Turning Back the Pages

30 Years Ago – March 4, 1983

Arvey Drown, who this week is on trial for fraud charges in U.S. District Court in Denver, showed up at the Gilpin County Courthouse last Friday for a court date with Harold Caldwell. Caldwell, trustee for the Chain O’Mines which owns the National Mine southwest of Central City, brought a civil suit against Drown and Central Gold Corp, seeking to bar Central Gold from the National. Drown did not enter the courtroom. His attorney said he could not testify for fear the statements might be used against him in his federal trial. Attorneys for both parties agreed to postpone the court date until after the federal trial is completed. 

At the federal trial of Arvey Drown, FBI agent Don McPherson testified that on August 31, 1981, he toured the Glory Hole Mill and National Mine areas posing as an investor. He was told that per ton of ore being mined at that time, Central Gold was recovering two ounces of gold, 14 ounces of silver and 14 pounds of copper. Speaking of the mining and milling equipment he saw that day, McPherson said, “I would describe it as a bunch of junk.”

The Black Hawk City Council held a special meeting February 7 and granted a liquor license to Claire Tanner and Beverly Nelson, the new owners of Art’s Liquors.

Gold Bar is going to recover. The 15-year-old stallion which was rescued from the Glory Hole Mill last fall is getting better all the time. Acting on a tip from the Colorado Humane Society, the Gilpin sheriff’s office obtained a search warrant and found the horse locked in the mill on December 4, allegedly suffering from malnutrition and dehydration. The horse was put into the care of a veterinarian and animal nutritionist at Colorado State University. Harold Caldwell has been charged with cruelty to animals and is to appear in court on April 5, 1983.

Following a report of a fire burning inside a mine shaft building at the Gold Crown Mine, just west of Central City off Eureka Street, two men and two women, all from Aurora, were arrested and charged with third degree criminal trespass. The Central City Fire Department responded and put out what was described as a very large campfire inside the shaft building. The two Harley-Davidson motorcycles that reportedly belong to the two men, are suspected of being stolen and have been impounded for investigation.

A capacity audience filled an RE-1 classroom for the February 17 school board meeting which did not adjourn until well after midnight. A leak in the leach field, a proposed four-day school week, and the remodeling of Clark School were three of the topics which drew lengthy discussion from the concerned parents present.

The Booster Club is working towards the installation of a soccer, football and track field south of the gymnasium at Gilpin RE-1 school.

On behalf of the teachers association at Gilpin RE-1 school, teacher Virginia Unseld read a letter to the school board rejecting the board’s contract offer for the 1983-84 school year. The board had proposed a 5.2 percent increase in the base pay for teachers.

The resignation of school bus driver Jim Werschky was accepted by the school board and George Armbright was hired as his replacement at $5.30 per hour.

Bill Schwartz of Missouri Lakes, assisted by State Representative Jim Scherer, auctioned off decorative box lunches, from plain brown wrappers to American flags and miniature forts and log cabins, last Saturday night at the Old Time Box Lunch Social and County Dance held at the Belvidere Theatre in Central City by the Gilpin County Republican Central Committee.

Today’s up and coming society seems more accepting of people as a whole. Despite nuclear threats which some people see looming on the horizon, I think now is a nice time to grow up. If you don’t believe me, watch Mr. Rogers or Sesame Street this week. You’ll get a good feeling. But if you don’t, well… “We are all special because we are all different.” (The world according to Mr. Rogers.)

The Wellington Letter of February, 1983, which is an advisory sheet on economic trends, indicates that silver should continue rising in 1983 into the $30-$35 range and may even hit $50 before the year is out.

There were 30 new starts in residential construction in the county in 1982. From the number of inquiries that are called in each week, it is clear that many people are trying to plan for construction this year. Most indicators are now pointing towards an upswing in construction in 1983 and a banner year in 1984. Can you imagine doing a time-lapse photographic record of the whole county starting now and running two years, through 1984? I wonder what it would show.

