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11/21/2013 Peaks of the Past

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

100 Years Ago – 1913

Sheriff Mel Manning’s driving horse, attached to a cart in which he was riding, became frighted on the street here Tuesday and made a mad run to second street where it rounded the corner and made its way onto the sidewalk in front of Henry Stewart’s blacksmith shop where it ran into the hitching stand, and breaking the cart and harness, left the cart overturned and precipitated Mel out onto old terra firma in a violent manner. Fortunately his injuries resulted only in some cuts and bruises upon the head which, though painful, will not prove serious.

The Argus Development company is negotiating, we understand, for the machinery on the Toledo Mine at Querida to equip its property on the Bull-Domingo flat with a view to sinking the shaft, which is now 110 feet deep, several hundred feet deeper. Deep mining in that vicinity should prove successful for that is a section where the mineral values increase with depth.

In company with W.H. Meriwether and Harry Fischer we yesterday afternoon enjoyed an auto ride around the 100-mile circle, through the Hardscrabble to Florence and Canon City and then via the Copper Gulch Road home. We passed over lots of good road but none that will surpass that now developed in Custer County.

Mrs. Julia Johnson, the widow of Caleb H. Johnson, who was formerly the superintendent of the Geyser property at Silver Cliff, died at Seattle, Wash. on Nov. 14. Mrs. Johnson had been living for the past few years in British Columbia and in the state of Washington, making her home with her son-in-law, Mr. W.J. Elmendorf. Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, during their residence in Custer County, became the warm friends of everyone with whom they came in contact and Mrs. Johnson, to the day of her death, kept a warm place in her heart for the Valley and all her old friends here.

50 Years Ago – 1963

The first accident on newly paved Hardscrabble canyon occurred Tuesday morning when a truck loaded with cattle went out of control and rolled to the bottom of the canyon. The truck, owned and operated by Cadwell Trucking Co. of Pueblo, was loaded with 73 yearling calves belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Kattnig of the Wet Mountain Valley. Four of the yearlings were killed and several others appeared to be seriously injured internally. The tail gate of the trailer was jammed and could not be opened so Pioneer Construction Co. crew members used welding torches to cut an opening in the top so the cattle could be removed. Many of them starting ranging up and down the canyon and some which appeared to be injured remained on the ground. Kattnigs were sending the calves to market. The truck driver was uninjured.

Two young people, graduates of Custer County High School, are attending Fort Lewis College at Durango this fall. They are Calvin Lewis Haning and Joe Louis Potthoff.

Willows Home Demonstration club will meet Wednesday in the Community Building. Election of officers for 1964 was held at the October meeting. Those elected are: President Ann Thornton and officers Jeanne Janssen, Louiese Jones and Hazel Schulze.

25 Years Ago – 1988

The threat of Custer County water rights being sold and moved from the area is the most important issue facing the county, according to several hundred county residents. That was one of the findings of a survey conducted by the Custer County Revitalization Committee which held two public meetings earlier this week to explain the findings. Some 650 surveys were distributed with 560 returned. Other key issues of concern were to develop permanent full-time job opportunities; retain quality of life features; explore the feasibility of combining the Westcliffe and Silver Cliff town governments; and form a community foundation. The results were explained by Dr. San Dehler of the University of Colorado at Denver who helped organize the surveys. The project here was funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

County commissioner and real estate agent Bob Senderhauf says he remains optimistic about the future of the Conquistador Ski Area which will be auctioned off by the U.S. Small Business Administration on Dec. 14. He said potential bidders from Vail, Telluride, Colorado Springs, Denver, Texas, Ohio, California, Utah and Australia have been in town looking at the 3,000 acre property.

The Custer County Commissioners have named Ric Perschbacher the supervisor of the county road department. He replaces Joe Potthoff who resigned effective Nov. 1. Potthoff remains an equipment operator for the department.

10 Years Ago – 2003

The future of the senior citizen meal program in Silver Cliff is in jeopardy due to declining participation, according to Steve Holland of Salida, director of the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments, who met with the county commissioners earlier this week. In recent years, 50 to 60 seniors took advantage of the meal program; today that number has dwindled to around 20.

Newly elected officers of the Wet Mountain Valley Saddle Club include president Lisa Frank, Lynn Stock, Linda Carmain and Laura Lango. Directors include Gene Bidon, Mary Kattnig, Jerry Leitschuh, Scott Camper and Ned Freestone.

Clinic administrator Toloa Pearl says construction bids are now being accepted for the new clinic annex and ambulance bay. The Hospital District hopes that construction can get underway in January.

5 Years Ago – 2008

A Valley resident died and another was seriously injured in two separate incidents earlier this week. On Sunday, 64-year-old Jerry Gregory died after being thrown from his mule along Antelope Road. He died at the scene of an apparent broken neck. And on Monday, Charles Cox, 48, sustained serious injuries after his ATV rolled east of town. Flight for Life transported him to a Pueblo hospital where he was being treated for possible back injuries.

Joe Cascarelli of Westcliffe has been appointed to a vacant seat on the Westcliffe town board. He replaces Wanda Johnson who stepped down earlier this year. Cascarelli said he is looking forward to putting his skills to use for the good of the town. Others vying for the vacant seat were Audrey Gluschke, Jerry Lacy and Randy Willhelm.

The Feed Store restaurant in Westcliffe will reopen its doors on Dec. 3 under the management of Stephen Guyamard. A graduate of the Paris Cooking School, he has more than 35 years of restaurant experience.

1 Year Ago – 2012

Custer County School’s new "Adopt A Class" is underway, with community leaders and resources and teachers excited about the program. The program runs in conjunction with VOICE4C1 – Volunteer Opportunities in Community Education – and the Excellence in Education committee.

The ninth annual Community Spirit Campaign sponsored by the Wet Mountain Valley Community Foundation kicks off today. Since its inception in 2004, the campaign has distributed some $1.45 million to local non-profit organizations.

The Sangre de Electric Association’s Operation Round-Up has donated $1,000 to the Valley Park, Recreation and Youth Center in Westcliffe to aid the local kindergarten class, and to provide funds to the Custer County Cattlewomen who have a loan program to assist youths in buying and feeding livestock for the 4-H program.