Those perfect in attendance for the past month at the local school were: Earl Hancock, Estelline Williams and Josephine Pallaro.

Mrs. W. Grenfell returned Sunday from a visit of several days in Arvada.

Mrs. W.J. Williams left Sunday for Denver on a visit with friends.

C.A. Wagner, Jr., was a weekend visitor from boulder, returning again Sunday afternoon.

Work has again resumed at the Del Monico Mine after a few days lay off.

Mrs. J.G. Hughes left Sunday for Denver, called by the serious illness of her sister.

S.T. Harris and family returned Tuesday from Pueblo, Colo., where he had been for a week on business in connection with his office.

Mr. Charles L. Tilton and several Denver friends were up Sunday looking over the Bell Boy group of mining claims, returning the same day.

120 years ago – April 19, 1895

Bids will be received by the board of county commissioners for a county physician for the balance of the year, or until December 31, 1985. Bids will also be received for a county physician for the same length of time, who will furnish all the medicines necessary. Bids must be filed with the county clerk on or before Thursday, April 25, when they will be opened by the county commissioners for consideration. The board of county commissioners reserve the right to reject any and all bids.

Turner Hall was pretty well filled Saturday night last by those eager to see the go between Harry Dunn of Australia, who weighs 210 pounds, and Charles Spicer of Nevadaville, who weighs about 175 pounds. Dunn agreed to stop Spicer in six rounds or forfeit $100. After a few preliminary settos by local boxers, the event of the evening was brought on. If Dunn intended to knock out Spicer, he made a complete failure of it as the local man did nearly all the fighting, and the Australian was either too slow or too indifferent to fight back. The Spicer men were jubilant over the clever and game display made by their man, and whatever glory there was in the fight honestly belonged to him, and the referee awarded him the fight. After the match, Reddy Boyle of Black Hawk and Briley of Louisville, Colorado, had a go. That this engagement was for blood, there was no doubt after the first few passes. Excitement ran high for about a couple of minutes, when the Louisville man had laid Reddy low, and the fight was over.

Various Things Which the Careful Housekeeper Should Know: 1. To beat whites of eggs quickly, add a pinch of salt. 2. A few drops of lemon juice make cake frosting very white. 3. A hot shovel held over varnished furniture will take out white spots. 4. Try sprinkling powdered cloves over the places infested by red ants. 5. A bed of pennyroyal for a cat or dog will drive away fleas. 6. Try molasses for grass stains. 7. Immediately cover a burn with collodion or mucilage. 8. Sprinkle clothes with hot water and a whisk broom. 9. Ripe tomatoes will remove ink spots. 10. For roaches use equal portions of cornmeal and red lead mixed with molasses and spread on plates placed in their haunts.

How to Keep Silver Bright: Smooth silver is never touched with a brush for fear of scratching it. Fine French whiting is moistened with a little water, applied with a chamois rag, and a dry chamois rag is used for polishing. There are brushes with chamois tips almost as fine as camel’s hair brushes to clean fluted and cut silver and rough filigree silver is cleaned by applying whiting with a fine brush and rubbing with chamois skin.

Pettingell’s Weekly letter says there is an existing sentiment, noticeable among every class of mining promoters, brokers and others to speak disparagingly without investigation, of any and all enterprises not of their own creation; in other words, everyone but themselves is supposed to be dishonest when referring to mining. This inclination can only result in seriously injuring the industry in a way preventing the development of the natural mineral resources of Colorado.

Born: In Russell Gulch, April 14, to the wife of Thomas Tucker, a daughter.

Born: In Georgetown, April 12, to Mr. and Mrs. M.P. O’Donnel, a 16 pound daughter. The mother and daughter are getting along nicely, and Michael is the happiest man to be seen around town judging from the smile that adorns his face.

Born: In Denver, March 11, to the wife of Elisha A. Nichols, a son. Alderman Nichols received the intelligence with great pride, and left the following day to cultivate the acquaintance of his son and first heir.

Died: In Central City, April 13, the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Angel, aged 5 months. The funeral occurred last Tuesday afternoon at 2 o’clock.

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