The first bingo night held by the High Country Fire Department Auxiliary last Saturday was a huge success. The funds raised will be used for the purchase of a stainless steel sink for the new kitchen at Station #2, north of the Nifty Nook on Highway 119.

60 Years Ago – February 27, 1953

  Wallace Nelson, Francis Knoll and Jimmie Collins, members of the Navy Air Corps Reserve at Buckley Field were in attendance at their regular monthly training classes last week end.

Mr. Chandler Weaver and Ray Bennett, of Denver, were visitors in Russell Gulch this week, at the Calhoun mine. The operators are prospecting for uranium ore and we understand they are being quite successful.

Brides should try to train their new husbands to eat out of their hands – saves a lot of dish washing.

The month of February reminds one of a cocky little wisp of a lad who tries to make up in toughness what he lacks in stature. The month is small, but mighty; as witness the blizzards of last week.

A handsome plaque which was awarded to the voters of Gilpin County as a result of their unprecedented appearance at the polls during the General Election held last November is on display in the window of Springer’s Pharmacy. The inscription upon the bronze face of the plaque states 98.8% of the eligible voters within the County cast their ballots for their favorite candidates and established an enviable record in so doing.

Citizens of this area have become enthralled with television.

Parking on the wrong side of the street – especially Main Street in Central City – shouldn’t be tolerated. Perhaps a few traffic violation tickets?

The Cody-Thomas Unit of the American Legion Auxiliary, Helen Quackenbush president, has ordered 500 poppies to sell sometime in May. Each of the 41 members of that organization is requested to bring or send a new handkerchief to the next meeting, which will be a gift to the nurses in Veterans’ hospitals.

Recapitulation of the bills audited and ordered paid by County Commissioners on February 2, 1953: Road and Bridge Fund, $3,469.71; Poor Fund, $740.70; County Fund, $3,562.35; Contingent Fund, $73.93; and PWA Fund, $310.66. Total =$8,157.35.

To be happy with a man, you must love him a little and understand him a lot; to be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and try not to understand her at all.

Almost one third of the land area of the United States is forest land – 630,000,000 acres. And every year in the United States over 200,000 fires burn and scar about 30,000,000 acres. This means that more than a 20th of our woodlands are burned and damaged every year.

So far the gold counters at Fort Knox haven’t found any missing. They’re pretty well along in their totting up process, too. Treasury Secretary George Humphrey has insisted all along that he didn’t really think the Democrats had swiped any of the stuff. He just wanted to be sure. That’s why he ordered the gold count as one of his first official acts as a member of President Eisenhower’s cabinet.

Lead prices were reduce this week ½ cent to 13 ½ cents per pound. This is the third cut since the start of 1953.

In Greenfield, Mass., after a neighbor warned a housewife that several men had watched her taking a bath, investigation proved that the one-way glass of every bathroom window in a new 72-unit housing project had been put in backwards.

I have called up one hundred persons; I have traveled the length of Main Street; I have stopped in all the business houses, in order to find some wee, little item about people you know about. Everywhere they told me – I can give you news – might be of a sordid nature, but as to local happenings I know not. As the monkey said when he sneezed in the saxophone, “Well, this is a hellova note.”

90 Years Ago – March 2, 1923

  Chris Plint is wrecking the old Federal Hall in Russell Gulch. This building was erected in ’59 and was one of the oldest buildings in the county.

March is a typical pneumonia month and usually gives a high rate of mortality for the disease.

Died: In Central City, February 25, 1923, Miss Sarah M. Hazard, of la grippe, aged 80 years, 1 month and 26 days.

An ideal woman is one who doesn’t try to convince you of the fact.

News from Russell: Frank Vivian and company are shipping ore to Idaho Springs this week. Jack Hughes started to work on the Rara Avis Mine, above Central, the fore part of the week.

