Turning Back the Pages

30 years ago – January 1, 1988

Fire! Tuesday afternoon, the home of Jakob Forster caught fire. The cause has not been determined. Forster’s residence is located in Black Hawk. According to Gary Allen, chef of the Central City Volunteered Fire Department, approximately 20 to 25 fire fighters responded to extinguish the blaze. Fire trucks from Black Hawk and High Country were also at the scene. The fire was confined to a back room of the house. The roof was damaged, said Allen, adding that the house suffered extensive smoke and water damage. Forster is believed to have been home at the time of the fire, although it could not be confirmed. Forster, who was not available for comment, did not suffer any injuries. David Spellman of Black Hawk and a member of the Black Hawk City Council said Doug Prentice, also of Black Hawk, broke his leg. Spellman said Prentice fell on ice near the fire trucks. He grabbed a discharge valve on the truck which released pressure and knocked him down. Prentice is believed to have a compound fracture. He was airlifted to Lutheran Medical Center in Denver. His condition as of Wednesday, could not be confirmed. According to Allen, none of the other firefighters sustained any injuries, except minor ones. It could not be confirmed if Forster has insurance on his home.

News During the Year of 1987:

Exactly one year ago today, January 1, 1987, the high temperature for the day was 41 degrees and the low was three degrees below zero at night.

County officials and residents of the county were relieved to discover that a proposed women’s prison at the former Golden Gate Youth Camp site had been cancelled. The building, one year later, remains empty.

Gilpin County Court Judge Andrew J. Krodshen retired after 18 years. He was honored at a farewell dinner at the Black Forest Inn in February, attended by over 100 people. Judge Frederic B. Rodgers was appointed to fill the vacancy left by Krodshen.

In February, 30 inches of snow fell on Gilpin County during the week after Valentine’s Day.

The 1863 home of William L. Cozens will be repaired, according to a Central City Council decision. Cozens was the first sheriff of Gilpin County.

In March, the Black Hawk Laundromat reopened, under the ownership of Ed and Shirley Smith.

In March, the EPA said that it would construct an emergency temporary retaining wall of gabion baskets at the Gregory Incline. It cost $220,000, and was planned to be replaced in six months. In response, Norman Blake, owner of the Gregory Incline, publicly stated objections to EPA plans for the site. He proposed a permanent solution instead of the short term one planned by the federal agency.

In May, the EPA completed work on installation of gabion baskets at the Gregory Incline. The EPA again altered its estimate of the life expectancy of the baskets. Originally, the EPA claimed the retaining wall would last 25 years. Next they said it would be replaced in six months. Now they say it will last two years. It’s anyone’s guess. No one from the EPA mentioned the possibility of the zinc coating polluting the water.

In June, Viola Laird, longtime resident of Central City, celebrated her 92nd birthday on June 3 at the Copper Broiler Restaurant in Central City.

In July, the Weekly Register-Call celebrated 125 years of continuous publication in Central City. Established in 1862, the paper has never missed a single issue.

In July, Engine No. 71 was dedicated, with many locals, state and area politicians and numerous well-wishers present.

In August, the Central City Opera Association announced that the 1988 season will be extended to six weeks.

In September, an unusually high manganese content in the Black Hawk water supply caused city officials to urge citizens to boil water before consumption.

In October, school bus driver Ed Walsh was commended to actions that saved an RE-1 student from possible injury on a bus.

In November, the Christmases Remembered Festival was held in Central City. Included in the festival this year was a “Holiday Home Tour,” which was well received by locals and tourists alike.

In December, the first statewide Mining Summit Conference was held in Leadville. Governor Roy Romero believes that safe and effective mining activity can coexist with clean air and water.

