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30 years ago – July 26, 1985

By Esther Campbell: This summer I decided to keep the sunflower seed feeder full to see which birds would stay around. It has attracted a flock of pine siskins. These small (4 ½ inches in length) brown streaked birds show touches of yellow on their wings and rump when they move. Their beaks look so delicate I wonder how they crack the sunflower seeds. Watching closely it looks like they mostly pick up the pieces left by the other birds. They are so friendly and seem pleased with my feeder. I am delighted to have them as guests. That rufous hummingbird is back with a clear disdain for the dear little broad tailed hummingbirds that have been here for months. The rufous is also stunning with a copper colored back and an orange-red throat. Sylvia Brockner, in her book “Birds of Our Evergreen World,” calls the male a Lothario because as soon as courtship, mating, and nesting are finished, he leaves his plain mate to handle the incubation and feeding of the young by herself.

From the Publisher’s Corner: The Weekly Transcript (the “throwaway” most of us throw away each week) has now joined the Post in publishing a gross prevarication. On page 1, July 23, 1985 issue, column 3, line 4, a writer (?), Don Kunce, stated: “West founded the Colorado Transcript, Colorado’s second oldest newspaper, back in 1866.” This, of course, is absolutely untrue. The Register Call is Colorado’s second oldest newspaper (since July 1862) and is the oldest continuously published newspaper. I called the Transcript offices to contact Kunce and was informed that he was on vacation. I was affronted by some sniggering female who seemed to think it amusing that I had the temerity to question anything the Transcript had to say and ask for a retraction of this phony information. She made all sorts of flimsy wishy-washy excuses as to what Kunce’s statement meant, indicating to me that nothing would be done about it. The Transcript has stooped to a new low in journalism, putting itself on the level of the “yellow sheet.” –William C. Russell Jr.

Nels Skagerberg of Amboy, Washington, visited his brother, Carl of Central City last week. With Carl Skagerberg’s daughter, Helen Cryan of Northglenn, they spent the week touring Colorado. Friday evening they attended “The Daughter of the Regiment” at the Opera House in Central City.

Jack Brundage Leffingwell passed away at his home in Rollinsville on July 5, 1985. He was 75 years old. Leffingwell was born in Denver on July 1, 1910. His parents were Archie Scott Leffingwell and Josephine Brundage Leffingwell. He graduated from Brighton High School and attended the University of Colorado. He was in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. On April 12, 1947, Leffingwell married Anna M. Shockey. Leffingwell owned a hardware store in Brighton and later worked at McGuckin’s Hardware in Boulder. He is survived by his wife; two sons, James Leffingwell of Lakewood and Jonathan Leffingwell of Rollinsville; two daughters, Annette Leffingwell of Chefornak, Alaska, and Josephine Leffingwell of Bainbridge Island, Washington; five grandchildren and one great grandchild.

60 years ago – July 29, 1955

Six of Central City’s most interesting houses will open their doors Wednesday, August 3, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. for the benefit of The Gilpin County Arts Association. Tickets, at $2.00 each, may be obtained at the Art Gallery over the City Hall in Central City from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. on the day of the Tour. Proceeds are to be used for art instruction in the public schools of Central City and Black Hawk.

  1. The Belford House, not shown on any previous Tour, is located on East First High Street. It was the first brick house in Central City and was built in 1875 by the late Hon. James B. Belford, Colorado’s first member of Congress in 1876. It is now the home of the third and fourth generation members of his family, namely his granddaughter Mrs. Frances Belford Russell, and his great grandson, Donato L. Russell Jr.
  2. The Bieler Mansion, on Bankers Row, is the summer residence of Denver architect Carl F. Bieler. Bieler Mansion has followed the riches-to-rags-to-riches destiny of Central City.
  3. The Mrs. James Macfarlane House, on Eureka Street, built in 1886 by John Best, is today the home of the President of the Gilpin County Association. Mrs. Macfarlane is herself an artist of distinction, and her home contains many fine paintings, in addition to a collection of rare glass and tastefully chosen Victorian furniture.
  4. The Frederick McFarlane House, also on Eureka Street, is between eighty and eighty five years “young” for it has reached its prime in interest and in hospitality during the occupancy of its current owner, Mr. Frederick McFarlane, who is one of the donors of the Central City Opera House.
  5. The Center House, another Eureka Street landmark, was built in 1870. It hugs the side of Gunnell Hill whose rich mines once yielded fortunes in gold. To cross the threshold of the Gus H. Center home is to pass directly into the 18th century. Visitors will marvel at the perfection, even to the smallest detail, displayed in this gem of a house.
  6. The Farr House, directly across the street from the Center House, is one of the oldest residences in Central City. The original portion is said to be a log cabin, now covered with clapboards. This picturesque dwelling, formerly the home of the late Mrs. J. B. Cosgriff, contains much of her fine collection of period furniture, to which the present owner, Mrs. Ruth Farr, has made discriminating alterations.

Robert Smith, here last week helping Grandpa Bakos run the burro train trips into the Bobtail Tunnel, returned to his home in Denver Monday evening.

Congratulations to Melvin and Donna Blake who celebrated their 8th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

It was nice to see Mrs. Chas. Niccum down town in the car with Geraldine Saturday afternoon. She is recovering nicely from her recent serious illness.

