|(Information was gleaned from copies of the Wet Mountain Tribune, all from the fourth week in August.)
100 Years Ago – 1917
Silver 88¼ cents! The war has created an unprecedented demand for cheap money. As a result, more silver is being coined and the price of the metal continues to advance. Silver mining is more profitable than it has ever been and bids fair to continue profitable for years to come. This has awakened an interest in silver mines. Silver camps are taking on new life. The mines of this district, while they carry large values of silver, also carry good gold, copper and lead values. This makes the stocks in mines here not only attractive at the present time but a conservative investment for all times. The ores carrying mixed values here can be made profitable at any time regardless of whether the price of silver is up or down. When silver is low, the other metals carry sufficient value to justify mining.
Rbt. Wolff of Silver Cliff has taken a lease on the Geyser dumps and will work them over and be shipping soon. With silver soaring toward 90 cents he ought to make good and we hope he does.
A change of schedule in the mail between Silver Cliff and Rosita took effect on Monday. Instead of eight o’clock the stage must leave hereafter at 10:45.
A lawn party was given at the Callaghan ranch by the Patriotic Maids of Westcliffe last Saturday evening which was greatly enjoyed by the forty persons who attended. The lawn was beautifully decorated with lanterns and the national colors. Out-door games were played all during the evening while those who remained in-doors enjoyed themselves singing patriotic songs.
Lowell Carter came up from Canon City the latter part of last week to sling hay in the Valley.
Miss Sara Kettle, after a delightful vacation with relatives in the Valley, departed Monday on her return to Fort Collins.
50 Years Ago – 1967
With Custer County School opening Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, teachers are preparing for the new school term. Teachers who are returning include Charles Blodgett, superintendent; Mrs. Helen Hibbs, 1st grade; Miss Margaret Locarnini, 2nd; Miss Clara Reida, 3rd; Mrs. Dorothy Cress, 4th; Mrs. Betty Wood, 5th; and junior high and high school teachers Jerry Dolby, B.J. Peggram, Mrs. Frances Peggram, Gordon Thornton, Bill Estes, Jim Eriksson, and Mrs. Margaret Frank. New teachers this year are David Lee Jackson, 6th grade; Jimmie Stutesman, music; and Rodney Woodham, industrial arts. The home economics position will be filled later.
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond M. New are spending some time at Trails End Ranch here. New is employed by the Parker Drilling Co. in Santa Cruz, Bolivia and is in the states on a two months vacation.
Funeral services were held Aug. 16 at the Community United Methodist Church here for J. Leo Spatziani, formerly of Westcliffe who died suddenly on Aug. 11 in Rapid City, S.D. Born in Walsenburg, he began a career with the U.S. Forest Service upon graduation from Colorado State University and became one of the agency’s top range management men. He worked for years at a number of National Forests and worked in Westcliffe for a number of years as a forest ranger. He is survived by his wife, Linda; two sons, Leo Spatziani of the Air Force and Albert Spatziani of La Junta, and a daughter Mrs. Linda Rene Heller of the family home.
25 Years Ago – 1992
A heavy storm Monday brought golf-ball sized hail to the South Hardscrabble area, damaging roofs and vehicles, and causing the lower Hardscrabble Creek to run an estimated five feet above normal levels. The same storm caused severe lightning in the Valley which knocked out the Sangre de Cristo Electric substation on Kettle Lane; customers on the west side were without power for about 12 hours.
Classes in the C-1 school district get underway next Monday, and superintendent Dick Wilson said 336 students have already registered for classes.
The historic structure in the 100 block of Main Street in Westcliffe, commonly referred to as Cipher’s Store, was hauled to the county dump on Monday. The building’s owner, a Florida physician, decided to have the building hauled off rather than make repairs necessary to bring it up to code. Over the past several years, Westcliffe officials have said the building is a fire hazard.
10 Years Ago – 2007
A dedication ceremony will be held this Saturday, August 25, at the new multi-purpose sports field and park located along Hermit Road just south of the Westcliffe Memorial Town Park. Free lunch will be served. Officials with GoCo – Great Outdoors Colorado – will be on hand for the dedication; it provided $123,000 for the project with Westcliffe chipping in an additional $55,000.
The U.S. Forest Service said the Greenhorn Road which leads to the Greenhorn Wilderness Area boundary in eastern Custer County – Forest Service Road 369 – is now open for traffic. The road became impassable in June after extreme winds caused a massive blowdown of trees in Custer and Huerfano counties.
The national sub-prime lending meltdown could be coming to a home near you: county treasurer Virginia Trujillo said 17 formal foreclosures on properties have been filed so far this year. That’s a 40 percent increase over this same time last year when 12 foreclosures were underway.
5 Years Ago – 2012
State and federal law enforcement agents busted a marijuana growing farm in a remote area on Greenhorn Mountain near Lake San Isabel last week, seizing some 14,000 plants and apprehending two male suspects. The pot had an estimated street value of $18 million to $20 million. Four other suspects remain at large after reportedly running from the scene.
Students in the C-1 school district returned to classes on Tuesday, and ten new teachers and support staff have joined the staff at the school. They are Greg and Rebekkah Cravens, Dianne Bohach, Kyle Doughty, Maeghan Holycross, Michelle Selle, Troy Bomgardner, Jessica Carter, Jacque Keller and Beth Kruis.
They’re roarin’ to go: a new Lions Club in Westcliffe held its charter dedication last week at the Alpine Lodge. Charter officers of the new organization include Debbie Livengood, Tracy Ballard, Elaine Hall, Dave and Carole Custer and Margaret Weisenbach.
1 Year Ago – 2016
Multiple agencies responded Tuesday afternoon to a series of odd roadside fires that spread along stretches of the westbound lane of Highway 96 east and west of Wetmore. Dave Tonsing, chief of the Wet Mountain Protection District, was incident commander for the six-hour operation, which saw 30 firefighters, 14 trucks and a helicopter fighting the small blazes in both Custer and Pueblo counties. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation was visiting the sites today, looking for accelerants or other causes.
Fresh snow has blanketed the upper elevations of the Sangre de Cristo mountains in recent days as cooler weather and precipitation moves through southern Colorado.
You’ll likely spot John and Elizabeth Watson at next week’s State Fair concert featuring the legendary rock band Foreigner. John’s cousin, Bruce Watson, plays with the group.