Turning Back the Pages

30 years ago – November 6, 1987

Halloween was enjoyed by kids of all ages and from all over Gilpin County. The first annual Ghosts and Goblins Parade, in Central City, drew hordes of kids, grinning parents, and a crowd of onlookers along Main Street. Merchants and citizens throughout the area donated their time, effort, and prizes to make the even a fun-filled experience for the kids. On October 30, the Gilpin County RE-1 School hosted a carnival that featured a variety of booths, contests, and food. Throughout the week, a variety of entertaining events were held to make this Halloween one of the best ever. Teen dances were held at the Gilpin County Community Center, toddlers partied at the library, and adults carried on at a benefit dance for the Columbine Health Centers, held at the Teller House.

Three quarters of a million dollars are being poured, figuratively, down the shaft of the Bates-Hunter Mine. In the spring, however, ore averaging 1.46 ounces of gold per ton will be pulled from the shaft located in Central City, at the Gregory Street-Lawrence Street intersection. The mine, which sits a mere 600 feet from the historic Gregory Diggings, is topped by a nearly 62 foot steel head frame. Once the shiv, T-bar, and hoist wheel are installed, the head frame will reach a total of 68 feet, making it the tallest structure in the area, according to George Otten, president of Central City Consolidated Mining Co., which owns the mine. John Gregory’s second gold discovery in the area, the Bates-Hunter was originally worked from about 1859 to 1886, said Otten. In its heyday, the mine produced four million dollars’ worth of gold in the first 400 feet of workings, before it was shut down during a legal battle. Like other mines in this area, once the oxides ran out and the miners encountered sulfide ores, the Bates-Hunter lost its economic viability. Although sulfide ores are often richer in gold content than oxides, they require much finer grinding, and the gold is usually removed by flotation milling, a process which was not developed until the 1920s. Only the richest ore was pulled from the mine, said Otten. “They left a lot of marginal ore down there,” he explained, “and that’s what we’re after.” The fact that the “marginal” ore should average 1.46 ounces of gold per ton, with some veins containing as much as 8.6 ounces of the precious metal, is keeping spirits high and the outlooks optimistic at Central City Consolidated. As the price of gold inches its way toward the $500 an ounce mark, there is considerable cause for enthusiasm, and the recent stability of the nation’s stock market is making gold a more attractive option for investors than it has been in recent years. Otten hopes to pull 250 tons of ore per day for the first year, with an increase to 500 tons per day the second year. He expects to start production with one shift a day initially and will increase that to two shifts if production meets expectation. Before production work can begin, however, development work needs to be done. Several years ago, tailings were bulldozed into the shaft. The waste rose, which filled the top 82 feet of the mine, was removed, leaving a 785-foot shaft. Once the head frame is complete, a hoist house will be constructed on the site. The mine will have a twin shaft to allow for a man way and two haulage ways, said Otten. Plans are to go to the 785-foot level, and then proceed through the ore chute, a 15-foot wide vein that slopes downward for 500 feet. Based on the geology of the mine and history of other mines in the immediate area, Otten believes the chute may extend another 2,000 to 2,400 feet, however, his optimism is tempered by caution. “I don’t get excited ’til I actually see the ore.” he said, smiling. As the chute is developed it will allow work to proceed beneath the German Mine, also owned by Central City Consolidated. If all goes according to Otten’s plan, production will begin in the spring, probably March or April.

Died: Mary McGlone: Mary McGlone, longtime supporter and Grande dame of the Central City Opera House Association, died at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver, one day after she turned 80 years old, on October 28, 1987. She was born on October 27, 1907, in Mount Vernon, Ohio. As a child she resided in Brighton, CO. McGlone graduated from the University of Colorado, in Boulder, in 1928. While she was in school, she met her husband, William F. McGlone. They were married in 1932. In 1932, McGlone attended the reopening of the Central City Opera House, featuring Lillian Gish, in “Camille.” In 1953, it was McGlone who thought up the idea for the musical, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” In 1974, she formed the Central City Opera Guild, which proved to be an important contribution to the organization. McGlone was a member of the Central City Opera House Association board and member of the opera association. Additionally, she was a member of the Guild of the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, the Opera Colorado Guild, the Denver Central Alliance, Historic Denver Inc., and the Colorado Heart Association. McGlone was preceded in death by her husband in 1984. She is survived by her niece, Eleanor Hardest of Los Angeles, California. Memorial services were held October 31, at Horn and McConaty Chapel in Denver. Private entombment followed at Fairmont Cemetery.

60 years ago – November 8, 1957

Central City Nuggets

Halloween was a quiet evening in Central City. School parties occupied the time for the youngsters, while the teenagers made merry in reverting to the days of yesterday. One of the cute pranks done by the teenagers was the removal of a kleinerhauser (outhouse) from the back yard, belonging to a citizen, and placing it in the intersection of town. It was generous gesture, as much complaint has been made of the lack of restroom for tourists. Others said that it could be used by the Mayor and officers in controlling traffic, and others said many things that modesty forbids me mentioning. However, I examined the interior closely, and for the first time did not find emblazoned on the walls: “Kilroy was Here.” It graced the intersection until Monday when it was hauled away to a more appropriate place, but the memory still lingers as to its usefulness in the days of yore.

Cliffs I. Parsons, the champion of Rummy, spent the weekend in Denver. His visit was cloaked in mystery, but as there were several important meetings of the Democratic Party in that big city, maybe the election next year will find his name on the ballot for the office of Governor, or something.

Again fortune smiles on the Editor, as the Delinquent Tax List for Gilpin County is published this week, crowding out much interesting news, but bringing smiles to Ye Editor’s face enabling him to buy shoes for the little ones, imbibe in drinks of milk and lime juice, and helping a helluva lot in purchasing pork chops and stuff like that there.

