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7/18/2013 Peaks of the Past

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

100 Years Ago – 1913

What would soon have been a disastrous fire but from the prompt service of the fire laddies and citizens of the town started in the blacksmith shop of Henry Stewart last Thursday afternoon. The blaze started near the forge and worked up between the walls of the blacksmith shop and Knuth’s hardware store and for a time was quite threatening. Al Hamel with a fire extinguisher was on the scene early and did effective work in putting out the flames. Citizens with buckets of water aided the work and the firemen soon got a stream of water playing and although they had no pressure were able to raise the water to the top of the building and play on it until the last spark was drowned out. Every time we have a little blaze we hear numerous suggestions that the town needs a bigger water supply and good water pressure. We will never get these things until the great majority of our people manifest that they favor them in the face of a little increased taxation.

Eighty-six in the shade a day or two the past week and some of the residents call it warm weather!

The town is pretty well filled up with strangers, people from the Arkansas Valley in quest of a breath of mountain air.

Paul Hoza, one of our more prosperous farmers in the Hungarian settlement, was in town the first of the week.

A Mr. Symes of Colorado Springs arrived here Wednesday to work on the new telephone line, building this way from Wetmore.

John Guyman came up from Pueblo Tuesday and is punching tickets on the branch train temporarily.

50 Years Ago – 1963

Two young ladies from Custer County participated in the Junior Olympics track meet sponsored by the Colorado Veterans of Foreign War held at Folsom field in Boulder last Saturday. Kathy Cress, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Cress, competed in the running broad jump, 75 yard dash and shuttle relay race, and Rita Pospahala, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Pospahala Sr., competed in the softball throw.

Oliver Hill has assumed the position of assistant county extension agent for Custer and Fremont counties. Formerly from Wiggins, he and his family are making their home in Canon City.

Ric Ferron, a student at Colorado State College at Greeley and son of Mrs. Lois Ferron of Silver Cliff, has passed the Air Force Officer Qualification Test.

Newcomers to the Valley are invited to go see the movie "Saddle the Wind" now showing at the Sunset Drive-in Theater in Canon City. The picture was made here in 1959 when the Sangre de Cristos were white and the Valley was green and covered with flowers, not the dry brown it is now.

25 Years Ago – 1988

The Westcliffe town trustees have approved a re-zoning ordinance which will pave the way for construction to begin on a 14-unit apartment complex on land owned by Celesta Adams at the west end of town. Adams said construction is expected to begin Aug. 1 on the retirement apartments.

Auditors have told Westcliffe town officials that revenues were down nearly $25,000 in 1987. The town had projected income of $104,290 but only received $79,888.

Work is now underway to stabilize the roof and walls of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Westcliffe. During the heavy snowfalls of 1986-87, the north wall began to buckle out and the roof to sag. Pastor William Willson said the interior metal support bars have been replaced and the scissor beams reinforced, and a new metal roof is being installed. The church was built in Rosita 108 years ago and later moved to Silver Cliff before being moved to Westcliffe.

Formal dedication ceremonies were held Sunday at the new county heliport, located along the Lake DeWeese road north of the rodeo grounds. The facility is named the Dan Riggs Memorial Heliport in honor of the late Dan Riggs who served as wildlife officer here for many years.

10 Years Ago – 2003

More than 300 contestants from throughout the west are expected to take part in this weekend’s 57th annual Westcliffe Stampede Rodeo. Reigning over the weekend activities will be Stampede Queen Willow Steen and her court, consisting of Autumn Rusher, Kelly Bovaird, Meredith Barnes, Whitney Curtis, Sarah Gray, Sydney Camper, Lindsay Wilson and Mikie Shaffer. The rodeo is being dedicated this year to long-time volunteer Scott Camper.

County financial officer John Piquette has told the county commissioners that although sales tax revenues are down $121,000 – more than 40 percent less than projected – for the first six months of the year, that decline has been offset by increases in zoning and building fees, jail income, landfill fees, specific ownership taxes and other sources.

Pueblo auditor Sam DeNardo of Pueblo told the directors of the West Custer County Hospital District that the community clinic was right on target with its anticipated revenues and expenses in 2002. The district’s budget last year was $1,536,820.

The newly opened Poag Mahone’s restaurant and bar is bringing a bit of Gaelic pub life to downtown Westcliffe. Principals are Bob McDonald, Dan McDonald and Brian McDonald.

5 Years Ago – 2008

High Mountain Hay Fever board chairman Will Sibbald said last weekend’s bluegrass festival here raised approximately $65,000 for the Custer County Medical Clinic. Sibbald credited sponsorship coordinator Julie Fritz for the success in generating many of those funds.

This weekend’s 62nd annual Westcliffe Stampede Rodeo is being dedicated to Wet Mountain Saddle Club member Iris Supan. Supan served as the Stampede Queen in 1976. And Jack and Jean Canterbury have been named grand marshals for Saturday’s Stampede Parade.

Groundbreaking ceremonies have been held for the new Wild West Cowboy Church north of Westcliffe. Taking part in the ceremony were pastor Larry Smith and elders Dick Tracy, Dan Juba and Ed Scrivens.

Emily Gillespie of Westcliffe is home this summer, working as a nursing intern for the Custer County Public Health office. Gillespie is a sophomore nursing student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; she’s the daughter of Dr. Scott and Susan Gillespie of rural Westcliffe.

Two Valley teens have reached the milestone of Eagle Scout through local Boy Scout Troop 114. They are Cole Campbell and Nathaniel Ley.

1 Year Ago – 2012

Special activities are planned for July 28 in honor of the 125th anniversary celebration of the town of Westcliffe. Activities will be held in downtown Westcliffe and include a kids bike rodeo, tug of war, fire truck pull, dance contest, a birthday cake and more.

The Custer County School has announced that registration for all new students, including kindergarteners, will be held Wednesday, Aug. 1.

The Valley’s own Jenny Zein will present an opera recital next Sunday at the Steam Plant in Salida. Zein is currently living and studying in Austria, and has also studied with teachers from the Metropolitan Opera and the Australian Opera Company. She’s the daughter of Jasmine Zein of Westcliffe.

The comedy "Red, White and Tuna" opens this weekend at the Jones Theater. Two local thespians, Scott Chapman and Tom "Frosty" Frostman will be multiple roles in the play about the fictional town of Tuna, Texas.