Highlights from

The Herald Democrat

50 Years Ago


 Climber Registration Sheets Atop Mount Elbert Stolen

August 19, 1970

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Bob Bohac, of the Colorado Mountain College faculty, and other local mountain climbers are quite disturbed by an apparent theft that has occurred on the summit of Mount Elbert. Last Memorial Day, Bohac, along with a number of students and faculty members from each campus of CMC, climbed to the summit of Mount Elbert to install a register tube and to place therein a sufficient number of sheets of paper on which the names of the climbers could be inscribed.

Sufficient space was provided on the sheets for more than 300 signers. The sheets were almost filled when the register was checked on July 30. When the register tube was checked again on August 4, the register sheets were missing. Bohac is appealing to anyone who may have taken these register sheets to return them to him at the college, to the local Forest Service office, or to the Colorado Mountain Club in Denver.

The register at the summit of Mount Elbert has been maintained in past years by the Colorado Mountain Club, but the task has now been taken over by the mountain club of CMC, with the records being kept in the Leadville Forest Service office.

The traffic to the summit of Mount Elbert, Colorado’s loftiest peak at 14,433 feet, has been increasing at a tremendous rate the past several years, with 400 to 500 climbers per year making the ascent.

Records go back to 1946. In that year, in about six weeks 65 persons climbed the mountain. The greatest recorded total for any month on Mount Elbert seems to have been 201 climbers during August 1966. The month of August appears to be the month of heaviest climbing usage of the mountain. Every month is recorded as having climbers except December.

If anyone knows of the whereabouts of the missing Mount Elbert register, notify the proper authorities so that it may be recovered and the records brought up to date.

Simulator Van to Aid LCHS Driver Course

August 20, 1970

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When Lake County High students report for driver’s education classes in another ten days or so, they will find a long, shiny new piece of equipment waiting for them. This will be the 60-foot-long aluminum driver simulation van.

The van is owned by the State Department of Education and is one of two in the state. The unit is lent to participating school districts for periods of a month to six weeks as a training aid. It is anticipated that the unit will be in Leadville for six weeks, and that it will be stationed here for like periods two times per year. Last year was the first time that the units were used in Colorado.

The driver simulator van, which was brought to Leadville from Durango, is a self-contained driver training unit mounted on a 1969 Dodge bus chassis. The entire unit is worth $26,000.

The van used locally has provisions for the simultaneous training of eight students. Units used in the schools in Denver, Pueblo and other large systems have 12 compartments for driver training, while Lakewood has a 24-place unit.

The mobile unit is lent out to smaller districts, such as Lake County, that don’t own such training facilities.

Each driver compartment is completely equipped with all of the instruments and gadgets that are found in a modern car—all of the gauges, buttons, dials, steering wheel, brake, accelerator, clutch, gear shift lever, emergency brake, turn signals, etc.

The unit is programmed so that a student can simulate the driving of a car with a manual gear shift or a car with an automatic transmission. They can thus adapt readily to the automatic transmission driver education car or to any shift vehicle.

Driving simulation is a teaching method that uses an electro-mechanical simulator device to develop skills, practice adjustive driving procedures, and improve attitudes. The simulator is designed to represent the driver’s compartment of the typical automobile, including all instrumentation. Simulation can add substantially in developing the students’ ability to recognize, analyze and correctly respond to traffic by practicing under a wider variety of driving environments than are available near most schools; practice in complete safety in driving under adverse conditions, such as emergencies or foul weather; and eliminating time in which to become familiar with controls in the dual-control car.

The vehicle projects films before the students in the simulator compartment, with each student reacting just as though he or she were actually out in a real driving situation. The simulator, however, has instant-matic feedback, in that it tells students what they are doing wrong and how to correct it.

The films are projected onto a screen that is lowered in the driver’s compartment of the bus and is readily visible from each driver simulation compartment. There are no windows in the main body of the van, and blackout curtains are provided for the windows in the driver’s compartment. The van is heated and air conditioned. Equipment is powered through a 220-volt hookup.

In the program of instruction, each student views and simulates driving through the viewing of 12 films, each lasting 20 to 50 minutes. Every four sessions is deemed equivalent to one hour of actual driving in the dual-control car. Thus, the simulator course is the equivalent to three hours, or half the time, that is normally spent driving the dual-control car in a typical course.

