Turning Back the Pages


30 Years Ago – January 28, 1983

  It took only a few seconds before Judge Winston Wolvington in District Court for the charges to be dismissed against Steven Lee Bradley. Bradley was charged with the first degree murder of David Harden Dockery whose body was found on Alps Hill October 27. Charges against Gilbert Orr, who was arrested along with Bradley, had been dismissed at the preliminary hearing in December. According to the district attorney, there is not enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence and probable cause were based on personal statements from witnesses that incriminated Bradley and Orr. The problem arose when every one of the witnesses changed their testimonies and gave different stories after their initial statements.

They originally asked for $7.5 million, but they only received $11,524. After a day and a half of deliberation, the six-member jury returned a verdict in the case of Linda Millican and Nigel Clayton vs. Rick and Shirley Wolf and Bobby Dietz. The suit was brought after Millican’s and Clayton’s two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, April, was tragically killed when a vending machine in the Soda Saloon in Central City apparently fell on her on September 19, 1981. Jurors found the Wolfs, who owned the business, and Dietz, who owned the vending machine, guilty of negligence. The trial began January 19, in District Court, after a full day of searching for jurors. Twenty-five had been called but for various reasons the lawyers were unable to find six acceptable jurors, so the sheriff went out in the streets, local bars and restaurants, nabbing people, about 12, and taking them to the courtroom as prospective jurors, until a jury was finally impaneled.

The Henderson Mine near Empire, and the Climax Mine near Leadville, will remain closed indefinitely. About 2,000 employees are affected. They were to return to work April 4, after a six-month shutdown. Large molybdenum inventories and low sales forced the decision on AMAX.

The new material for the permanent repair to the Gilpin RE-1 gym roof, which suffered severe wind damage January 10, is on order from the manufacturer.

Over 50 people from various county, city and state road departments, along with several private contractors showed up Tuesday morning for a two-day snow-plowing demonstration featuring the Galion A600 All-Wheel Drive Motorgrader with a straight front plow and the International 530 Loader with a single plow. The event was hosted by the H.W. Moore Equipment Company. Making several passes the machines demonstrated their power and traction by plowing the road from Apex, sometimes in waist-deep snow, to the top of the hill near American City. Both machines suffered breaks to the boxed 3/8” steel framework, which anchored the plow hydraulics to the plow, when the blades caught on large rocks. However, the plows, with plenty of help from the crowd, were chained into position and the plowing continued. During a coffee break, one of the Galion’s operators demonstrated its ability to get five of its six wheels off the ground. Gilpin County Road Supervisor Bobby Clay said that although the road is now open, the county will not continue to plow it.

The cross country ski traffic up the Tolland road seems lighter this year, particularly judging from the number of stops made in Rollinsville.

John Myers of Golden, the executive vice president and cashier of Gilpin County Bank, became a $10,000 winner in the new state lottery Wednesday. His winning ticket was purchased at the grocery store in Black Hawk.

On December 31, 1982, Frank Gates retired from 50 years of service with the Central City Opera House Association. During those 50 years, “Pancho” did just about everything and anything connected with the Opera Festival and the historic properties. His artistic pursuits, in and out of the theater, have gained for him outstanding recognition and numerous awards. Gates, who has been painting since 1919, currently has an exhibit of recent paintings at the Mermaid Café. He said he will paint and do a little gardening.

Gilpin County was saddened to learn of the death of Luella R. Fritz on Tuesday of this week. She had been a resident of Black Hawk for many years.

Brian and Sue Adams are continuing to open their lake for ice skating at the times noted on the sign just at the entryway to the Blue Spruce acreage south of Rollinsville on Hwy 119.

The Booster Club, newly formed at Gilpin County School this year, is in the midst of its first membership drive. There is a reserved section at the home games for Booster Club members.

Black Hawk City Council announced: “After February 1, 1983, any dog found running loose without a tag may be subject to disposal.” The City offers free dog tags at City Hall.

Lisa Lorenz, daughter of Bill and Kay Lorenz of Black Hawk, has left for a semester abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is a junior majoring in accounting at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.

Mini storage units are now available for rent in the north county. They are located just west of Rollinsville on Tolland Road.

60 Years Ago – January 30, 1953

  The “Virus” epidemic is riding rough-shod up and down the crooked little streets of Central City, and creeping into many of the homes. Today, the grade school students, those not already home with the “flu” – were dismissed until Thursday when it is hoped the epidemic will have run its course.

