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2/7/2013 Peaks of the Past

(Information was gleaned from copies of the Wet Mountain Tribune, all from the first week in February.)

100 Years Ago – 1913

Rev. Carl Lange, for the past several years pastor of the Valley Lutheran church, has accepted a call from Troy, Illinois and with his estimable wife and family will depart for their new home next week, and the well wishes of their many friends go with them.

E.C. Stroehlke has moved into his new shop at the foot of Rosita Avenue and is now better prepared than ever before to give patrons first class blacksmith and wagon work. He will have his shop open and ready for business next Monday.

Miss Maybell Haskell has been advanced to the position of local manager for the telephone company.

Fred Dietz, one of our more prosperous farmers and cattlemen, leaves today on a trip to the old country, where he will visit relatives in Germany and Switzerland. He will sail from New York on the 22nd. May the trip prove enjoyable and his return certain is our wish.

Ethel Chamberlin was the prize winning baby at the baby show in Denver last week. She is the daughter of Fred Chamberlin, who was born and raised in Custer County. Had she weighed one-half pound more and been one-fourth of an inch taller, the Chamberlin baby would have filled the requirements of the perfect baby exactly. She was the winner of $175 in prizes.

P.J. Byrne, wife and little one left Thursday on their return to Bonanza, their home.

Mrs. Eliza Koch, 80-years of age, widow of the late Erderic Koch, died in Canon City late Saturday evening. Mrs. Koch was one of the pioneers of Custer County and came to Colorado from Chicago with the Germany colony under General Wulsten in 1870 and settled in the Wet Mountain Valley. She leaves four sons, all prosperous ranchers, Conrad, Fred and August, residing in Custer County, and Peter in Fremont.

50 Years Ago – 1963

The annual Sweetheart Dance will be held at the school Saturday night, Feb. 9, from 9 p.m. to midnight. The Downbeats orchestra from Walsenburg will provide the music. Bud Piquette, president of the Student Council, sponsor of the dance, said the affair is open to the public. An admission charge of $1.50 per couple will be made with 75 cents charged for extra ladies.

Mr. and Mrs. Bill Falkenberg attended a meeting of the Mountain States Hardware and Implement Dealers Association held last week in Denver at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Bill was re-elected to the board of directors of the association which takes in parts of Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah and Kansas.

Custer and Fremont County Republicans will celebrate Lincoln’s birthday with a banquet at the St. Michael’s School auditorium in Canon City Tuesday night, Feb. 12. Custerites wishing to attend should contact Custer County Republican Chairman C.L. Canda Jr. Between 8 and 8:30 p.m., the gathering will be hooked in on a statewide Lincoln Day broadcast. Speakers will include Governor John Love, Senators Gordon Allott and Peter Dominick, Congressmen J. Edgar Chenoweth and Don Brotzman, and State GOP Chairman Jean K. Tool.

25 Years Ago – 1988

A rash of daylight burglaries which hit Custer County on Tuesday, Feb. 2, was solved with the arrest of two 17-year-old Breckenridge youths by police in Prescott, Ariz. on Feb. 4. The youths allegedly forced entry at the unoccupied Louis and Ann Feighny residence at the junction of Highway 69 and Rosita Road by breaking into a back door. Taken were cameras, jewelry, cash and other goods valued at about $2,000. The youths also are charged with stealing goods from John Manson’s motorhome which was parked along Muddy Lane, and from a truck belonging to a Pueblo man parked along Highway 165 south of MacKenzie Junction. The youths were stopped by police in Arizona for a traffic violation, and police found a camera in their vehicle with Lou Feighny’s telephone number etched on it. The youths’ spree apparently started in Breckenridge where they broke into homes and also stole the vehicle they were found in.

Westcliffe Mayor Phyllis Hammack told the town board last week that she’s stepping down because of health issues. Mayor Pro Tem Vernon Tovrea will preside over the town board until the April town election.

Chamber of Commerce president Carla Bowlds said the planned WinterFest Carnival set for this weekend has been cancelled due to a lack of snow. The planned events included snowmobiling, ice skating, sleigh riding and a snow sculpture contest.

10 Years Ago – 2003

The tragedy surrounding Saturday’s disaster involving the space shuttle Columbia, in which seven astronauts died, was a hard blow to Ray Koch of rural Westcliffe, who worked in the space shuttle program and was on hand when Columbia first blasted into space in 1981. Koch intimately knows the technical and complex workings of the space orbiters; he retired in 1991 after a 31-year career with Martin Marietta which was involved in the U.S. manned space program since its inception.

Silver Cliff town trustee Allen Butler has been appointed mayor by the town’s board members. He replaces Jerry Pearl who has moved with his family to Westcliffe.

About 20 Westcliffe residents met with town officials last week to discuss the town’s possible purchase of Vimont Park in the 400 block of Main Street from owners John and Carol Vimont. The Vimonts are proposing a lease/purchase agreement in which the town would make payments over a five-year period for a total cost of $162,000.

5 Years Ago – 2008

Custer County Democrats and Republicans gathered Tuesday night to hold their respective party caucuses and to lend support for their preferred presidential candidates. In the GOP presidential preference poll, John McCain received 35 votes, Mitt Romney received 30, Mike Huckabee got 22 and Ron Paul received 16. In the Democratic preference poll, Barack Obama received 45 votes and Hillary Clinton received 20.

Silver Cliff town administrator Sue Hutton has announced her retirement, effective Feb. 6.

The county commissioners have appointed Roger Camper, Dee Hoag, Paul Buckles, Ken Patterson and Dan Fox as alternates to the county planning commission and the board of zoning adjustment. Ousted were Allen Butler, Jim Jones, Lockett Pittman and Joe Arbuckle.

1 Year Ago – 2012

Residents of the Wet Mountain Valley are mourning the death of Father Vicente Paz en la Casa of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Westcliffe. Father Vicente died Tuesday morning, Feb. 7, at a Pueblo hospital after suffering a heart attack last Friday, Feb. 3, which was his 71st birthday. A native of Wallsend, Northumberland, England, Father Vicente came to the Pueblo Diocese in 1975 and became pastor of the churches here and in Florence in July 2005.

Following trends throughout Colorado during Tuesday night’s Republican caucuses, Custer County’s Republicans threw their support behind presidential candidate Rick Santorum. He received 85 votes to Mitt Romney’s 48, Newt Gingrich’s 33, Ron Paul’s 19, with one each for Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman.

Shake off those winter doldrums by thinking community garden. Sustainable Ways will be holding a meeting this Saturday to begin planning for the community garden in Westcliffe.