The film titles are “Orientation and Let’s Start Driving,” “The Good Turn,” “Moderate Traffic,” “Advanced City Driving,” “Hit the Highways,” “Shift for Yourself,” "Hazardous Driving,” “Expressways are Different,” “Winterproof Your Driving,” “Drive in Review,” “Drive After Dark,” and one other film.

Driving instructor Dave Kilgo is quite enthusiastic about the van and the manner in which it will improve driver instruction locally. Kilgo stated that if sufficient adult interest is generated locally, classes could also be scheduled for adult training or for adult refresher courses.

David Kilgo has returned to the Lake County schools after a year’s sabbatical leave to do graduate study at Central Missouri State College. He was awarded a Master’s Degree and an Education Specialist Degree in Safety Education.

In addition to his graduate studies, Mr. Kilgo was a graduate assistant in the Central Missouri State College Safety Department. His work included teaching on the nation’s largest driver range, teaching with twelve Aetna Drivotrainer simulators and a complete multimedia room, and helping conduct school bus driver instruction workshops throughout the state of Missouri.

Mr. Kilgo’s work with the school bus driver training workshops provided the basis for his Specialist Degree thesis. He wrote and filmed a 16 mm color-sound film on the training of school bus drivers. The twenty minute film, “Wouldn’t It Be Better To Check,” was produced by Central Missouri State College and filmed at the University of Missouri, Columbia. It will be released for distribution in early fall.

Phase Two In “The Battle of CHICKEN HILL”

August 21, 1970

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"The Battle of Chicken Hill” is not unlike the skirmishes which have had various turning points throughout history. The Civil War, with the bitter fight involving the north and the south in the same nation, has its counterpart in southeast Leadville vs. mining interests.

A white flag is being waved.

Through this paper, a local businessman has proposed a plan as a means of clearing title to the land on which the homes situated on Chicken Hill have revived an age-old controversy.

The eastern section of Leadville is situated on mining claims, and it was on these mining claims that homes were built, with the mining companies who staked claim to the ground originally retaining claim to surface and mineral rights.

All was well with such an arrangement—“squatter’s rights” having a certain niche in the real estate world—until modern-day financing and perspectives changed the picture.

In many cases where ground owned as mining claims became tax delinquent, Lake County took title, and through court action became the owner. In these instances, “squatters” were able to buy the land from the county for the actual cost of clearing title. Ground and house must go together whenever financing is involved, unless it is a private deal.

The mining ground under the homes situated on Chicken Hill was kept up-to-date tax-wise, however; the 36.5 acres of land had no record of delinquent taxes since the year 1880. Many of the Chicken Hill homeowners had tried to buy the ground under their homes from Charles Limberg's heirs, but “not for sale” was always the answer.

On December 5, 1969, this acreage was sold to B. D. Yukon, and the sale was recorded December 17, 1969. Early this year, all the Chicken Hill homeowners were notified by Yukon that two choices remained open—rent to be paid to him for the ground, or removal from the property. And the Battle of Chicken Hill was on.

NOW A PLAN

A local businessman offered this plan to clear title to the land:

For the consideration of $300 ($300 cash or $65.50 down and $25.50 in ten equal payments without interest but including bank fees of $15 and $0.50 per payment), Yukon will sign a quit claim deed to the surface rights of the land on which the home is situated.

The homeowner is to select an attorney of his choice and pay for the drawing up of a quit claim deed to the surface rights, secure the approval of the description by the county assessor, and forward the quit claim deed to B. D. Yukon, 1030 West 67th Street Terrace, Kansas City, Missouri, for signature. Yukon will return the deed to the attorney, who can remit the $300 to Yukon, or the deed may be forwarded to the Commercial Bank if the homeowner wants to pay for the deed in monthly installments.

The surface rights involved are a subdivision of the Star Placer, listed as Agassiz No. 2 U.S. Survey 255. The First National Bank held the estate in trust for a number of years following the death of Charles Limberg. The sale price has never been revealed.

Yukon has owned mining property purchased through delinquent taxes in the St. Kevin area and the Turquoise Lake area for many years. As a taxpayer in Lake County, his annual tax bill amounts to several thousand dollars. He has made many trips to Leadville in the past to contact the Treasurer’s office to learn of tax delinquent mining property.

Will the residents of Chicken Hill accept the offer, or will they continue to assert their squatters’ rights?

Today's Chuckle

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An Internal Revenue agent became so despondent he went to a psychiatrist because he thought the whole world was against him. The doc told him, “The whole world isn’t against you—maybe the entire United States, but not the whole world.”

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