Turning Back the Pages

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30 years ago – October 28, 1988

Gilpin youngsters enjoyed Story Hour at the library on Wednesday in celebration of Halloween, however, there were not any dreaded monsters in the group. The children were entertained by storyteller Amy Thomas, peering out from under a witch’s hat, reading the story, “A Halloween Mask for Monster.” The Halloween story was followed by a delightful orange colored concoction “poltergeist punch,” along with cookies, candy, and popcorn balls. 

The Gilpin County RE-1 School District Board of Education formally adopted a policy that forbids the use of corporal punishment. The measure was adopted at the board’s October policy meeting and announced at the regular business meeting on October 18. A policy was also adopted delineating appropriate use of physical force in the instance it becomes necessary for a member of the staff to physically restrain a student.

  Publisher’s Corner: One look at this year’s tax sale list should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that it is high time for all taxpayers to put an end to confiscatory tax increases. The people should be in control rather than the present taxing “powers that be” with their unbridled authority. Homeowners, business people, landowners, and others are being broken on the taxing rack. The populace should rise up in their wrath, ignore all “scare tactics” being used to intimidate them and vote for Amendment 61! Signed, William C. Russell, Jr.

Gary Ledstrom is the new DUI officer for the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Department. Ledstrom assumed his responsibilities on October 3. He replaces Bob Hofman, who resigned effective September 18. Prior to moving to Gilpin County, Ledstrom was employed as a peace officer for the Colorado Department of Parks and Recreation. He started this job in May 1988 after graduating from Arapahoe Community Police Academy. He was a reserve police officer for the Sheridan Police Department from April until September. Ledstrom has been coming to this area in the two and a half years he has resided in Colorado. “I’m very glad to be able to move to the mountains,” Ledstrom said. “Be sure to mention in the article,” said Sheriff Rosetta Anderle, “that he’s not just a DUI officer – his duties include all areas of law enforcement.”

If you saw a large tarp covered boulder alongside Smith Hill Road recently and wondered who was protecting the rock and why, wonder no more. It was you, not the rock, that was being protected, explained County Road Supervisor Eric Klemp. The road crew is testing a new method of removing large rocks that get in the way of its snowplows. A ground powder, called Bristar, is mixed with water to a thigh paste like consistency. It is then poured into holes drilled into the rock. As it dries, the compound swells, breaking the boulder into large chunks which can then be removed with county equipment. Because Bristol is a non-explosive way to reduce the size of the rocks, says Klemp, liability and insurance costs to the county can be held down, making this a more cost effective way to remove “plow eating rocks.” It takes anywhere from two to nine days for Bristol to break the rock, Klemp commented. In the three months his crew have been testing the product, they have completed two projects, one involving a rock the size of a small truck. The reason the boulders have been covered once Bristol is poured into the holes, Klemp said, is to keep the public from coming into contact with the substance. Although the compound can also be used to remove rock overhangs, this has not been tried here, due to the long and unpredictable time it takes for the rock to break. “I don’t think the citizens would be real happy if we closed down their roads for a week or more waiting for an overhang to fall off,” Klemp said. This is an understatement, we’d say.

Died: Ja Steckdaub, formerly of Gilpin County, passed away on October 22, 1988 at Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge. He was born on November 5, 1915, in Woodlandville, Missouri, to John and Imogene Steckdaub. His family moved to Central City in the early 1930s. He left the area and later returned, making Gilpin County his home from the 1940s until 1953. During this time he was employed as a miner. In 1953, Steckdaub moved to Golden. He became a member of Local 1396 Carpenters Union. Survivors include his mother, Imogene, of Wheat Ridge, his daughter, Diane Livingston of Pueblo; his granddaughter, Deltah Gurgle; and his great grandchildren, J.T. and Autumn Gurgle of Wichita Falls, Texas. At Steckdaub’s reception he was cremated and no services were held. Interment will take place at Bald Mountain Cemetery at a later date. His family requested the following in Ja Steckdaub’s memory: “He was loved by many and will be missed with each passing day.”