60 years ago – January 3, 1958

Central City Nuggets

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Welch and Mrs. Minnie McCoy spent the New Year’s holidays in Central City. It wasn’t exactly a holiday for Jack though, as the antenna on Minnie’s house was blown down by the gentle zephyrs, requiring attention; water had seeped through the roof at his home on Spring Street, bringing down the plaster from the ceiling, and Monday night the oil for heating, was conspicuous by its absence. Consequently, the New Year started out in a helluva way.

In a letter received from Matt Stephens, of Livingstone, Montana, he stated that his oldest son has started his final year of duty as armed forces chaplain in Germany. The Livingstone minister has been captain of chaplains in Germany since 1955. His father, Matthew, was born in Central City, and was married to Florence Morgan, now deceased, a sister of Mrs. Frank Gray, of Central City. We extend congratulations.

Dr. and Mrs. Raymond Isberg entertained at a party New Year’s Eve at their attractive summer home on 3rd High Street. It was a most pleasant gathering, and was attended by many friends from here and Denver and the New Year was ushered in in a most appropriate manner.

Mine machinery and a building totaling an estimated valuation of from $8,000 to $10,000, were destroyed in a fire Sunday at the Highlander Mine, also known as the Kansas City Tunnel, on Virginia Canyon Road about two miles from Idaho Springs. The compressor house, two compressors, and other machinery and tools, were destroyed. The property is owned by Dr. Fred Metz, of Denver.

We received a letter from Edna D. Miller, a former resident of Central City, now residing at South Gate, California, announcing the death of Mrs. Agnes Stull. She was the wife of Wm. Stull, who was the editor of the Gilpin County Observer in Central City from 1908 to 1920. She is survived by two sons, John H. and Wm. I. Stull; a sister, Evelyn Husley, and a brother, James Morrissey.

Mr. Matt Howe was found dead in bed in Cheyenne, Wyo., Sunday morning, the victim of a heart attack. He will be remembered as the husband of Lillian Head, who was born in Central City and remained a resident here until her marriage to Mr. Howe.

90 years ago – January 6, 1928

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lampshade are on the sick list, and their daughters, Mrs. Perley Cox and Mrs. Walters are here carrying on their business, and giving them attention. The latest report form the sick room is that both are improving.

Mr. and Mrs. W.O. Ziege left for Denver Tuesday morning, the latter to receive medical treatment, and the former returning home that evening.

Mrs. Louie Welch, who has been in Denver for the past week with her son Jack, who underwent a minor operation for throat trouble, returned home yesterday morning.

Clarence and Will Stroehle and Francis Casagranda, who had been enjoying their vacation with their parents during the holiday season, left for Boulder, Sunday, to resume their studies at the university.

Miss Irene Gibbons returned from Boulder, Monday evening, having spent the holiday vacation with her parents.

Miss Julia Stapleton arrived from Gunnison, Tuesday evening, where she was summoned by the serious illness of her mother, and reports that her mother is recovering from her illness.

A carload of high grade smelting ore is being loaded at the depot by Mr. Heppberger, from the Pewable Mine in Russell Gulch, for shipment to the mills at Colorado Springs.

A few years ago, when radio first became widespread throughout the world, the opinion went forth that the new invention would soon take the place of the newspapers in all parts of the country. Today the supremacy of the newspapers is recognized over the field of radio and the prediction that newspapers would take second place has been broken down. Maconi, radio wizard, gives newspapers preference over radio, and expresses the opinion of most people today, when he says, “The newspaper has this distinct advantage: it is a record. You cannot paste radio announcements in a scrap book; newspapers put the news down in black and white. Of course the radio has its advantages. A radio impulse can travel around the world in one seventieth of a second and news can be transmitted almost instantly,” he said. Newspapers cannot give musical programs to the world, but the press will always be the big power in the world for expressing opinion by rulers and statesmen, and for the big events of news. While the famous inventor did not exactly say it, the press is original and constructive, instead of being largely a repeating agency. The newspaperman who respects and lives up to his privileges has a power above that of kings. Even the radio is under him.

