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BlackHawk_flood0730189530 years ago – February 22, 1985

Water availability in Black Hawk could reach a critical point within the next few days, Paul Felton, public works director, said Wednesday. The city’s pump line from North Clear Creek to the reservoir is frozen and has at least one break. The city has been forced, off and on, mostly on, for the past three weeks to purchase water from the City of Central. Currently Black Hawk is purchasing all of its water from Central, approximately 85,000 gallons a day at $1.00 per 1,000 gallons, Felton said. Felton stressed that getting the pump lines open and reestablishing Black Hawk’s own source of water will become critical as Central’s reservoirs drop. The two city’s water problems began the last week of January and the first of February when area temperatures plunged beneath the minus 30 degree mark. The last two weeks of relatively warm weather and lack of snow cover have been driving the frost line deeper into the ground. The surface moisture seeps deeper into the ground on warm days and refreezes at night. Felton says that, with help from a proposed steam pump that, “we are almost out of the woods.” He added, “Everybody’s just been super.”

Pat Warkentin has submitted his letter of resignation as Central City Police Chief. He said the resignation will be effective as soon as the city hires a replacement. He will not rush the Mayor and Council. Warkentin will not, at the present time, make any recommendations on who the city should hire. He said that first, he wants to see who applies for the job, and that he will only make a recommendation if it is requested. Warkentin was appointed Police Chief in August 1981. Prior to that he was a reserve officer for Central. He will “probably” be moving to the Golden area, but does not discount the possibility of moving back to Central at a later date. He said he has “enjoyed” his job as police chief, and certainly has “no hard feelings” as he leaves.

Having a trash compactor in Black Hawk again is looking more and more like a real possibility this week. Monday, the Gilpin County commissioners met with a representative from the state highway department to see if an arrangement could be made to use state land near Colorado’s highway garage on Highway 119. Emphasizing that nothing is definite, Commissioner Leslie Williams expressed her frustration with how slowly the government works. She said she has been calling the state every other day on this issue. Part of the problem has been that the man from the State who has been working with the County on getting the site was out sick for a couple of weeks, she said.

The Central City Council meeting was brief on February 4. The entire meeting lasted only 40 minutes. Mayor William C. Russell Jr. and council members Rand Anderson, Flo Farringer and Bruce Schmalz were present at the meeting. Anderson moved to waive the fee for machines installed at the youth center located at Clark Gym. Normally a $25 fee is assessed by the city for each machine. The charge for the youth center, where most of the video game machines are located, not to exceed three machines, is to be waived. The motion carried. Schmalz moved to authorize partial use of the money from the police pension fund to buy new radios. The City plans to purchase five Motorola two-way portable radios. One of them will be used by the Public Works department, one is for the fire department, and three are for the police department. Total costs of the plan is $5,975. Approval to use the money from the police pension fund was granted. Jerald Devitt was sworn in by Russell as the city attorney for the ensuing year.

60 years ago – February 25, 1955

For the past six weeks, the weather in this section of the country has been visited with snow squalls and temperatures ranging from zero to ten degrees below. We are extremely tired with cold weather and wonder when spring will come again. Frozen water pipes, sewers and broken water lines have resulted and it is only due to the tireless efforts of Water Commissioner Joe Menegatti of Central, and Melvin Blake of Black Hawk, that it has not created more of a handicap.

Considerable improvements are being made in the rear of the Masonic building, wherein the small building is being under-laced with timbers and supports. The foundation was erected a half-century ago, and has rotted and allowed the building to sag to such an extent that it represents a replica of early Roman or Grecian architecture. It is expected that work will be finished in two weeks, providing that zero weather will not interfere with progress.

Mrs. Mary Robinson, who works at the Girls Industrial School at Morrison, was here on business last Thursday.

Mr. Edward Blake and son David were visiting relatives here Saturday. Edward returned to his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, but David will remain here.

An interesting wedding, which will take place this Sunday at the Baptist Church in Arvada, is that of Marilyn Nelson and Donald Rowe, who have many friends here who extend best of wishes to them. They will reside in Arvada for the present.

About fifty persons attended a birthday party at the Peak to Peak Inn, Sunday evening, in honor of Mr. Tom Collins. A lovely and delicious cake decorated with 57 candles, was baked by Mrs. Anderle and served with ice cream.

Word was received last week of the marriage of George Nelson to a young lady in Baltimore, Maryland. George was a resident of Black Hawk before entering the Navy with whom he is now stationed at the academy at Annapolis, Md. Congratulations and best wishes are extended by all to the newlyweds.

