Highlights from the

Carbonate Chronicle

75 years ago

U. S. Fish Hatchery at Evergreen, Sought by State, Is Picturesque and Historic Spot of Lake County

June 2, 1947

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EDITOR’S NOTE: We believe the following article, which gives our readers a brief description of the Evergreen U. S. Fish Cultural station located 7 miles west of Leadville and commonly known here as the U. S. Fish Hatchery, is very timely. It will serve as a reminder to those Leadville folks who for years have enjoyed spending their leisure hours in fishing and play at the Evergreen lakes, which includes part of the station. And to those newer residents of Leadville and surrounding areas, it will inform them of the presence of this U. S. institution which has been a part of Leadville for years and years. Right now there is considerable opposition being voiced by true sportsmen of Lake and other surrounding counties of the State of Colorado’s plan to attempt to get the Federal government to turn this U. S. Fish Cultural station over to the State Game and Fish Department.

By Wallace C. Eckberg

It was indeed a pleasure for me to have been recently invited by Fred Englehart, superintendent of the Evergreen U. S. Fish Cultural station located 7 miles west of Leadville, to visit this federal institution and to enjoy a delicious dinner with Englehart and Mrs. Englehart in their home, located on the grounds of the fish cultural station.

My acquaintance with the Engleharts was gained through my good friend Percy Deane of Geneseo, Illinois, who happens to be a cousin of Fred Englehart. When I came to Leadville in January of this year to take over as publisher of The Herald Democrat, Mr. Deane wrote his cousin and told him to contact me, and from this introduction I gained the friendship of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Englehart.

I can truthfully say that it was not the intention of the Engleharts that I be invited to visit the U. S. Fish Cultural station and write an article about it, but I was so thrilled to see such a fine old institution located right at our doors that I felt that there might be other newcomers in this area who would like to know about it, too. I can assure our readers that this article is entirely my own words, and just a true, simple story of what I actually saw as Fred Englehart took me on a complete tour of the property.

The U. S. property comprises an area in excess of 3,000 acres, when one includes the lakes and timber which are a part of the station. Four lakes are included in the project, and the general public is allowed to fish and picnic about some of these lakes during the fishing season.

Each year thousands of local people and tourists take advantage of this privilege given them by the federal government. The lakes are located among the timber lines on the mountain slopes just in back of the U. S. fish hatchery buildings.

Fred Englehart is rounding out nearly 30 years’ government service and has been in charge of the local station since last June. However, he was employed at the local hatchery in 1917, too. Englehart is probably one of the best educated federal fish hatchery men in the nation today, having had years of experience in every brand of federal fish culture. He has traveled thousands of miles and has been connected with federal fish hatcheries in nearly every state in the union.

Glen F. Adams, fish culturist, is Englehart’s assistant at the local station and is well known in this area and throughout this part of the country as an expert in his profession. Adams together with his family also lives in quarters provided at the station grounds.

The old, sturdy red stone building that actually houses the fish hatching unit has a capacity for hatching over 12 million fish eggs, and can feed and mature between 4 and 5 million fingerlings before they are ready to be turned into the nursery ponds from which they are turned into the Evergreen lakes or shipped to streams or lakes in various parts of the nation.

The government property here, which is all a part of the U. S. Fish Cultural station, include the main fish hatchery building, [several] homes, a power and light plant, a large two-story frame building which houses supplies and a complete saw and planning mill with several small barns and sheds which house the supplies needed in the maintenance of the hatchery. The entire power and light plant is run by water power, as is the saw and planning mill. And the property has its own water and sewer disposal system, making the entire station and homes completely independent of any utilities from outside their own boundaries. Every home and main building in the station area is completely modern in every detail.

The temperature of the water is ideal for the hatching and maturing of trout, and we are told two to four degrees warmer than the water at the Glenwood Springs or Buena Vista hatcheries. A slight increase in the temperature of the water during the winter months at the local station would make this the most ideal fish hatchery in the entire west.

Located as it is at the bottom of a beautiful mountain slope and in a natural ravine, to say the least it is a very picturesque sight. It is only a short drive from Leadville, being located only a short distance from Malta. All during the summer months, the roads are in good condition from the main highway at Malta over to the station.

