|(Information was gleaned from copies of the Wet Mountain Tribune, all from the second week in April.)
100 Years Ago – 1918
There was a large crowd present at the patriotic meeting at the Ray-Cusack Hall last Saturday evening on the occasion of the opening of the Liberty Bond Drive and enthusiasm ran high. The meeting was addressed by T. Lee Witcher and Dr. J. Homer Dickson of Canon City and by Gen. J.T. McNeely of this place and every speech was roundly applauded. It was announced that $15,000 of Custer County’s quota of $35,600 of the Third Liberty loan had already been subscribed. Pretty fair for the first day. That our quota will be oversubscribed there is no doubt.
The good people of Ilse on Friday evening last gave a basket social and dance for the benefit of the Red Cross at which they realized the sum of $53. Pretty good for a community like Ilse where the majority of the residents are of foreign birth. However, they are all good American citizens and loyal to their adopted country and its institutions.
Miss Frances Spurgeon, who has been teaching at the Willows School this past term, has given up her school, necessitated by an attack of the rheumatism, and returned to her home in Canon City last Saturday.
Filiase Degree and Joe Beck boarded Wednesday’s train for Pueblo, probably to see “The Beast of Berlin” but just like as not to get a slant at “Mary’s Ankle.”
Mr. and Mrs. R.W. Blackett of Querida motored home Monday from Denver where Mrs. Blackett has been the past four months, a guest at the Shirley Hotel.
50 Years Ago – 1968
Harold W. Jennings will take over the reins of government for Westcliffe Monday night at a special meeting of the town board. Harold will take the office by virtue of a sweep of the ballots at the town election held here Tuesday when he defeated Myron Chesley by a 2 to 1 vote of 82 to 41. The present mayor is George Crow, who was elected to the town board along with Dick Brady, Dona Geroux, Edward Hanssen, Ray Lewis and Elmer Miller. Mrs. Laura Lange, town clerk, said 123 ballots were cast in Tuesday’s election. Election judges and clerks were Mrs. Elizabeth Geroux, Mrs. Katheryn Feldman, Mrs. Mildred Stewart, Mrs. Blanche Loens and Mrs. Marie Squire.
New mining activity has been predicted for the Wet Mountain Valley, spurred by climbing prices in silver. County Assessor Bill Kleine said, “I don’t know that I’d call it a boom, but there is a log of renewed interest up this way.” Back for a third year is the Congdon and Carry Co. of Denver, which has option on 2,000 acres north of Silver Cliff for core drilling. It is expected to resume work as soon as the heavy snow covering melts in the valley. The steady rise in the price of silver has caused the revival. The price a year ago was $1.29 an ounce but has advanced since the federal ceiling was removed and is now around $2.23. The last producing mine here was the Lady Franklin which operated profitably during World War II.
Kenny Patterson returned home Saturday from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Kenny will leave next Tuesday for Okinawa where he will be stationed with the 51st Combat Support Group.
25 Years Ago – 1993
After being drained last year for repairs to the dam, the DeWeese Reservoir is currently holding plenty of water with more on the way: April snow course readings show sites to be above average in water content. The most recent course readings are as follows: Huerfano, 130 percent of long-term average; South Colony, 146 percent; and Westcliffe, 112 percent.
Funeral services will be held tomorrow in Cocoa, Fla., for Margaret Stokes, late of Ilse. Mrs. Stokes died April 12 at the age of 70.
James Dale “J.D.” Henrich and Jeanne Skovgaard have announced their engagement. Henrich serves as Custer County Assessor, and Miss Skovgaard has been an elementary teacher here since 1984. They plan to exchange wedding vows on July 10, 1993 in Colorado Springs.
Tribune publisher Jim Little represented weekly newspapers this week at a conference hosted by the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado Springs. The session, “Meeting the Media,” was for district rangers, technical employees and public information officers within National Forests in Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, South Dakota and Nebraska.
10 Years Ago – 2008
The city of Fountain south of Colorado Springs has purchased the aptly named H2O Ranch west of Westcliffe for the approximately 700 acre feet of water rights tied to the ranch. The seller was Mund Shaikly, who acquired the 480-acre ranch 20 years ago as part of his acquisition of the now-defunct Conquistador Ski Area. Documents filed at the courthouse show the sale price to be $3.5 million. The ranch is located two and a half miles west of Westcliffe, southeast of the intersection of Hermit Road and Kettle Lane. Water on the ranch comes from Alvarado, Venable and Taylor creeks, with the earliest ditch rights dating to 1863. General guidelines say an acre foot of water – 325,851 gallons – will serve a family of five for a year. It could take several years to legally transfer the water to Fountain through state water courts, though getting the water to Fountain will pose no difficulty: Fountain already has a pipeline that draws water from the Pueblo Reservoir, a distance of about 30 miles. Larry Patterson, director of utilities for Fountain, said he knows the matter will be controversial to Valley residents. He plans to meet with ranchers and citizens soon to explain the ramifications of the ranch sale.
5 Years Ago – 2013
Construction work is now underway on the new Dundee Memorial Animal Park in Silver Cliff. The three-acre parcel is being developed by Dave and Marty Mernitz and ultimately will include trails, open areas and other features for pets and their owners.
Tuesday’s school board meeting got off to a rousing start: CCHS senior Carly Dunlap serenaded the board with a song from the Drama Club’s upcoming presentation of “Annie.”
The Silver Cliff Senior Center invites the public to a “Po’ Folks Dinner” on April 15 – tax day. Folks are invited to wear their oldest clothes and to bring a tin plate and cup. A dinner of ham and beans will be served.
1 Year Ago – 2017
Sheriff Shannon Byerly says his office, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the 11th Judicial District have concluded that the March 22 death of a 30-year-old Silver Cliff woman at her home was due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The U.S. Forest Service has announced that it is closing Forest Road 386 – the South Hardscrabble Road – indefinitely. District Ranger Paul Crespin said the closure is due to the devastating 2016 Junkins Fire and future threats of rock slides and flooding.
The C-1 Board of Education last week approved new salary schedules for teachers within the district. Starting salaries for new teachers with a bachelor’s degree will be $30,640. The maximum salary for seasoned teachers will be $54,850.