Miss Barbara Powe, age 11, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Powe, was taken to the Children’s Hospital in Denver Tuesday suffering from pneumonia. We hope her convalescence is rapid.

Gary McDowell and Donald Mattivi celebrated their 9th birthdays this week. Donald entertained his room at a party at Ye Olde Fashioned on Thursday afternoon.

A rock slide on the highway here miles below Black Hawk, Sunday, caused considerable inconvenience to visitors from the valley, necessitating one-way traffic for several hours.

90 years ago – November 11, 1927

Tons of cement are being shot into the Moffat Tunnel with compressed air guns, in an effort to speed completion of the bore. More than 1,000 men are working twenty four hours a day to complete the work of enlarging and lining the tunnel. Yesterday only 230 feet of enlargement work remained to be completed, and officials in charge expect the tunnel to be ready for use sometime early in December.  The two approaches have been completed, and the Denver & Salt Lake City Railroad is now installing ventilating machinery in the two ventilating plants.

Word was received in Denver, Tuesday that Congressman Charles B. Timberlake was seriously ill in Washington, D.C. He was stricken last week and was taken to the Providence Hospital Saturday night. At the time it was feared he would have to undergo an operation, but on Tuesday it was reported he had passed the critical stage and surgeons believed the operation would not be necessary.

George Williams and wife, accompanied by his mother, Mrs. Libbie Williams, motored up from Denver Wednesday morning for a couple of days visit, returning Thursday afternoon.

Mrs. Edith Carter and Mrs. R.L. Laird left Sunday for Denver to attend the teacher’s convention.

We had a pleasant call yesterday morning from Mr. A.B. Carstens and wife, from Monterey, M.L., Old Mexico, who arrived in Central Wednesday. Mr. Carstens is the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Alex Carstens, residents of this city in the early 80s, and is here with the purpose of removing the remains of his father and two sisters from the local cemeteries, for reburial beds with his mother in Riverside Cemetery, in Denver.

How to Make Peach Sherbet by Nellie Maxwell: Boil fifteen minutes one cupful of water and two cupful’s of sugar; let cool and add one and one half cupful’s of peach juice and pulp and the juice of a lemon. Freeze as usual.

How to Make Chicken Victoria by Nellie Maxwell: Cream two tablespoonful’s of butter, add the yolks of three hard cooked eggs rubbed to a paste. Soak one fourth cupful’s of cracker crumbs in one court cupful of milk fifteen minutes, then add the egg mixture. Pour on gradually one cupful of chicken stock and when boiling add one cupful of cooked chicken cut into small pieces.

120 years ago – November 12, 1897

Tuesday night’s heavy wind storm tore down signs in various parts of the city, smashed in several windows and caused havoc with chimneys and roofs, and was conceded as one of the worst wind storms for years.

Mr. T.J. Oyler, of Black Hawk, had a troublesome visitor in his cellar back of his grocery store, in the shape of a mountain rat who had been making away with articles of various descriptions. A box of dried prunes weighing 25 pounds was placed in the cellar one evening, and the rat carried off the entire contents in three nights. The rat would have taken the box, but was unable to get it into his hole in the wall. A trap was set for the thief, which successfully captured him, which ends our story.

Conductor Moore reports that last week as a record breaker for hauling freight from Black Hawk to Central, and that from Monday to Saturday night, he took up 44 carloads of miscellaneous freight for the merchants in Central City.

Photographer A.M. Thomas was smiling this week, on account of selling three large colored pictures of the “switchback” on the high line between Black Hawk and this city, to Mr. Irving T. Bush, president of the Gold Coins Mines Company, who will take them to New York as presents to his friends.

Born: In Central City, November 8th, 1897, to the wife of William Warren, a son.

Born: In Black Hawk, November 9th, 1897, to the wife of Milton Fick, a son.

Born: In Nevadaville, November 10th, 1897 to the wife of James Thomas, a daughter.

Died: In Denver, November 7th, 1897, William Martens, son of Dethlef and Mary Martens, aged 28 years.

146 years ago – November, 1872

There came to our sanctum by last mail a newspaper with the glowing title Aurora Borealis, which requests a publication subscription exchange. It displays the figure head of its editor in chief, who parts his hair in the middle, sports Dundreary whiskers, and lists manufacturers of arnica and iodine plasters for sale of which the Borealis illumines 500,000 readers, which is just four hundred and ninety eight thousand too many to be an equal exchange for the Register. The Aurora goes, therefore, with its handsome figure head, into the waste basket, “respectfully.”

Alexander Cameron, proprietor and superintendent of the extensive creek mines about three miles below Black Hawk, was in town yesterday and had the largest nugget yet taken from his mine, weighing fourteen ounces, six pennyweights, eleven grains. Some quartz is mingled with the gold, estimated to weigh about an ounce and a half. This nugget was found a day or two since by one of Mr. Cameron’s employees, named John Ufford, near the lower end of the flume, and had probably been thrown out with a fork last fall. Mr. Ufford being a newcomer, in miners’ language a “pilgrim,” he was at first uncertain whether what he had got was gold or not. An honest miner, who didn’t want the pilgrim to deceive himself, told him it was copper, and advised him to throw it away. Ufford gave it to its rightful owner, which in the hand of any another man would have had an affinity for his pocket stronger than its affinity for quicksilver. Mr. Cameron, appreciating the uprightness of his employee, presented him with an agate ring worth $20. The flume is not prepared to catch nuggets of this size, the riffles being too small for them to drop in. It is not impossible that many have been previously carried through the flume and lost. This leak will be stopped forthwith.

About Aaron Storms

Publisher & Managing Editor
Weekly Register-Call

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