Old land marks continue to disappear from their accepted and designated spots along the horizon which forms the panorama which is Gilpin County. The little frame house which adjoins the Public Service substation was dismantled recently – everything came down, including the flag-pole. With each pass through Black Hawk, it seems there is a little less that remains standing of the “Fifties Mill.”

Another one of Russell Gulch’s earlier residents has gone. Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon for Wm. Joyce.

Noticed the sign on the Old Gold Store, owned and operated by Clyde Dunahay, has blown down under the pressure of the turbulent wind that has been howling about Central City this last week. It seems that that wind ought to quit blowing now that November has gone and passed.

On January 31, the Pick and Pan Square Dance Club will hold its last dance of the season. Ordinarily the club holds dances every other Saturday all through the winter months, but due to lack of attendance the club has to disband.

The pinnated grouse, or prairie chicken, is trying to stage a comeback, with the help of the nation and many states, including Colorado. The National Wildlife federation has announced creation of a national committee to formulate a long-range plan to preserve the prairie chicken and restore its dwindling numbers.

It is officially stated that the famous collection of gems and precious stones, the Russian crown jewels, is to be sold in foreign markets “To help stabilize the Russian rouble.”

In answer to many inquiries, Rae Laird, the owner and editor of this newspaper is still in Denver recuperating from an attack of pneumonia. Tommy Miller has offered George McClure his able assistance in getting the paper out on time and in reasonable shape.

90 Years Ago – January 26, 1923

  Passengers arriving on Tuesday morning’s train brought reports of extremely cold weather in Middle Park, just across the Gore range from Routt County. At Tabernash, the temperature Sunday night is said to have been 58 below zero, while in Steamboat Springs it did not go down quite to 23 below.

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Willis accompanied their son George to Denver on Friday morning where he underwent an x-ray examination to ascertain how badly the bones of his right arm were broken, and have the same attended to. He was playing basketball with companions Thursday evening and in his efforts to throw the ball, the bones of his right arm between the elbow and shoulder were fractured, caused by a muscular contraction.

Messrs. Jake Robeson, Joe Oxley, and William Woodward drove over from Idaho Springs Saturday by auto to discuss the old worn-out proposition of the consolidation of lower Clear Creek County with Gilpin County. They received very little encouragement for their scheme, but enjoyed themselves in meeting with our people.

It takes a wise person to know when to begin, when to stop, and what to say in between.

The “flu” has broken out in many parts of the country and appears to be increasing, and orders have been sent out from Washington to “let down the bars” to physicians who prescribe liquor to their patients, so as to overcome and control the disease. As far as we have been able to learn there has been no cases reported in the mountain districts, and we hope it will pass us by.

The Moffat Railroad has been tied up for a couple of weeks due to the burning of a bridge across Bull Creek, 25 miles west of Denver. The bridge was located between tunnels No. 2 and 3, a short distance west of Plainfield, was nearly 200 feet long, and spanned a gulch 100 feet deep, the sides of which were both steep and covered with loose rock, which made a transfer very difficult until a trail was constructed. Passengers and mail matter have been transferred at this point, and the company expects to have the bridge completed so that traffic can be resumed by the end of the day.

For the first time in history, three women are members of Congress this Wednesday.

In Apex: Thermometers 2 below on Sunday and 6 above on Monday. But during the day the weather has been fine for January, about the same as a January thaw.

A fellow in Denver answered an advertisement in a sporting periodical offering to ship “steam cookers” to anybody in the United States who would send a dollar. He sent the dollar, and when the “cooker” arrived, it was a complete moonshine still, with all the extra parts carefully packed. A federal probe of the Chicago Company will probably result.

Fred Casagranda died at the home of his sister, in Denver, during the week.

Joe Casper is hauling a carload of ore from Russell Gulch to the cars in Central for shipment to Leadville.

The lot of high-grade mineral shipped from the Atlantic Mine, Hughesville, to the sampling works and concentrator in Idaho Springs last week, weighed 4,375 pounds, and brought back a check over all expenses of $1,132. There was very little gold and some lead values in the ore, but from the returns given, it will readily be seen that the ore carried over 500 ounces silver to the ton.

If some people had to live by their wits, they would never be born.

Blake Brothers commenced this morning to load another car of mill ore from the Wain Mine, for shipment to the Idaho Springs concentrator.