60 years ago – October 31, 1958

Central City Nuggets:

Every election year at this time the “Get out the vote” campaigns surge into high gear. All of us are urged to exert the great right of franchise. This is all to the good. A citizen who fails to vote shirks a fundamental duty, and he certainly has no right to criticize the conduct of the public affairs. It’s a national disgrace that, in many elections, up to half of the qualified voters don’t trouble to go to the polls. But something needs to be added to the command “Vote.” It is this: “Know who and what you’re voting for.” To vote in ignorance is as bad as not voting at all. This is particularly significant relative to the voting for the various candidates for County officers of Gilpin County and Mayor and Aldermen for the City of Central. Analyze the qualifications of each individual; eliminate all personal likes and dislikes; weigh their ability, and decide which candidate would be more efficient for the office. No matter if they are on the Republican or Democratic ticket, vote for the one you think might be the best. At least you have done your individual duty.

Funeral services were held last Saturday in Denver for Lillian M. Lake, aged about 90 years. She was the daughter of Byron S. Lake, and spent her early childhood in Central City. Interment was in Fairmount Cemetery.

The Clear Creek-Gilpin Mining Association will meet in the District Court room at the Court House, Wednesday evening, November 12th. The public is invited. Any mining news will be welcome.

Citizens of Central are most appreciative and happy over the condition of the streets. Thanks are extended to County Commissioner Martin Nelson, and his crew, Braning and Steen; Alderman Russell, for the use of his large truck; and Street Commissioner Menegatti and Mumford and George Lumberg for surfacing and grading, putting the streets in excellent condition.

Black Hawk Gold Dust:

More interest is being shown in the coming City election. In addition to the candidates selected some time ago, the following names are being circulated as write-in candidates: For Mayor, Frank Gates; Aldermen, Bill Landau, Leigh Clark, Sherman Leach, Frank Fleiss, Charles Robins, Ray Hendricks and Bill Floyd; Police Judge, Orlando Allison; City Assessor, Luella Fritz; City Treasurer, Emma Eccker.

Mrs. Lydia Fleiss, who has suffered extreme pains in her back for two weeks, was taken to a Denver hospital Wednesday.

Mr. Leslie Barker was contacting voters in the Skyline area last Saturday. He and Mrs. Barker just returned from Iowa where they attended the funeral of her father.

Mrs. Homer Talbot recently fell from a house ladder and broke her arm. She was in the hospital for a while, but is home now and making a good recovery.

Mr. Leo Cull of St. Louis has been spending some time here for deer hunting and will remain to cast his vote.

Mrs. Julia Fleming is a guest in the home of Mrs. Perl Neff. The ladies were girlhood friends when they both lived in Creed, Colorado.

90 years ago – November 2, 1928

We had a pleasant visit Sunday morning from Mr. and Mrs. C.H. Randall and son, of Georgetown, accompanied by Mrs. Patterson, of this city. Mr. Randall is the son of C.H. Randall, of the Georgetown Courier, one of the oldest editors in point of service in Colorado, and with his wife, came over to Central to take part in the programs of the Educational Association held in this city on Saturday last.

Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Brown, and Mr. and Mrs. Baer motored up from Denver Sunday, and spent the day visiting with friends.

Mr. James Cody spent a portion of last week in Denver, on a visit with relatives and to attend and reception given by the Denver Elks lodge to national officers, who were in this city.

Mrs. William Nono came out from Kansas last week on a visit with relatives and friends in this city, returning home Wednesday.

Died: John Robert Goodfellow, a former resident of this city, died in Denver on October 27th, 1928, and was buried in Greeley, where he had resided ever since leaving Gilpin County.

There comes a time in the life of every man who has acquired much of this world’s goods, when he begins to wonder what disposition he shall make of his possessions after her has no further use for them. Men and women, who have no heirs with clams upon them, naturally look about for some worthy cause which they can help with the money they have accumulated. After the beneficiary is decided upon, they make a will, the terms of which are to be carried out after their death. Why does it not occur to some of them that they could derive much more pleasure out of what they have made during their life, if they would put it to work before they die? Why don’t they realize what a happy climax it would be to their life of toil, to invest at least a part of their savings in some enterprise that would bring joy to others? Such people probably have never contemplated the amount of services they could render the community where they have accumulated their wealth by bestowing their bounty while they still live, and not wait for their desires to be carried out by an executor. All too often the alms of benefactors are defeated after their death. The only sure way to do good is to do it with your own hands.

