Turning Back the Pages

30 years ago – July 31, 1987

The unusual sound of bagpipes served as an attractive force for an unexpected surprise on July 25. A group of El Jebel Shriners, at least that is what we think they are, held a parade between Central City and Black Hawk. The group of men appeared to be Shriners, but it is anyone’s guess. The Weekly Register-Call was not notified of the event. Patricia Wendleton, public relations coordinator for Central City, did not know anything about it. Attempts were made to contact the El Jebel Shriners to find out the details of why the unannounced parade was held, but apparently they didn’t know either – no one returned our telephone calls. It is a dilemma to everyone that witnessed the event. The only thing we can say, is here they come – there they go. It looked like Shriners, but no one actually knows.

The Cozens house on East 1st High Street was built in 1863. William L. Cozens built the house on property he owned directly behind Central City Hall and the Gilpin County Arts Association. Cozens served as a jailer and Deputy Sheriff in Gilpin County. He later became the County Sheriff. The following article appeared in the July 7, 1897 issue of the Daily Miner’s Register. It is a glowing example of the style of newspaper reporting 120 years ago. “The following complimentary notice of Sheriff Wm. Cozens of this city is clipped from the Boulder Valley News. We give it a place for the purpose of telling the public that which Billy’s modesty would keep concealed like the blushes in an ancient maiden’s cheek: Sheriff Cozens of Gilpin County passed through town last week, having in charge one Jack Thomas, alias ‘Wild Jack,’ whom he had arrested on the Cache-la-Poudre for horse stealing. A Mr. Butler of Black Hawk had loaned this Thomas a horse for a day’s ride, and on the supposition that possession proves ownership, Thomas attempted to leave for parts unknown; in other words, he stole a horse from Mr. Butler and was trying to get out of the county with it. Great credit is due Sheriff Cozens for this capture, as he had no clue or trail of the thief until he reached the valley, and then only by the peculiar track of the horse. Mr. Cozens is noted as one of the best detectives in the West, having beaten the Chicago police on one of their own scents. Give Cozens a job and he’ll work it up about as quick as the best of ‘em.” The style and manner in which things are written today has certainly changed!

Died: Hazel Gunderson Van Winkle: Hazel Gunderson Van Winkle, 89, of Kit Carson, died of congestive heart failure July 20, in Lincoln County Community Hospital in Hugo, CO. Services were held July 22, at First Methodist Church in Kit Carson. Burial was at the town cemetery. Van Winkle was born August 6, 1898, in Central City to John and Nettie Dawe and attended public school in Goldfield. She sang in the Central City Opera House at the age of eight and sang for the Rebekahs, as her mother was a member. She raised four daughters and two nieces in the ranching communities of Boyero, Flagler, Seibert, and Kit Carson. During the 1930s, she managed the Kit Carson Hotel. She later bought her town business, Hazel’s Toggery, which she operated until her retirement in 1960. She married Oliver Gunerson, a native of Norway, in February 1915, in Victor. He died in 1927 at the couple’s ranch in Cheyenne County, and in 1945 she married Ed Van Winkle. She is survived by her husband; three daughters, Olga Accra of Denver, Jennie Shreivogel and Anna Gunderson, both of Kit Carson; two sisters, Olive Dobbins of Fullerton, California, and Dorothy Moseley of Ellicott; two brothers, Richard Dawe of Tucson, Arizona, and John Dawe, Jr., of Duncan, Arizona; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

60 years ago – August 7, 1957

Across the Crossroads by A.F. Mayham: We are biding our time until we hear from Jack Benny. He said he bought a Stradivarius violin – didn’t say how much, but thought it was worth $30,000. A genuine Straw is worthy hat and much more, but every violin that has a Strad label inside isn’t always a genuine Strad. Every once in a while during the last 60 years, someone pipes up with the information that he has a Stradivarius instrument, left by his great aunt. To set the record straight – Stradivari was born in Cremona, Italy, and died in 1737. He made only 2,000 violins and what few are left are known. The collectors and museums have a list of every owner of the genuine article. There were a number of labels printed after the maker died and these labels were used in violins made in Bavaria and Austria and are not the genuine article, although many were sold as such. No one has ever been able to match the wood and varnish used by Stradivari.

When the dynamite blast at 8 p.m. heralds the evening performance of “Separate Tables,” Central City’s distinguished newspaper guests from over the nation will view the entire array of pre-curtain activities. From the beautifully lighted Opera House garden will come the lovely flower girls to soft music accompaniment. Up Eureka Street will march the singing ushers to greet and escort the young ladies to the Opera House. Down Eureka Street will come the gay, champion square dancers en route to Williams Stables where they perform nightly. As the trumpeters sound the fanfare from the Opera House balcony, Mayor George Ramstetter and Billy Hamilton, fabled Irish caretaker, will arrive by surrey to deliver the gold Opera House key to Davis W. Moore, executive vice-president of the Association. The critics, representing 75 newspapers, wire services, syndicates and columns are expected to view the pre-show spectacle from the Teller House balcony.

As many will note, this paper is lacking in our personal columns and other such niceties in order to make room for the schedules and events planned at the Opera House for the remainder of the season.

90 years ago – August 5, 1927

Central City Nuggets

On Sunday next, a hundred or more pioneers of Colorado, and pioneers of Clear Creek and Gilpin counties are coming up from Denver to enjoy a basket picnic in this city on the courthouse grounds, which the County Commissioners have kindly granted them the privilege of using for their region. The people of Gilpin County are invited to meet with them and enjoy a few hours of social enjoyment, in recalling events of the early days, and meeting with old time friends and neighbors of bygone years. When the caravan from Denver arrives at Idaho Springs, it will be joined by scores from all sections of Clear Creek County, and the journey to Central will eventually result in bringing together the greatest gathering of history makers that ever assembled at one spot in the history of the state. Attendance at this picnic will not be remembered, and the few 59ers, as well as those of the early 60s, will relate incidents that will make the heart young again, if only for a day. Many will, no doubt, recite facts concerning the early days of Gilpin County, when it was known as the richest square mile on earth, and which has lived up to its reputation during the passing years, with a production of over $100,000,000 in gold, and good for many times that amount in the future.

