Turning Back the Pages

30 years ago – October 9, 1987

In response to rampant rumors that Black Hawk City Councilman Morris Steen has resigned his office, the Weekly Register-Call has been unable to either confirm or to put to rest the story. Steen reportedly walked out of a meeting of the city council on September 31, indicating that he was quitting. City Clerk and Treasurer Mona Dawkins reports that she has received no formal letter of resignation, but added that the rumor is apparently fairly widespread because at least two people have come to Black Hawk City Hall to apply for the post. Steen is out of town and could not be reached for comment.

Seventy-one people attended the Elks Ladies “End of Summer Dance” held October 3 at the Elks Club in Central City. Proceeds of the benefit will go to the scholarship fund established three years ago by the Elks Ladies. In addition to ticket sales, the ladies received contributions from the Glory Hole Tavern, the Black Forest Inn, and Ed Graff. In its first year, the fund provided a $250 scholarship to a Gilpin County student. Last year, two scholarships were awarded.

Black Hawk’s new Little Giant Car Wash is a family operation from the ground up. David and Mark Spellman, along with their parents Bill and Dolores, operate the business. The construction work was done by the brothers, along with able assistance from Glenda Smith. The Little Giant features state of the art equipment and it’s the first installation of its kind in the state. Instead of a dial, the meters feature sensor touch switches. A digital clock lets you know how much time remains on the counter. There are two washing bays, each with a vacuum, foaming brushes, and cycles for waxing, tire cleaning, engine washing, and all the usual wash and rinse cycles. A bill changer will change your ones and fives into quarters. The wash costs $1.25 for four minutes. The car wash is open 24 hours a day. A grand opening party was held at the car wash October 3. All of the Spellman’s were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony. A dirtiest car contest was held, and the Weekly Register-Call’s reporter won, hands down, much to her embarrassment. The prize, a free car wash and vacuum, was greatly appreciated.

Fire danger is high to extreme in the Front Range right now, says the U.S. Forest Service. Citizens are encouraged to take care and caution with outdoor fires. “We’re reminding everyone, especially hunters, to include fire extinguishing equipment when they plan to use camp fires,” said Ranger Rick Vallejos of the Idaho Springs office, “That means a shovel and a bucket.” Vallejos added that much of the downed wood in the forest is “under dry” now. Additionally, the Forest Service is temporarily short of manpower, due to major fires in Oregon and California. Seven rangers from this area were assigned to assist on those fires, although three have now returned, said Vallejos. The U.S. Forest Service is so concerned about the possibility of a major fire in the Front Range area that a dozen fire fighters responded to a fire recently above the Fall River Reservoir in Idaho Springs. It was caused by a camp fire that went out of control, but the fire was quickly contained, said Vallejos.

Died: Pat Duggan. Pat Duggan, formerly of Denver, passed away in New York City, September 22, 1987. He was 82 years old. Dugan previously owned property on the Casey in Central City. He was a supporter of the Central City Opera House Association. He was born June 27, 1905, in New York. Duggan began a long and successful career in the film industry in the 1930s. He co-founded Watson and Duggan literary agency representing film writers. He was an associate producer of the “Best Years of Our Lives,” which won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 1946. Duggan was a five-time president within the Goldwyn organization, and later worked for Paramount as a producer. After retiring in Colorado, he was managing editor of Cervi’s Rocks Mountain Journal. He was preceded in death by his wife, Libby Block, an author, in 1946. Memorial services were held October 1, at the Denver University Campus. Duggan is survived by David and Patrick, his two sons; Elizabeth, his daughter; two sisters, Grace McKendry and Myra Avedon, and six grandchildren.