Snow Blankets Area and ‘Summer’ Gets a Setback

June 16, 1947

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A sizable snowstorm — one that would do justice to any winter month — blanketed Leadville yesterday. Enough of the “white stuff” remained overnight to give the city an appearance not at all appropriate for the month that brings summer (on the calendar, that is).

The storm was generally over eastern Wyoming and in Colorado southward to Colorado Springs. The snow was heaviest in the Rocky Mountains, but snowfalls of up to five inches for Denver were recorded, the latest snow in 75 years.

Here in Leadville the citizens took the wintry visit stoically. Those who had mowed lawns the previous evening were out with snow shovels last night clearing the walks. Many began recollecting other late snowstorms here and decided the current one wasn’t so unusual after all.

One Leadvillites recalls a snowstorm “worse than this one” three years ago on June 12, and still another recollection included the observation “I’ve seen at least little snows every month of the year.”

A look at the Herald Democrat files showed that the last snowstorm (not a very bad one — .03 inch precipitation) in 1946 occurred on June 18. Old-timers recall “the heaviest late snow” as coming on June 17, 1907.

At that time, Leadville boasted an exceptional photographer, Nils Schedin, whose collection of fine photographs now attracts wide attention at the Healy House. Mr. Schedin, who was once photographer to the court of Norway, produced some grand scenes of Leadville covered with snow.

EARLY MORNING BLAZE DESTROYS RIO GRANDE GARAGE & 3 BUSES

June 30, 1947

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Three large Rio Grande Motorway passenger buses were destroyed by fire early this morning at the company’s garage on Poplar street. The cause of the fire had not been determined. Fire Marshal Joe Plute said this morning that when the firemen arrived, the blaze was already going fiercely.

The alarm came in at the station at 12:50 a. m., and the crew of firemen and volunteers worked through the night until 6:20 a. m., when the truck returned to the station. They were unable to do much about the blazing garage, however. Instead, much effort and streams of water were directed at neighboring buildings. A nearby house was slightly damaged, and a store across the street was also damaged somewhat.

The Motorway garage was a frame and sheet iron structure. One of the company’s drivers had left the garage at 10 p. m. last night.

The firemen used 1,650 feet of hose strung from the plugs at 12th and Poplar and 10th and Harrison. At the height of the blaze, a garden hose was turned on the firemen to keep their coats from scorching.

Many Leadvillites, aroused by the sirens and the sound of the fire truck, looked out to see flames reaching high in the sky.

One eyewitness described the spectacular scene as follows:

“We first saw the flames from Highway 24, south of Leadville. Thinking this was just another of many trash fires seen during the evening, we were at first not incited to go. However, as we drove down Harrison avenue and over to Poplar, the many cars speeding down the avenue and the people walking hurriedly towards the fire assured us this wasn’t just another trash fire.

“Upon arrival at the scene of the fire, we parked our car across the street. The heat from the fire was tremendous and it was almost impossible to sit in the car — at least 200 feet away.

“As we watched the fire rapidly demolishing the building, many persons aided firemen and a family living in the house next to the garage. One fireman, in efforts to approach the garage, found considerable difficulty in handling the fire hose alone and was aided by spectators.

“Others helped the periled family remove furniture and household articles from their home when flames threatened to engulf the residence. Because of so much hose used, water power was not too great; however, even had the power been more, firemen would still have found it difficult to put out the flames which destroyed the garage.

“As the flames subsided somewhat at 2 a. m. and it was seen that no further aid could be rendered, most of the spectators left the scene of the fire.”

This Key Likely Has Long History

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This is a story about an old iron key that was found last Thursday by V. K. Gustafson of the Colorado and Southern depot. Needless to say, we doubt that anyone is looking for the key, as it is perhaps 50 years old at least. But we thought the key, which was found by Mr. Gustafson in a ditch near the Annunciation Church, might bring forth a good feature story for our readers.

The key is rather heavy and about three inches in length, with notches of various shapes in it. Undoubtedly the key was used in gaining entrance into some Leadville building many years ago. From the appearance of the key, one would gather that it was used to open a tumbler-type lock.

Just to create some interest among old-time Leadville residents — and possibly determined where the key might have been used — we are going to put it on display in our office window. If you think you might recognize the key after looking at it and can give us a bit of information about it, we will be very glad to have your comments.

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