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11/28/2013 Peaks of the Past

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

100 Years Ago – 1913

Several little mishaps delayed the branch train last Saturday and it was delayed a few hours on its arrival. About a mile out of town several cars went off the track and the train was unable to move until about 1 o’clock. Down this side of Texas Creek a like experience was had. On the return trip right where the cars went off in the morning, several cars again left the track, this time the result of a broken rail. The train crew put in a part of Sunday getting the cars on track.

The boys who have been working on the Hardscrabble road all came to town Wednesday to remain over Thanksgiving.

We suppose the week’s vacation for Thanksgiving has the unanimous approval of the school children also all the other vacations that now come during the school year. School in this respect isn’t what it used to be when there was but one vacation during the school year and we don’t believe the pupils nowadays accomplish as much as they formerly did before this vacation business became so general. Only a little provocation is needed nowadays to discuss the schools for a week or so.

Mr. Young of the Ideal Auto Co., Salida, arrived here Wednesday with one of those nifty little 1914 25-4 Maxwell cars and will be at the Menzel garage for two or three days where he will be glad to meet prospective purchasers to whom he will give free demonstrations. Otto Oelrich has purchased this car but Mr. Young will have another here next week.

Mrs. A.H. White and son Roscoe of Silver Cliff departed Saturday for Raton, N.M. where Mrs. White will take charge of the Seaberg Hotel. Roscoe had been in the employ of the Tribune as an apprentice and we regret very much to have him leave us for he displayed remarkable aptitude at the printer’s work.

50 Years Ago – 1963

Custer County, along with the nation, observed a day of mourning Monday for President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated in Dallas, Texas last Friday. The schools, county offices, post office and other federal offices were closed for the entire day. Merchants in Silver Cliff and Westcliffe closed for business from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Custerites, like everyone else, were very much shocked and grieved at the loss of our president. All the young people were very much concerned with the proceedings following President Kennedy’s death. The real young, who ordinarily aren’t concerned with adults’ affairs, stayed close to radios and television sets to learn of developments. Ric Ferron, a student at Colorado State College at Greeley, in a note to his mother said, "We seemed to grow up a bit that day." The loss was a rather personal one at the Wet Mountain Tribune because its publisher, with about 20 other Colorado newspapermen, were luncheon guests of President Kennedy in the White House on June 22, 1962.

A polio-free Custer and Fremont county is the goal of three KO Polio Sundays beginning this week in schools in the two counties where area residents will receive the Sabin Oral Vaccine. The Fremont County Medical Society, under the direction of Dr. John Buglewicz, is sponsoring the program in cooperation with the Fremont County Nurse’s Assn. The goal is to reach everyone over three months of age who is not acutely ill. The oral vaccine is given via sugar cubes and over 20,000 cubes have been ordered for the mass inoculation. The vaccine will be available here at Custer County High School from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

25 Years Ago – 1988

More than 700 inquiries have been received by the auction firm of Kennedy-Wilson of Santa Monica, Calif., for the Dec. 14 sale of the Conquistador Ski Area according to officials with the firm. Five buyers have registered though they have not been identified, with one from Ohio, two from Colorado, one from Texas and one from Toronto, Canada. Those registering are required to put up a $50,000 deposit. In 1980, Conquistador went into receivership and all assets fell into the hands of the courts. It went into foreclosure in 1982, and the assets then became property of the U.S. Small Business Administration which is attempting to sell the 3,000 acre property.

During its regular November meeting, the Silver Cliff town board adopted its 1989 budget of $92, 115.

Rotarians Art Gaide and Tom Flower this week presented a check in the amount of $500 to Custer County Library Director Alice French. The funds are earmarked for the library’s building fund in memory of the late Joe Reid, long-time Rotarian.

Seniors at Custer County High School named to the current honor roll are Eric Piquette, Nikki Buchard, Christe Coleman, Brandy Ferron, LeAnn DeGree, Dani Kirby and Wade Whitcomb.

10 Years Ago – 2003

Public Health Nurse Kelly Johnson says five cases of influenza have been confirmed this past week at the Community Clinic in Westcliffe, with numerous unconfirmed cases suspected. Johnson said roughly one third of the county’s adult population – around 1,140 individuals – received flu vaccines in October.

County extension agent Gary Hall and members of the county’s weed advisory board – including Charles Beard, Randy and Claricy Rusk, and Fremont-Custer County weed coordinator Paul Telck – told the county commissioners last week that most of the county roads here were determined to be weed-free during county- wide inspections this summer, with some 71 miles of roads being treated.

Tony Papantonis has been a skilled woodworker for more than 30 years, but last week Tony’s thumb had an unfortunate run-in with his table saw. Thanks to skilled clinic seamstress Joe Franta and a few stitches later, Tony is back in one piece.

5 Years Ago – 2008

The board of directors of the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District have agreed to lease water from its Johnson Ranch to the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District of Salida, which wants to lease 20-acre feet of water per year for a period of 25 years in order to bring a blanket water augmentation plan to Custer County. Round Mountain acquired the 320-acre Johnson Ranch south of Westcliffe in 2000 in order to acquire its water rights, consisting of 6.2 cubic feet per second. Financial details of the agreement have yet to be worked out.

Valley rancher Wilbur Miller has been named the Conservationist of the Year by the Natural Resources Conservation Service for the many conservation initiatives Miller has undertaken over the years.

The Division of Aeronautics of the Colorado Department of Transportation has awarded a $162,000 grant to SilverWest Airport here to build a 3,200-square foot storage and maintenance building at the airport.

1 Year Ago – 2012

One of the men apprehended in the bust in August of a marijuana growing farm in a remote area of Greenhorn Mountain near Lake San Isabel has pled guilty to cultivation charges. Luis Leon-Tobar, 32, is facing two to four years in prison. The pot but netted some 7,000 to 9,000 plants with an estimated street value of $15 million.

The George Draper family of Wetmore has been named Colorado’s Conservationists of the Year by the Colorado Soil Conservation District. They were honored earlier by the local Natural Resources Conservation Service for conservation efforts on the family’s 5,000 acre ranch.

A survey conducted by High Country Recycling in 243 local households shows that 38 percent recycle on a monthly basis; 37 percent on a weekly basis and ten percent every couple months. Only ten percent of the households said they never recycle.

Funeral services were held last Monday for Valley rancher Sheril Kay "Sherry" Rorick. Mrs. Rorick died Nov. 14 at the age of 69.