60 years ago – October 11, 1957

Central City Nuggets

William Grenfell, who has been driving the school bus for the past fourteen years, bringing students from the Rollinsville District and a few from Black Hawk to Central City for attendance in both the high and grammar school, resigned his position last week, which was accepted by the Gilpin County School Board. During the time Grenfell has acted in the capacity of driver, his station wagon amply accommodated the number of students attending school here. But this year added room to his car was necessary, and the school board decided to purchase a larger means of conveyance, and purchased a second-hand bus holding some 40 passengers for less than $1,000. This bus was put into service Monday morning, being driven by Mr. Peterson, of the high school faculty. The guarantee was that it was in excellent condition, even though it had over 50,000 miles on the odometer. However, when it was being driven from Rollinsville, two tires blew out, endangering the lives of the driver and passengers. Again, Tuesday evening, on the return trip to Rollinsville, a connecting rod broke loose and slammed through the engine, totally destroying it and will have to be replaced by a new one. That doesn’t speak too well for the guarantee, especially when the intent is to take basketball teams and parents to Dillon, Breckenridge, and other places over Loveland and other passes, where roads are slippery from ice, endangering the lives of all passengers. We are not cognizant of all details regarding the purchase of a bus that has already outlived its usefulness, but it seems most reasonable that if a bus was necessary, a new one would be much superior and decidedly safer. Realizing, however, that the school board does not have the necessary money for such a purchase without raising the mill levy, wouldn’t it be much better to allow transportation of students by the same means that have been practiced for the past ten or more years? The students and parents all have the greatest confidence in Bill, and are sorry that he and the board could not come to a satisfactory agreement regarding this issue.

Kenneth T. Knudson, 44, of Atlanta, Georgia, was seriously injured Sunday night when the car he was driving careened off the highway about one mile below Black Hawk, and immediately caught fire, entirely burning the car and contents. In the back seat were found the burned debris of a radio television, several suits of clothes, and a large bundle of blueprints. He was alone and no particulars have been found as the reason he was driving in this vicinity or his destination. He was taken to one of the hospitals in Denver for treatment of his injuries.

Black Hawk Gold Dust

Last Sunday visitors at the house of Mrs. Emma Eccker were Mr. and Mrs. Winslow of Ft. Lupton, Colorado. Mrs. Winslow and Mrs. Eccker became acquainted then both were patients in a Denver hospital eleven years ago.

Friday evening callers at Mrs. Hansine Bakers at Mountain House were Perl Neff, Lettie Gray, and Mrs. Addyman.

Among those attending the funeral of August Koch in Golden last Monday were Mr. and Mrs. George Anderle.

Mr. John Miller made his weekly trip to town for his mail, groceries, etc., last Saturday. He usually walks the ten mile distance from his home in Elk Creek, south of Apex.

While Mrs. Mary Hamilton was in Denver receiving medical treatment, her husband Billy Hamilton remained in Golden with Mr. and Mrs. James Chase.

Died: Lawrence Thomas. Funeral services were held in Denver Saturday morning for Lawrence Thomas, who died three days previous after a long illness. He was 53 years of age. Lawrence was born in Nevadaville, where he attended the schools, after moving Central City where he was in the employ of Quiller’s for a short time. He was also employed by several mines in this vicinity, and also by the County highway department. He was a member of Rocky Mountain Lodge No. 2, of this city, and Jefferson Encampment, of Golden, Order of Odd Fellows. For a number of years he was secretary of the local lodge, and was very active in its affairs. Charter draping ceremonies were held Saturday evening by the local lodge. He and his wife have been a resident of Denver since 1920, and is survived by three sisters, Mrs. Earl Allen, Mrs. Mabel Moody, of Central City, and Mrs. Jeanette Sherwood, of Van Nuys, California; four brothers, Goldon of this city, William of Pittsburg, California, Fred of Boulder, and Charles, of Anchorage, Alaska.

Died: Wm. Eustice, 86, died in Denver last week after a long illness, and interment was in Fairmount Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, and a niece, Mrs. Sally Rickman, and a nephew, George Eustice, of this city.

90 years ago – October 14, 1927

Four inches of snow fell on Monday night. Thermometers registered 9 degrees above on Tuesday, and 13 above on Wednesday.

Attorney Leroy J. Williams came up from Denver on Friday evening to attend to legal matters before the county court.