Mrs. James Chase of Golden and her niece Karen McLaughlin were chatting with friends here Saturday. It is good to see Marguerite looking and feeling better each day.

Congratulations and best wishes to Mrs. Beatrice Dunstone who celebrated her 86th birthday on Wednesday, July 27.

We like summer better than winter because in summer everybody else is lazy too.

90 years ago – July 31, 1925

The 4th annual Gilpin County Picnic was held at Washington Park, Denver, on Saturday last, and like all former ones, was a success in every particular. The attendance was considerably larger than last year, and a safe estimate made by members of the committee placed the number at close to 2,000, all of whom had been former residents of Gilpin County. It was a joyous and happy crowd, and the day was spent in renewing acquaintanceship with one another and enjoying pleasant reminiscences of other days, when they were members of one family of friends in deal old Gilpin County, and everyone present surely enjoyed the occasion, glad of the opportunity to be among the throng, and expressed a fixed determination to attend each and every one in the future.

A picnic was held at Thorne Lake and a Fox News will be the picture program at the Opera House, Saturday evening, August 1st.

A rain storm Wednesday evening and Thursday morning changed the atmosphere to a point where fires and an overcoat were most comfortable.

Mr. John E. Karns, who died in Denver last week was a native son of Indiana. He came to Gilpin County in 1897 and during his residence here worked in the mines. In 1898 he volunteered with the Gilpin County boys in the Spanish-American war. On his return with his regiment he was honorably discharged when he entered the employ of the Denver Tramway Company, being with them many years, after which he was elevator pilot at the courthouse. His many friends in Gilpin County regret to hear of his demise.

Misses Isabelle Daniels, Flossie Coddington and Annie Tibuna left Friday for their homes in Indiana.

A social dance was held at the town hall Tuesday evening.

Mr. and Mrs. J.L. Tapp and daughters, Mrs. B. Nelson and Miss Mildred spent several days here enjoying the mountain breezes during the week.

Clifford I. Parsons, wife and son George, who left here several weeks ago to attend the annual session of the Elks order, at Portland, Oregon, returned home Sunday evening, tired and glad to get home again. They motored through Mexico, Arizona and California, returning home by way of Idaho, and the speedometer recorded 5,132 miles covering the trip. He reported a good time and met at different places of former residents of Gilpin County, who were pleased to see someone from the old home town.

120 years ago – July 26, 1895

  To the Editor: Dear sir, it may be of interest to your readers if you would publish the following in your paper: A petition in regard to a reduction of the existing high rates of fire insurance was circulated among the property owners of the city recently. Some twenty of those most interested in real estate signed the request, many of them stating that they would not renew their policies unless lower rates were obtained. The petition affirmed that insurance was considerably higher in Central City than in many other cities in the state, and that there was no reason why such a state of affairs should exist, as Central City has good water works and an efficient fire department. Signed, Policy Holder.

A card received: I, John O. Parry, of Russell Gulch, withdraw all the unnecessary and undue remarks made by me in Russell Gulch against John L. Hughes and Thomas Griffiths, as they are entirely without foundation. Signed. John O. Parry, Russell Gulch, Colo., July 23, 1895.

Mr. Henry Bolthoff returned last Saturday afternoon from South Moon Gulch, where he is erecting a stamp mill. He was out in the midst of the electric storm, which he described in a very vivid manner. South of Wide Awake, several of the telephone poles were badly splintered up by electricity. When nearing the county poor farm, he observed two men coming up the road in a single buggy. A sudden flash of lightning struck the horse being driven, killing the animal instantly. The driver of the animal was pretty shaken up and his companion seated alongside him was stunned for several moments. The driver was taken into the poor house and cared for. Subsequently another conveyance was sent from Black Hawk and he was removed to that city. The horse and buggy belonged to Mr. John Bitzer.

Mr. John Hansen, who received injuries of the eyes Saturday evening, July 6, by the explosion of a firecracker, and was taken to Denver the following morning, returned to Central Sunday evening last. The right eye is all right, but for the present he will be compelled to wear a hoodwink over the left one. He has hopes that the latter will be restored to vision. He speaks very highly of the treatment received while at the hospital in Denver.

Mr. Ed. Griffin, the accommodating hack driver of the Eclipse Stable, who was hurt some time ago by a fractious horse, is out again holding the reins. He arm and shoulder is quite lame yet.

Miss Laira Magor, who has been visiting friends in Boulder and Denver, returned Tuesday evening. Her visit was an enjoyable one.

Born: In Central City, July 20, 1895, to the wife of Frank Magor, a son. Mother and son getting along nicely, while the father’s cup of happiness is full to overflowing.

Born: In Nevadaville, July 22, 1895, to the wife of Harvey Rowe, a son. Another Republican added to the list of voters, who will exercise the elective franchise later on.

Died: At the family residence in Denver, July 22, 1895, Emily W., wife of A. McD. Brooks. Deceased formerly was Miss Williams, and resided for a number of years in Black Hawk, where her father, the late Thomas H. Williams was engaged in mining on the Fisk Lode. The funeral occurred on Wednesday.

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