|(Information was gleaned from copies of the Wet Mountain Tribune, all from the third week in March.)
100 Years Ago – 1917
Fred Mench, who has been arrested many times for violation of the state game law, this time on the charge of shipping beaver skins to Denver where they were located by Chief Game Warden Hummel on Wednesday. Deputy Game Warden C.T. Chapman went to Swallows on Thursday and placed Mench under arrest. The prisoner was taken to Pueblo where he was turned over to Mr. Hummel who took him to Denver for a judicial hearing. He will in all probability be given a heavy sentence.
Operations have been resumed on the Stevens claim at Rosita by Albert Mack and his Cripple Creek associates. The property is equipped with machinery, a hoisting plant, etc., and an extra pump is being installed in order that shaft work can be carried on more rapidly. The Stevens is an encouraging property from which some ore has been extracted carrying values in silver up to 125 ounces and we opine that greater depth will reveal greater richness in ore.
There is a man in town who, if you were to ask him if he is glad to be alive, would answer: “Well, yes, I guess so, but ---“ and then would follow a string of pessimism as long as a tape line. He is the father of all pessimists. The retina of his eye registers but one color – blue. Everything looks blue to him. The very blood in his veins must be composed of skim milk. You’ve seen him enter a meeting where enthusiastic souls were striving to launch some movement of great social betterment, and the very sight of his face, to say nothing of his pessimistic doubtings, has acted like a wet blanket on the spirits of those present. We marvel and speculate as to the depths of misery his gloomy prognostications will ultimately lead him, and we feel just like shaking him and saying: “Smile, damn you, smile!”
50 Years Ago – 1967
An accident at his saw mill about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon claimed the life of Walter Smith, widely known Custer County rancher. Smith was working at his saw mill on his ranch near Rosita when apparently a gust of wind blew a four-foot long piece of timber into the saw blade and the saw hurled the timber into Smith’s left temple. Mrs. Stella Smith, who was nearby, said he apparently died instantly. Walt was also widely known for winning the annual pack burro race between Leadville and Fairplay over Mosquito Pass. Walt won the event in 1956, 1957 and 1958. The funeral is tentatively set for Saturday at the local funeral home.
Overall champion winners in the seniors’ annual Talent Show held Tuesday evening in the school gym were The Marauders, a rock and roll group composed of Reed Moon, Dick Kastendieck and Mackey Kelly. They played “Ramrod” and “Last Time.” Also winning were the Godbersen sisters, Deanna, Lois and Lynnette, who sang “The Ballad of the Green Beret.” In the elementary division, Patti Byrne won with a clarinet solo entitled “Solo Simplice.”
Bill McCarty reports four inches of snow at Lake DeWeese Sunday, and the temperature dropped to 23 below zero that night.
25 Years Ago – 1992
The Conquistador Ski Area is once again up for grabs after Stephen Ramsey of Los Angeles was unable to close on the contract he held with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA announced Monday that Ramsey was unable to meet the terms of the contract and will therefore forfeit his $100,000 non-refundable deposit. Ramsey was to buy the 3,000 acre resort for $2.7 million, but last week informed the SBA that he would not be able to live up to the agreement. With Ramsey now out of the picture, other potential buyers are already waiting in the wings, according to SBA spokesman Mike Stamler.
The C-1 board of education has appointed former educator Dottie Hudson to the vacancy created by the resignation of Harold Taylor who stepped down in February to become county judge. Others who were seeking the vacancy were Walt Terrell and Stan Francis.
Local artisan Ken Wisecup, who owns and operates The Cedar Shop in Silver Cliff, will have his works featured at a Colorado Springs art gallery during the month of April. The opening reception will be April 3 at the Roby Mill Gallery on west Colorado Avenue.
10 Years Ago – 2007
The board of the West Custer County Hospital District has tentatively approved a new plan to restructure the ambulance corps. The proposal was presented to the board Monday by ambulance corps administrator Darrell Geroux. Under the plan, the current all-volunteer staff would be paid a stipend to ensure round-the-clock availability of EMTs and drivers.
Lynne Casson is the lucky winner of a new Dell laptop computer given away by Colorado Mountain Bank in honor of its newly unveiled internet banking services. Ms. Casson’s name was drawn from more than 750 entries received. For her, the new computer will open up many different options. She’s afflicted with cerebral palsy and this new technology tool will expand her world. “Every time I think about it I just get goosebumps,” said branch manager Wendy Rusk. “It was just meant to be.”
Rabbi Levi Brackman, a Judaic scholar from Evergreen, will present a talk about the Kabbalah ancient Jewish texts next Sunday at All Aboard Westcliffe. Rabbi Brackman was a keynote speaker during last year’s community Passover Seder hosted by Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church and the Community United Methodist Church.
5 Years Ago – 2012
The ice fishing tournament scheduled for this weekend at Lake DeWeese has been cancelled due to the warm temperatures and thawing ice at the lake. Instead, according to tournament organizer Brian Clince, a regular fishing derby will be held at the lake in mid-May.
Mail ballots are going out this week for the April 3 municipal elections in the towns of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff. Four candidates are seeking the three openings on the Westcliffe town board: incumbent Audrey Gluschke, Brian Clince, Shelley Shelley and Steve Trombley. In Silver Cliff, all six town trustee seats and the mayor’s seat are up for grabs, with only four incumbents seeking reelection: Mayor Larry Weber, Marty Wolff, Lela Cravens and Mary Behrendt.
Services were held this past Tuesday at the Rosita Cemetery for life-long county resident and well-known Valley rancher Paul Raymond Schneider. Mr. Schneider died this past Friday at his home following a lingering illness. He was 57.
1 Year Ago – 2016
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is looking into the cause of last Friday’s fire that destroyed a vacant cabin in Silver Cliff. The sheriff’s department says arson is suspected.
With Silver Cliff voters considering the possibility of allowing marijuana sales facilities in the town, the Tribune checked with law enforcement officials in six rural Colorado communities that have allowed medical and retail sales outlets. All said their communities did not experience any uptick in crime, nor were there financial strains brought on by legalization. A deputy sheriff in Silverton said the town has seen no increase in crime, adding, “A person that is high from pot is unlikely to get in a fight like alcohol; they are just tired, hungry and happy.”
Nurse practitioner Joe Franta and his son, Jess, recently returned from a week-long medical mission in Jamaica where they helped provide a variety of medical and dental services to poor rural communities there.