Walter E. Scott, Jr., Commissioner of Mines for Colorado, is attending a mine safety conference at Salt Lake City this week, and is presiding over a six state mine safety committee. “Scotty” is one of the natives of Central City and deserves recognition.

90 years ago – February 27, 1925

The big body of water that was cut into on the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel a week ago Sunday, at a point 8,100 feet from the portal, has dropped from 1,600 to 800 gallons a minute, and its source of supply has been located at Crater Lake, 1,500 feet above the tunnel. A visit to the lake last week showed that its normal level had dropped over a foot since the water was tapped. No one can say as to its depth, or how long it will take to drain it, but it will eventually be drained as long as the openings in the tunnel are not clogged up. The water is drained through the Pioneer Tunnel and does not hinder work to any great extent, in either of the tunnel workings. The Pioneer, or water tunnel, is now 8,025 feet in the mountain, and the railroad heading 8,050 feet, the latter being drilled at a rate of twenty feet a day. The west portal of the railroad tunnel has been driven 6,000 feet.

The future man is as certain to lose his teeth as the ape man of the past has lost is tail. The ape man used his teeth to tear sinews, break nuts, and as weapons of offense in fighting. Civilization has done away with these conditions. Hair is a defense given us by nature against cold. Civilization gave men coats and artificial covering. Baldness is ever on the increase, while it probably never existed on ancient man. That man will lose certain of his fingers and toes also seems to be a biological certainty. When man climbed trees to escape from animals, his toes were needed to give him footholds. Now they are quite useless. The shape of the human skill and man’s erect position are designed to promote an increase in the size and height of the brain. These changes will not be until man has passed through a series of evolutionary phases which probably will consume 40,000 to 75,000 years.

People who want to get close to nature had better not pick the spring of the year while the thaw is on.

The following were in perfect attendance at the local school for the month of February: Donald Hancock, Sydney Joyce, Josephine Pallaro, Estelline Williams, and Virginia Zancanella.

J.C. T. Webb returned Sunday from an extended visit in the valley.

Edw. Hughes and friend motored up from Denver Sunday, returning Monday via Boulder.

Hoisting water at the Delmonico Mine is under way, with three shifts.

Mrs. Pallaro is on the sick list this week and under the care of Dr. Shultz.

Hancock and company shipped ore from their lease this week to Idaho Springs.

Mrs. John Grenfell and children left for Golden on Tuesday to reside.

120 years ago – February 22, 1895

A petition is being circulated among the property owners, tax payers, and business men of the city, requesting the City Council to rebuild the Eureka Street flume, which passes through the business portion of the city, and under the principal blocks, as a protection from the floods which pass through this section of the city every year. This petition, when presented should receive prompt attention from the City Council, the prayer of the petitioners granted, and work ordered commenced at both ends of the flume at the earliest possible moment.

A wrestling match, Cornish style, took place last Saturday evening in the basement of the Temple of Fashion building on Main Street, this city. The contestants were Tug Champion and a miner named Polkinghorn, of San Miguel County. It was to be the best two out of three falls, was well contested, and lasted some length of time. The referee awarded the match to Champion. We are informed that other matches are likely to follow.

Work is going on at the Climax Mine on Quartz Hill satisfactorily, with eighteen miners being employed. The returns for the stamp mill ore and concentrates are up to the former average yield.

The Carr Mine, south of the Bobtail and Fiske mines, last month produced 15 tons of smelting ore which sold for $2, 272 at the valley smelters. Ten cords of mill ore yielded at the rate of 3-3/4 ounces, fold per cord, including concentrates. This property is being worked under bond and lease to A.C. Reckling and others. But little has been said of the Carr, but the lessees are confident they will soon open up a bonanza which will astonish the oldest inhabitant. Perseverance in mining has its reward.

Married: At the residence of the bride’s parents, in Utica, N.Y., February 14, Miss Blanche Thomas, of that city, and Mr. W. T. Tompkins, of Central City. Mr. and Mrs. Tompkins will be at home to their Gilpin County friends after March 20th next. When the groom bade the writer a “fond farewell” some two weeks ago, it was not with the expectation that his trip east was for the purpose of securing a valentine.

Died: In Russell Gulch, February 21, J.H. Uren, of miner’s disease, aged 40 years.

Died: A letter was received in this city last week from Ouray, Colorado, bringing the information of the death of S.H. Valentine, one of the old settlers of Ouray County. Mr. Valentine was formerly a resident of this county, and was the father of Mrs. William Parenteau and Julian Valentine of this city, and Emory Valentine of Juneau, Alaska.


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