With less than 2,000 yards of concrete to be poured in the Moffat Tunnel lining predictions were made by engineers Tuesday that trains would be run in through the bore by January 20. Work of completing this final piece of lining is going forward rapidly and should be completed within the next 10 days according to Clifford Betts, engineer. Only three quarters of a mile of track ballast remained to be laid yesterday. It is expected this will be completed by the time the concrete lining is poured.

Died: In Central City, January 4th, 1928, John B. Moser, aged 50 years, 3 months and 27 days. Mr. Moser has been a resident of the county for over 20 years and had found employment in many of the mines of the county where he contracted miner’s consumption, which was the direct cause of his death. He was an industrious and hardworking citizen, and was well-known throughout the county. He is survived by his wife and two sons, to whom the sympathy of the entire community is extended in the entire community is extended in the loss of a loving husband and father. Funeral services will be held Saturday morning at the Catholic Church, after which the remains will be taken to Mount Olivet for burial.

120 years ago – January 7, 1898

Tramway Engine No. 3, which was badly damaged in the wreck of last week, was sent to the Union Pacific shops in Denver for repairs.

The little 14 year old son of Perry Newlin of Nevadaville, was badly injured last Friday while putting a saddle on a jack (burro), the animal bolting before being harnessed. The boy hung onto the bridle and in the muddle, the jack fell on the boy, breaking his right shoulder. Dr. Ashbaugh was called and attended to his injuries.

Edgar Mitchell and Edgar Withrow, who had been spending their vacation here with their parents, left for Boulder Tuesday morning to resume their studies at the state university.

The funeral of Harvey W. Pearce, the engineer on the tramway lines who was killed December 30th, when his engine jumped the track in Prosper Gulch, was held on Sunday last from the Methodist Church. The coroner’s jury which was held last week, said his deaths the result of an unavoidable accident.

The new plant of machinery on the Pittsburg-Meeker Mine is running in good shape, and a contract has been let to sink the main shaft another 100 foot lift. Since the operators took hold of the property last summer, they have done considerable development work, and are now in shape to produce ore from the several stopes and drifts which have been opened up.

At the Saratoga property in Russell District, sinking operations were commenced Monday on a 100 foot lift in the cage shaft, with three shifts of miners. The completion of this contract will make the shaft 900 feet in depth.

Born: In Central City, January 3rd, 1898, to the wife of John McCallister, a daughter.

Born: In Central City, January 4th, 1898, to the wife of Charles Quintrell, a son.

Born: In Black Hawk, January 4th, 1898, to the wife of John Ballard, a daughter.

Died: In Denver, December 31st, 1897, Fred Casler, formerly of Central City, aged 28 years.

146 years ago – January, 1873

The Smith & Carmel Mine, next east of the Briggs Mine, is 610 feet deep and Mr. Wells, the superintendent, informs us that the last twenty feet sunk produced the richest smelting ore ever taken from the mine, and that the stamp rock yielded eight ounces gold per cord, which is far above the average.

Mr. Congdon, superintended of the Black Hawk Company, informs us that in their lowest level west, nearly 600 feet deep, they have a strong vein of smelting and stamp ore, of about average richness, and that in the east, of No. 1 shaft, about the same depth, the ore is above the average grade.

The Consolidated Gregory, and the Narragansett Co.’s mines produced quite as good ores (and we think a little better) in their lowest workings, as they did at any point above, after the gossan was worked out. So much for the Gregory.

We believe that the Sensenderfer shaft is the deepest on the Bobtail lode. If not the deepest, it lacks but a few feet of being as deep as any other one. The last work in the bottom of that claim was superintended by Eb. Smith, Esq., and he has informed us that when the water drove him out, he had in the lowest level east, a pay vein from eight to thirteen feet wide, the ore from which yielded nine ounces gold per cord. The smelting ore was quite as rich in gold and silver as it ever had been at any place in the mine.

About Aaron Storms

Publisher & Managing Editor Weekly Register-Call
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