120 years ago – November 4, 1898

Mrs. Frank C. Young, of Denver, gave a charmingly appointed luncheon at her home on Thursday of last week, at which the guests were all old friends who had once lived together in Central City. Those present were Mrs. Thomas H. Potter, Mrs. J.O. Reynolds, Mrs. J.E. Rockwell, Mrs. William Edmundson, Mrs. Frank Nagle, Mrs. William Fullerton, and Miss Sims.

Mr. Henry P. Lowe, manager of the Topeka Mine, left for Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday last, being summed by the serious illness of his mother.

A surprise party was given to Mr. Charles A. Wagner, of Russell Gulch, on Wednesday evening, the occasion being his 37th birthday. The party was held in Mr. Wagner’s bachelor den, and when once the guests were on hand and made comfortable, a general good time followed.

Mrs. H.H. Lake entertained a party of friends on Friday afternoon at her residence in this city, by giving a high five party and tea.

The St. Aloysius Academy, under the direction of the Sisters, re-opened the schools on Monday, with a full quota of scholars eager for instruction.

The ore shipments from the Black Hawk Station of the Colorado & Southern Railroad at Black Hawk, to the smelters in Denver and other portions of the state for the month of October totaled 300 carloads, or 5,400 tons. Compared with the same month of last year, the shipments this year show a gain of 20 carloads, or 360 tons. These shipments do not include the thousands of tons of mill ore that is treated each month in the stamp mills in the county, except as the many tons of tailings that the mill ore provides.

Manager Patrick McCann, superintendent of the Phoenix-Burroughs properties on Quartz Hill, says a contract will soon be let to sink the main shaft another 100 feet, the present depth being 1,004 feet, when the new ground will be developed by drifts, and an increased  production will result.

When the reporter for the Register-Call called at the Topeka Mine on Wednesday afternoon, Sherman Harris, the underground foreman and his assistants were coming out of the mine with sacks containing some of the rich gold ore recently opened up in the eighth level. The sacks were emptied on the floor of the office for the purpose of sorting the ore into first and second class lots, and sadly a piece could be picked from the pile that did not show red gold in abundance. The pay streak from which this ore came from is from 6 to 8 inches in width, and the ore, while of a grayish white, carried lead, zinc, and yellow copper iron. Two and one half tons were shipped this week to the State Ore sampling works in Black Hawk, which returned 364.76 ounces gold and 16.85 ounces silver, a total value of $7,305.45 per ton. The mill ore shipped daily from the property continues to carry high values, as it is comes from the crevice from which the rich streak of ore mentioned above, is a part of the ore body.

Born: In Central City, October 29th, 1898, to the wife of John Vaughn, a son.

Born: In Black Hawk, November 1st, 1898, to the wife of Joseph Winniger, a song.

Born: In Russell Gulch, October 31st, 1898, to the wife of W. Sowa, a son.

Married: In Nevadaville, November 3rd, 1898, Rev. J.A. Long officiating, Richard Madden and Miss Bessie Letcher.

151 years ago – November 6, 1868

Mr. A. Cameron Hunt, Governor of the Territory of Colorado, issued a proclamation designating Thursday, the 26th day of November, to be observed as a day of Thanksgiving.

A gold retort weighing 150 ounces for 20 cords of mill ore from the Winnebago Mine was left at the bank the first of the week.

Ten tons of ore from the Bobtail Mine, shipped to the Hill Smelter in Black Hawk, returned $2,367.06, assaying 11 ounces gold, 21 ounces silver, and 9.5 percent copper to the ton.

The German citizens of the county have purchased the Cook & Kimball Mill property on Gregory Street in this city, and have organized a Turner Society. They intend to fix up a hall for their use, and the use of the public when required, and will remodel the property entirely.

Attorneys C.C. Post, J.W. Remmie, E.T. Wells, Dan Royle & Butler, all have their offices in the Gurney block.

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