Red Cross Canteen Closes After Serving Men Of Camp Hale

November 6, 1944

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After 18 months of being “a home away from home” to the soldiers stationed at Camp Hale, the Red Cross Canteen closed last evening owing to the discontinuance of the camp.

The canteen is an excellent example of success through community cooperation. The Lake County Commissioners equipped and paid all the running expenses of the building. The Red Cross met the expenses for the supplies and food used for the Saturday evening dinners and for cookies served with coffee throughout the week. A great deal of credit is due Mrs. Ted Lane, chairman of the canteen committee, who with thorough understanding cheerfully did a fine job. Credit is also due the members of the canteen staff and all the other voluntary helpers who cooked the meals and cookies, and who gave much of their time working at the canteen.

A few excerpts from the many letters received from the servicemen after they were transferred out of Camp Hale show what they thought of the Leadville people and how much they appreciated and enjoyed the canteen:

“After the war I am going to return to Leadville and visit all the friends I made there. It certainly was a pleasant time I had at the canteen; and through the ladies of the canteen our stay at Camp Hale was most happy. I doubt if one could find anywhere in the world a place as homelike as the canteen. I certainly am glad to know some strong hearted Americans.”

“There is much talk of going back there (Camp Hale). So I live for the day we go back to Hale, Leadville, and the Red Cross Canteen. Of course the main reason being the Red Cross Canteen. Music, laughter, fun, I miss them all.”

“I was thinking if there was some place a soldier could write to express our feelings we had for the Red Cross Canteen and tell what a fine job Ruth and her help did. Ruth deserves more credit than anyone, for without her the canteen would never have been the same.”

“Nothing will ever replace the inimitable something that you gals created at the canteen.”

“Your place made a lot of us boys enjoy ourselves far more than we would have otherwise. I just wanted you to know that we do remember, even when we leave, and that I for one am grateful for the many kindnesses that you people showed me.”

“No matter what canteen I may go to, it will never have the home-like feeling your canteen has given me.”

Famous Matchless Will Be Reopened

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The famous old Matchless mine, of Tabor fame, is about to be reopened, according to Dr. Walter F. O’Brien, who states that work will begin immediately. Through the efforts of Dr. O’Brien, several Denver men have become interested in the mine and a 50-horsepower hoist, a compressor and a new cable have already been received for beginning work.

A new engine house will be built, repairs will be made to the headframe and other repairs and cleaning up will be done. The work will begin immediately and it is expected to have everything under cover before the snows start.

Hallowe’en Pranks

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Although Hallowe’en is over, there was much evidence about town this morning that it had been a busy one for the pranksters: windows, especially on the avenue were marked with soap and wax; culverts and fences were torn out on East 5th and 4th streets and on West 4th and 3rd; ash cans were overturned; and a pine tree was sawed down in the 300 block on West 7th.

There were two false fire alarms turned in last night—one at West Eighth and Leiter and one at East Second and Toledo Avenue.

Rockwell Looks Into Camp Hale Status, Drainage Tunnel

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Final decision on the status of Camp Hale awaits the results of a conference between Secretary of War Stimson and members of the Colorado delegation—Senators Millikin and Johnson and Representative Rockwell—according to Rockwell, who made a brief visit to Leadville on Wednesday. The conference is set for November 16 or thereafter. The feeling of the Coloradans is, Mr. Rockwell stated, that a “$30 million project should not be just dumped out the window.” The Colorado delegation has talked with the review board and protested junking of the camp. They urged that it be kept on a stand-by basis until after the war.

In connection with the disposal of Camp Hale property, Congressman Rockwell said that no property has been disposed of locally except some scrap iron. Forty wagons have been turned over to the Treasury Department as the camp had no use for them, and some double-deck beds and mattresses have been turned over, but aside from those items all property of the camp will be transferred. If it is decided, after the conference with Secretary Stimson, to abandon the camp, all property will be offered to each federal agency in turn, eventually to cities, and then to civilians. The Forest Service would like to have one block of the camp and the ski tow, which could be used for a recreation area.

Speaking of the order closing the camp, Congressman Rockwell said that it came as a complete surprise and that even headquarters did not know it was coming. Only two days before the order to close was received, 210 men had been sent there to build up the camp.

After a visit to the Drainage tunnel, Mr. Rockwell said that the feeling of the men in charge of operations is more optimistic since they have stuck the Leadville limestone and are now in solid rock about 10 feet. Barring further unforeseen trouble, they expect to finish on schedule, but their great need at present is for more labor.

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