Mr. L. G. Cavnah, manager of the Atlantic Mine, at Hughesville, received returns this week from a shipment of high grade ore sent to the sampling works at Idaho Springs last week which weighed 4,344 pounds and the settlement sheet showed 0.16 ounces gold, 651.97 ounces silver and 32.10 per cent lead, a net price per ton of $640.08, bringing a check over all expenses for treatment, freight and sampling charges of $1,361.47.

As soon as a supply of water shows in the creek that can be depended upon, the Rundquist brothers intend starting up the Polar Star Mill in Black Hawk, to treat custom ores.

At the present time there are immense quantities of ore of good value on the dump waiting treatment at the Cornucopia Mine, at Silver Creek, in the Apex section of the county. Owing to the water supply freezing up during the winter months, the mill was unable to operate and was closed down several months ago.

The diphtheria quarantine has been removed from the R.I. Hughes home in Russell Gulch, and the little girl has recovered very nicely.

Thermometers were down to 10 below on Tuesday morning in Apex, being the second time for the winter to go below 10 degrees. On Wednesday, it was 10 above.

Mr. C. A. Frost is having supplies hauled out to his tunnel on the Dory Hill road with the intention of starting up work in a few days in driving the tunnel to its objective point, the Chrisolite Mine, which in early years showed high grade silver ore on the surface.

The tungsten mill of the Wolfe Tongue Mining & Milling Company at Nederland is to be started in operation on a 24-hour basis, April 1, after a shutdown since 1919. A lot of the Wolf Tongue Mines, except the Cold Spring will be open to leasers. The Cold Spring will be operated by the company.

Gold is a soft metal, but it makes many a person as hard as nails.

Sunday night and Monday, 16 inches of snow fell in Apex, accompanied by a high wind, which drifted the road badly. Charles Robins brought the mail with team on Monday, horse-back on Tuesday and with auto within one mile of town on Wednesday.

People who own fortunes in German marks are delighted to know that they are up about a cent in fortune.

The Colorado Power Company this week finished the work of getting juice to the Crown Point, at the head of Virginia Canyon, where Manager F. Hellig is getting things in condition to start an active campaign on that famous old property.

Opening of the tomb of Tut-ankh-Amen, the “heretic” king of the Eighteenth Egyptian dynasty, at Luxor, has revealed an unexampled storehouse of treasures.

Mr. A. R. Wicker and wife and Mr. Earl Weaver motored up from Denver and were guests of Mr. and Mrs. A.M. Fairchild and family in Black Hawk. Mr. Wicker brought up with him his radio outfit, and to show Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild what was in the air, even at their doors, he attached his machine with the wire clothes line in the yard, and in a short time heard broadcasting from San Francisco, Alabama, Illinois and Kansas City.

Nevada went back into the “wet” column last week so far as state regulation is concerned, the legislature having repealed over the governor’s veto the existing prohibition laws.

Yes, we are always delighted to meet strangers face to face. That is the surest way of being able to extract the price of a subscription from them.

120 Years Ago – March 3, 1893

  There is a movement on foot in Denver looking to the foundation of a Gilpin County Club, to consist of individuals who have resided in the county for a certain period – from five years upwards. There are a large number of Denver people who become acclimated to this atmosphere and mountainous altitude within the limits of that county.

Mr. Peter Grebb, an employee of the Spur-Daisy Mining Company, Monday evening while working in the east backstop of No. 1 shaft, a falling rock struck him on the back of the head cutting an ugly gash about two inches in length. Fortunately it did not knock him down. Had it done so, it would have caused him to fall about 60 feet.

Jones, the Russell Gulch poet, regards newspaper writing as a foolish recreation. That’s probably the kind of newspaper writing that Jones does.

There were shipped from Black Hawk during the month of February to the valley smelters and sampling works 152 cars, each carrying on an average 14 tons or a total of 2,148 tons, or 4, 296,000 pounds.

The custom stamp mills of Black Hawk for the past two weeks have been very well supplied with ore, the principal producing mines of the bounty being the Fiske on Bobtail hill, Topeka in Russell, Concrete in Eureka district, Two Sisters in Quartz Valley, and the Corydon in this city. This week 405 stamps have been dropping: Hidden Treasure, 75; Rowena, 20; Meade, 20; Polar Star, 40; Empire, 25; Bobtail, 100; New York, 75; and Randolph, 50.