Black Hawk Jottings

Mr. Charles Niccum returned from Denver Monday evening, where he had been on a visit with relatives and friends.

James Dunstan, wife and grandson left for Denver Saturday morning to attend the picnic and visit Mr. August Brumm, at St. Joseph’s Hospital, who is recovering from a recent accident.

Miss Esther Nordlien left for Denver Tuesday morning to remain for the rest of the summer.

Our readers no doubt remember reading of the mysterious disappearance of a Mr. W.H. Head, a Denver jeweler, who attended a ski tournament at Alice, up Fall River, on July 4, 1924, and of the efforts made to discover his body, which was supposed to have been engulfed in some crevice on the mountainside. His skeleton was found two years ago, with the exception of his skull, which was found on Tuesday of last week by Peter Sweeney, of Alice, a short distance from where the body was found, and on examination was found to have been crushed as the result of a blow, and the theory has been advanced that he had been murdered. An effort is now being made to locate the men who were with Mr. Head at the tournament.

Married: In Denver, at St. John’s Cathedral, July 28th, Dean Dagwell officiating, John N. Adams, of Rancaqua, Chile, and Mill Loraine Williams, of this city. The bride is the daughter of Mrs. Louis J. Carter, of this city, where she spent the greater portion of her years, is a graduate of the Colorado teacher’s College, and taught in the public schools in this city and Black Hawk. Mr. Adamson is a son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Adamson, of Lafayette, Colorado, and is a graduate of the Colorado School of Mines. After his graduation he was employed by the Braden Copper Company at Great Falls, Montana, later being transferred to that firm’s property at Rancaqua, Chile. The newlyweds will reside at Greeley until September 1, then they will sail for Chile, where Mr. Adamson will again take up his duties as chemical engineer. The bride has many dear friends in Gilpin County, who extend congratulations and good wishes for a bright and happy future.

120 years ago – August 6, 1897

James Stevens, of Nevadaville, who was accidentally imprisoned in the Mammoth Mine at Gold Fields, Arizona, for nearly 13 days, returned home on Friday evening last. His homecoming was nothing short of a big reception. When he stepped off the train at Black Hawk, he was met by several hundred neighbors and friends who had come down in carriages, on horseback, and afoot to give him a rousing reception on his arrival, and the man who had lived with such fortitude without food or water, was unable to express his thanks to the many friends who had assembled here to welcome him. The procession formed in line, and with both Nevadaville bands, started on their way to his home in Nevadaville. The streets of Central were crowded with people anxious to see Mr. Stevens, and long before the procession reached Nevadaville, every whistle on the mines in the gulch began its toot of welcome. Nevadaville celebrated the return of Stevens in royal style all that evening, with the bands playing popular airs. Mr. Stevens felt no ill effects from his long fast, and now eats as heartily and sleeps as well as any healthy person, and is not troubled while sleeping by any floating memories from his imprisonment.

William Hoefle and Nick Willis returned from a fishing trip to Boulder Park on Saturday last, with a nice string of trout, which were divided among their friends.

The shaft house on the Review Mine, on Winnebago Hill, was entirely destroyed by fire on Wednesday evening about 7 o’clock, with a loss of $4,000 covered by insurance to the amount of $2,000. The property is owned by local parties, and was being worked by B.J. Smith, of this city, and Samuel Newhouse, of Idaho Springs. A new shaft house and plant of machinery will probably be erected in the near future.

It is said that the hottest mines in the world are those of the famous Comstock Lode. In the lower levels, the heat is so great that the miners cannot work over 10 to 15 minutes at a time. The heat is so great that ice melts before it reaches the bottom of the shaft.

The Gold Coin baseball club went to Leadville on Friday afternoon last and played three games with the Leadville team in scores of 22, 16, 12, to 3, 5, and 9 runs in favor of Leadville. The Leadville team will be in Central on Wednesday and Thursday, August 11th and 12th.

Born:  In Durango, Colorado, July 31st, 1897, to the wife of A.L. Richey, a son.

Born: In Black Hawk, August 1st, 1897, to the wife of Joseph Straite, a daughter.

Died: In Central City, August 4th, 1897, Elizabeth Mary, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Bawden, aged 17 years.

Died: Will Vivian, a young miner of this city, was instantly killed Thursday afternoon by the cave-in of a cellar he was excavating at his residence on Gregory Street. He had remained home from work on account of his wife’s sickness, and was working in the cellar when the accident happened. It was several hours after the cave-in that he was missed, and a general alarm was sounded, and soon neighbors and others dug him out, but he had been suffocated, and when found, life was extinct. The young man was 29 years of age, and is survived by a widow and two children. He was a member of the Alert Hose Company of Mountain City, and of the Knights of Golden Eagle Lodge of this city. Funeral services were held on Sunday at the Methodist Church.

Died: The bodies of Renee and Ray, children of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Olsen formerly of Nevadaville, who died at the orphan’s home in Denver, the former on Thursday and the latter on Saturday, arrived here on Tuesday and were taken to Nevadaville, where funeral services were held, followed by interment in the Bald Mountain Cemetery. Renee was aged 11 years and 10 months and Ray, 9 years and 4 months. Another child is reported as also being very low in health at the orphan’s home.

About Aaron Storms

Publisher & Managing Editor Weekly Register-Call
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