Mr. and Mrs. Hendrickson, of Fort Collins, accompanied by Miss Nellie Vincent, of this city, who had been visiting them, arrived in Central Saturday evening, on a short visit. Mrs. Hendrickson will be better remembered by Gilpin County residents as Lettie Drew, whose parents resided in this city for many years.

Undertaker Arthur N. Mitchell of Georgetown, came over the first of the week to take charge of the funeral of Harley Shaffer, of Black Hawk.

Dr. William Schultz left for Denver Tuesday afternoon on professional business and to meet with friends.

Mr. C.O. Richards returned from State Center, Iowa, on Monday evening’s bus line. He was summoned home by the death of his father, who passed on Thursday September 22nd, at the age of 79 years.

Born: At Idaho Springs, October 3rd, 1927, to the wife of Melvin Chiles, a son. The mother will be better remembered by Central City people as Margaret Light.

Died: In Black Hawk, October 9th, 1927, William Harley Shaffer, aged 49 years. Mr. Shaffer was born in Lafayette, Indiana, and came to Black Hawk when eight years of age, and during all the intervening years, has spent most of his days in Gilpin County, working in the mines in all sections of the county. He had been ailing for the past two years, suffering from asthma and bronchial troubles, and being unable to do much manual labor, he established a small store in Black Hawk which he conducted up to the time of his death. He was well liked by everyone, of a pleasant and social nature, making the best of everything, regardless of his condition and suffering, and was ready to answer the summons when it came. He was a member of the Neighbors of Woodcraft Lodge and the Black Hawk Fire Department, under whose auspices the funeral was held. Services were held at the Methodist Church, Wednesday afternoon, Rev. Christner, pastor of the church, officiating, after which the remains were buried in the Dory Hill Cemetery. He is survived by his widow and son, of Black Hawk, his mother, two brothers and a sister in Los Angeles, California, to whom the sympathy of the entire community is extended in this, their hour of sorrow.

120 years ago – October 15, 1897

The bulk of the Denver Carnival visitors returned home on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and announced that the Festival of Mountain and Plain was all that was expected, but to hear some of them speak of the way they were treated by some of the hotels would suggest that something like a skin game was practiced by the hotel men. A kick was also registered against the railroad company for its inability to take proper care of its passengers, such as crowding them into overloaded cars, and making them ride home in open cars on the cool nights.

Charles Wiley came up from Denver the first of the week on a visit with friends and to recuperate from a sick spell.

Mr. A.P.S. Cocks, of the Teller House, returned from his Brighton ranch, Thursday afternoon, and will stay a few days here preparatory to leaving with his wife and child to spend the Christmas holidays in Merry England.

Mr. Henry P. Lowe, manager of the Topeka mine, came up from Denver the first of the week, to see how matters were progressing at the property.

Several Chicago parties who are interested in the Wain Mine, in Chase Gulch, were guests at the Teller House during the week.

Mrs. Helen Grenfell, County Superintendent of Schools, who was summoned to Washington by the serious illness of her mother several weeks ago, returned home on Friday evening last, having left her mother considerably improved.

The little son of Jack Key of Black Hawk, while playing on the school grounds on Wednesday, fell and broke his arm.

During the month of September, the Saratoga property in Russell District shipped 28 carloads of ore to the concentrators and smelters from development being carried on in different parts of the property. Work is being carried on in the 400 and 800 east and west levels, which are showing up in fine shape and the management contemplates sinking the cage shaft to a depth of 900 feet. A force of 40 men is employed.

Contractor Peter McFarlane has a large force of men engaged in putting up the new stamp mill for the operators on the Perigee Mine, and everything is expected to be completed within the next ten days, with the mill ready for crushing ore by the first of the month.

Married: In Central City, October 8th, 1897, Rev. John Toking officiation, Joseph Gennen and Miss Emily Bennallack.

Died: In Central City, October 9th, 1897, Mrs. Mary Hughes Tierney, aged 76 years.

Died: In Central City, October 9th, 1897, Morton, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. John Andrews, aged 13 months.

About Aaron Storms

Publisher & Managing Editor
Weekly Register-Call

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