Tomorrow is inauguration day in Washington.

During the month of February the new mining camp of Creede turned out ore to the amount of $900,000.

There is turbulence in the masculine wardrobe. Gray threatens to displace black in the evening suit.

A Central youth of strictly business principles, but who possesses a tender heart and a large list of best girls, has already laid in a supply of valentines for next year, at greatly reduced prices.

Mr. E. W. Williams, recent purchaser of the H. B. Morse brick just below Masonic block on Eureka Street, has let a contract for a French plate-glass front to Mr. William Trebilcock, who is putting it in. It will be a great improvement over the present front.

We are willing to endure the crinoline if the girls agree not to use barbed wire.

Even if you don’t like the slippery sidewalks, it isn’t advisable to sit down on them too hard.

A letter received from Mr. William Keast, who is in Hutchinson, Kansas, says that he is doing well there exhibiting his miniature model of the Saratoga Gold Mine and Gilpin County Stamp Mill. Mr. Keast is gradually working his way to Chicago, his objective point when leaving this city some weeks ago.

During February just closed there were thirty lode and placer claims filed for record with the county clerk and recorder.

Some of the sneak-thieving depredations have become so common around Russell Gulch of late that a number of the residents have appointed themselves private watchmen and go prowling around their houses armed to the teeth. One of them carries a revolver in his pocket every time his wife sends him out to empty the ashes after dark. He was carrying the ash can out the other night when a large dog barked at him, and dropping the can, the brave citizen whipped out his revolver and fired three shots through the roof of the front porch, while the dog with his tail between his legs disappeared up Williams Avenue. The man tells all his friends that it was a robber who tackled him, but the neighbors opposite saw the whole affair from their front room window.

All the gold in the world could be stored in a room 24 feet square and 24 feet deep.

Born:  In Central City, February 24, 1893, to the wife of Daniel Fuelscher, a daughter.

Born: In Central City, February 26, 1893, to the wife of Edward Dunnevan, a son.

Born: In Central City, February 28, 1893, to the wife of Thomas Stribley, a daughter.

A bright blaze in the building west of and adjoining the “Arcade,” on the north side of Main Street, Nevadaville, was discovered between 3 and 4 o’clock last Monday morning by Mr. Dory Stubbs, who happened to be on his return home from Black Hawk. Dory at once proceeded to headquarters and rang an alarm of fire, but before the call had been responded to by members of the fire company and citizens, the flames got under such headway that they were uncontrollable. The building burned to the ground as well as the building west of where the fire originated. Those around at the burning buildings worked like beavers to save what they could from the flames, but they might as well have not done so, as the most of the goods cannot now be found. The loss of building, billiard table, bar fixtures, stock and stone building in the rear foots up $3,000 for owner Mr. Michael Steadman, upon which there was insurance of $1,500. The third building burned was occupied by Mr. Richard Rowling as a candy and notion store. He saved but little of his stock, fully two-thirds having been stolen after being removed from the building. He is disabled from hard work through an accident met with some years ago in a mine, has a family and not carrying any insurance the loss falls heavily on him. It is a pity that the person who fired the building and the persons who carried away goods saved cannot be apprehended and landed in the penitentiary where they properly belong.

Editors, as a rule, are kind-hearted and liberal. An exchange tells of a subscriber who died and left 14 years subscription unpaid. The editor appeared as the lid on the coffin was unscrewed for the last time, and put in a linen duster, a thermometer, a palm leaf fan and a recipe for making ice.

135 Years Ago – February 23, 1878

  That was a pitiable sight last evening to see one of Central’s most respected citizens too drunk to navigate, and he laid down in front of Bush’s barn to take a quiet sleep, when some of his friends, supposing him dead, held a wake over him. Policeman Brown allowed him to sleep in the calaboose till morning.

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