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7/25/2013 Peaks of the Past


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

100 Years Ago – 1913

Mr. Joseph Brown of northwest Missouri, who was out from state with the Meriwether party last week, arranged for the purchase of the ranch property of James Kettle, the consideration being $24,000. The tract of land contains 537 acres and has always been a very productive hay, grain and stock ranch. Mr. Kettle will remain on the ranch some time and will harvest this season’s crop. Mr. Brown is a prosperous farmer and has a wife and five children who will make their home in the Valley.

Water seeks its own level. According to this the top of Stewart’s blacksmith shop and the pressure supply of the town water works are about the same elevation, as demonstrated at the fire last Tuesday. If you can’t get a fire pressure any better or cheaper, why not a stand pipe such as they use in the towns down on the plains? We have seen good pressure in towns where the land is as level as a floor.

An entertainment will be given at Eddy-Vahldick Hall on the evening of July 28. Recitations, music, songs and dance will be features of the program. Two excellent plays will be tendered. You will split your sides laughing. Admission: 25 cents; children 15 cents. Dance Ribbons, 25 cents.

Charley Smith was quite badly hurt Wednesday morning while employed at moving the Knuth house. He was drawing the team on the capstan when a chain broke, freeing the team from it and the sweep flew back and struck Charley across the stomach. Although suffering a great deal he was reported as not dangerously hurt.

Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Eddy and son Wilbur left the first of the week for Rocky Ford and Denver for a ten day trip. They are making the trip in their auto.

50 Years Ago – 1963

Hallings C. Renton, Jr., 45, was killed Wednesday night when the Jeep in which he was riding went off Jackson Hill about two miles east of Wetmore. Roy R. Herst, 25, was seriously injured in the wreck and is now at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Florence. Both men were from Colorado Springs and had been in Westcliffe to cover the Pikes Peak Range Riders activities for the Gazette-Telegraph of Colorado Springs. Custer County Sheriff Stan DePriest and Highway Patrolman Robert Gilbert of Canon City investigated the accident. Emil Roy of Silver Cliff discovered the wreck around midnight when he was returning to his home from work in Pueblo. The lights of the Jeep were still burning.

Walt Litwicki, ranger for the San Carlos district, said this week the Forest Service is still keeping two men in the forest fire area on Deer Peak. He said that deep burning fires are still breaking out in flames at times and that the two men are kept there to extinguish them and prevent further spreading.

Ralph Landen of Westcliffe was elected commander of the Brassea-Morin Post No. 170 of the American Legion at a meeting held here last Friday. Landen is a veteran of World War I. Other officers elected are Joe Payton, Herbert Kettle, Fred Luthi, A.E. "Moon" Schneider and W.O. "Bill" Coleman.

25 Years Ago – 1988

A loose rock the size of a basketball began a chain of events which culminated in a seriously injured climber being plucked off Crestone Needle by an Army Chinook helicopter on Saturday. The 28-year-old Denver woman was climbing with six companions in a narrow couloir on the Needle when a member of her party dislodged the large rock. The victim was knocked unconscious and suffered heavy bleeding when she struck her head after being pushed out of the path of the falling rock. She was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs where she was listed in stable condition in intensive care.

Two mushroom hunters were found safe last Thursday following a cold night in the Greenhorn Mountain area after they became lost in separate incidents. A 63-yeare-old Missouri woman was reported missing Wednesday afternoon after last being seen early that morning. Local Search and Rescue crews found the woman about 8 a.m. Thursday, about two miles from her starting point. She was uninjured. And a 43-year-old Rye woman also was reported missing Wednesday afternoon. She apparently fell and hit her head and was knocked unconscious for a period of time; she was found Thursday afternoon and had sustained minor injuries.

General and Mrs. D.L. Kaufman of Springfield, Va. were here last weekend, selecting a future home site on their land north of town. They’re looking forward to retiring here in the coming months.

10 Years Ago – 2003

Whether it’s a sign of the sluggish economy, current market conditions or something else, buyers at this year’s 4-H Livestock Sale were able to stock their freezers at bargain prices. This year’s sale brought in $66,705, or an average of $1.50 per pound for steers, compared to last year’s total of $80,180, or an average of $1.91 per pound for steers. Jeremy Handy’s 1,230 pound grand champion steer went to Colorado Mountain Bank for $2 a pound.

At their July meeting, the C-1 board of education welcomed new superintendent Steve Marantino. He comes to Custer County from Trinidad where he was principal at Trinidad High School. Marantino replaces Dr. Morris Ververs, who retired last year after six years on the job here.

Teams from Yuma, Lamar, Fountain and as far away as Santa Fe are expected to take part in the Babe Ruth Baseball State 12-Year Old Championship Tournament to be held this weekend at the Silver Cliff town park.

5 Years Ago – 2008

With total sales topping $129,000, this year’s Custer County 4-H and FFA live stock sale on Sunday is one that will go down in the history books as the biggest ever. Buyers purchased a total of 72 animals –15 steers, 12 lambs, 36 swine and nine goats – for $129,550.50. This was the first year that goats were included in the sale.

With gas prices across the state and nation topping the $4 mark, many here predicted a dismal summer tourist season this year. Retail sales tax figures, however, show an uptick. Silver Cliff’s year-to-date sales tax revenues are up 14.6 percent; Westcliffe’s are up 8.3 percent; and the county’s are up 1.19 percent.

A new business venture has opened on Main Street in Westcliffe. Yoder’s Mountain View Furniture store will hold a grand opening this weekend. The owners of the new store are Enos and Norma Yoder and Amos and Rachel Yoder. Enos and Amos are brothers who married sisters Norma and Rachel.

1 Year Ago – 2012

The 125th anniversary celebration of the incorporation of Westcliffe takes place this Saturday, July 28. There will be kids’ activities, old-time contests and games, a birthday cake and dance contest. Many downtown restaurants will feature live music.

Though the number of animals was down slightly at Sunday’s 4-H/FFA livestock sale, overall sales were up slightly. Forty animals brought in $96,024, compared to last year’s total of $72,425. Garrett Camper’s grand champion steer was sold to Town and Country car dealership of Salida for $4,426.

Brinder Bradberry has been elected president of the American Legion Post 170 Auxiliary. Other officers are Nancy Brooks, Pam Prince, Lorraine Silva, Martha Davis, Blanche Hardy, Betty Burke and Carol Wallestad.