Funny things happen in this old world of ours’, and the latest comes from West Virginia, where a woman sues a shoe manufacturer for $5,000 for the loss of her toes. She was seated at an open gas fire to warm her feet, when the shoes exploded and her toes were so badly injured that they had to be amputated. The suit charged the manufacturer that he had used celluloid instead of leather in the inner lining of the shoe tip. With paper soles and celluloid tips now taking the place of leather in foot apparel, wonders never cease.

120 Years Ago – January 27, 1893

The number of marriage licenses granted by county clerk and recorder J. S. Updegraff during 1892 – leap year – numbers 56.

A short time ago several of the window-lights at the residence of Mr. Ed. L. Harris were broken after night, since which time City Marshal Kelleher, having his suspicions as to the guilty party, kept his weather eye open. On Tuesday evening there was a repetition of the same nature, only that the rocks were thrown through the skylight of Mr. Harris’ bedroom. The guilty party who proved to be a miner named Northey, was caught by Nightwatch Ede and landed in the cooler.

Born: In Central City, January 24, 1893, to the wife of Michael Connor, a son.

Born: In Central City, January 23, 1893, to the wife of William Keast, a daughter.

Born: In Central City, January 13, 1893, to the wife of Richard Williams, a son.

Died: In Black hawk, January 20, 1893, Charles D. Hicks, aged 60 years.

Irwin Mahon, president and manager of the Colorado State Bureau of Information, is here collating statistics relating to the mines of the county, which will be used at the World’s Fair in Chicago, where an office is to be opened for the express purpose of giving correct information regarding this industry, of every mining county in the state.

Mr. G. W. Hill last Monday was busily engaged in loading a car at Black Hawk with ore from his Hill Mine on the Mineral Farm. Some of the chunks of ore were so large that they required two men to put them from the wagon into the car. These were clear mineral.

An Austrian named Peter Conti, who is engaged as a trammer in the incline shaft on the Gregory Mine at Black Hawk, met with very serious injuries last Sunday afternoon about 3 o’clock. He had climbed up about 20 feet to an electric signal station and signaled for a loaded car to be hoisted. On getting down again, he made an attempt to step onto the steel wire rope, which was his custom, and ride up in front of the car. In some way or another he missed the rope and the car caught him, jamming him to one side, the car passing on up the incline. His back was badly bruised, as well as other portions of his body.

The reason given by several Central City bachelors for not marrying last year is they were too gallant to try to usurp the ladies’ prerogatory of proposing in leap year. Now they propose to go in and win.

The ice on Missouri Lakes was never better for harvesting for summer use than at the present time. It is very clear and of unusual thickness.

The Alice Mining & Milling Company was incorporated last Friday in Denver, with a capital stock of $5,000,000. The company will operate in Arapahoe, Clear Creek and Gilpin counties The principal seat of active operations will be at the head of Fall river, Clear Creek County, sixteen miles west of Idaho Springs. The company owns 876 acres of mineral land at the head of the river, including good placer ground as well as well-developed lodes of low grade gold ore.

The Black Hawk girl who wore suspenders last summer now wears them as stocking-supporters.

The Union Pacific has adopted a new system for carrying freight into the mountains. Their former custom was to have two engines haul seven cars, but now three engines take up eleven cars, two engines do the hauling as far as the Forks of the Creek, the third following behind doing the pushing. The third then hauls the cars consigned to Black Hawk and Central from that place to the City of Quartz mills.

The Miller Brothers have housed their supply of ice for the summer’s use, amounting in the aggregate to over four hundred tons.

Black Hawk’s Marshal Backus reports that the flow of water from springs for the past week has fallen off considerable, and unless the near future brings snow suffering will surely result.

You’d scarce expect one of my age in merchandise to engage, and hope to get a paying trade, without the local paper’s aid.

  And yet I did that very thing; I opened up a store last spring-this month the sheriff took my stock and sold it from the auction block.

  Don’t view me with scornful eye, but simply say as I pass by, there goes a man who seems to think he has no use for printer’s ink.

There is a truth as broad as earth, and business men should know its worth; ‘tis simply this: The public buys its goods from those who advertise.

135 Years Ago – January 19, 1878

  The Liberty Pole, which has been standing in the Public Square in Black Hawk for about seven years, fell yesterday morning about 10 o’clock, the upper portion of the pole falling across the hindermost part of a quartz wagon to which a team of mules was attached. Fortunately no person was hurt nor any damage done.  The pole was much decayed, but the fall was directly caused by a stay of the railroad derrick. This pole, for about six years, stood on the north side of Selak Street, and was afterwards removed to the Public Square.

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