Highlights from the 

Carbonate Chronicle

75 years ago


January 5, 1948


A crowd of skiers imbued with the holiday spirit thronged the Cooper Hill course over the three-day run that ended Sunday. The majority of the slat-riders were from out of town and Leadville’s facilities for visitors were considerably taxed.

There were no serious accidents reported and the skiing was said to be “about as good as it ever gets,” although the course was admittedly “short on snow.” One observer remarked: “The skiers just about wore out what snow there was.”

Riding the tow Friday were 150 skiers; on Saturday the number was 250; and Sunday drew a nice-sized crowd of 350 enthusiasts. It was noted that the crowd was one of the most courteous yet handled at Cooper Hill; there was no “chiseling” in the waiting line, even. The tow ran without interruption. The course was extremely fast Sunday.

Sunday the Cooper Hill Ski Patrol was kept busy bringing down skiers who had broken skis. The Patrol received high commendation for its work at the course.

The Patrol had efficiently flagged bare spots on the course to forewarn skiers and prevent mishaps.

The unusually mild weather yesterday — the high was 51 degrees — made being out all the more enjoyable for skiers and spectators.


Children Escape As Blaze Guts Home; Friends

Take In Family 

January 12, 1948


Four Leadville children possibly owe their lives to a neighbor who got them out of their burning home last night. When the fire department arrived at 526 East 5th street at 5:10 p.m., Fire Marshal Joe Plute reported, the four children of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bryant had been removed from the house by a neighbor whose identity was not known at the time. The parents were down town when the fire started.

The firemen found the house in flames and it was 7:20 p.m. before they had extinguished the last spark and returned to the station. Damage to the house, which is owned by T. E. Cook, centered around the kitchen and an adjoining room, both of which were gutted by fire.

Cause of the blaze, the fire department report disclosed, was an overheated oil stove which had been converted from a coal range. The firemen used 550 feet of 2½ inch hose strung from the fire plug at the corner of East 5th and Alder streets.

Thanks to the concern of friends and neighbors, the Bryant family is not “out in the cold.” The family will soon have another home, but in the meantime Mr. and Mrs. Bryant, Richard, 4, and Freddie, 14 months old, are staying at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Truskolaski, 209 East 4th street; and Sharon, 5, and Ross, 7 years old, are being cared for by Mr. and Mrs. Bob Hooven, 600 East 5th street.

It was learned from neighbors today that Bob Hooven was the person who dashed to the Bryant home when the fire broke out. He got the four children out safely then went back into the burning house to remove some of the family’s belongings and succeeded in saving the radio.

Although the Bryants’ clothing and some other things were not actually burned, the items were smoked and soaked by water and, in the main, ruined. Furniture in the house was owned by Cook. 

The house, rented by Cook to the Bryants, was not insured.



January 19, 1948


Mildred Rae Bond, baby daughter born to Mr. and Mrs. Raymond E. Bond, 321 West 5th street, at the St. Vincent’s hospital at 5:45 p.m., Saturday, January 3rd, has been declared winner of the First 1948 Baby contest sponsored by eleven merchants of Leadville. Dr. Franklin Laneback was the attending doctor.

The official report on the Bond baby’s birth was turned in to the Herald Democrat office personally by the father just one hour after the baby’s birth, 6:45 p.m. Full page announcement of the contest made on Tuesday, December 30th, and again repeated in a story about the contest in The Herald Democrat on Wednesday, December 31st, stated: “Bring or mail your report of the baby’s birth to the First Baby Contest, Editor, The Herald Democrat, Leadville, Colo., not later than January 5th, 1948, with the attending doctor’s name, day and exact time of birth, name of baby and parents’ names attached to report.”

Another baby was born at the St. Vincent’s hospital the same day as the Bond baby to Mr. and Mrs. Eldon Ray of Climax, but no report was received on the Ray baby’s birth until Friday, January 9th, four days after the deadline set in the rules. It was the opinion of the majority of the merchants who sponsored the contest that the Bond baby was winner of the contest inasmuch as the report of the Ray baby was not turned in to The Herald Democrat by the deadline set forth in the rules of the contest.

Following are the names of the merchants that sponsored the contest and the gifts they will present to the Bond baby.

Elsie Johnson Shop — A nice baby’s dress.

Meredith Studie — A beautiful 8x10 hand colored portrait will be made of the first baby.

McMorrow Jewelry — A My Own Set of Holmes & Edwards containing a fork, spoon and a porringer (baby’s dish).

Parker Jewelry — A sterling silver baby’s bib holder.

Gordon’s — A Chatham 100 per cent virgin wool crib size blanket.

Cass’s Book Store — A Better Homes and Gardens Baby book on the care of baby, with a second section for baby’s records.

Davis Drug Store — A Johnson & Johnson De Luxe Baby Gift Box containing baby powder, cream, soap and oil and pyrex nursing bottle set of 6 bottles and 6 nipples.

Frank Zaitz Mercantile Co. — 24 tall cans of Carnation milk.

Leadville Jewelry Co. — An 1847 Rogers Bros. Educator set, spoon and fork.

Taylor Drug Co. — A beautiful baby’s ring.

Vienna City Laundry — Will do the baby’s washings for the first three weeks.

The Die Is Cast; Family Skeleton Is Out of Closet


Jake Foster, editor of the Rocky Mountain News, was in Leadville over the weekend for some skiing at Cooper Hill — and nosed out a story that hit the Denver paper’s front page with a bang this morning; a resounding bang.

It appears (and in bold type and with substantiating pictures, too) that Leadville is in the throes of civic warfare over the banning (shhh!) of gambling. The pith of the problem, Foster indicates, rests in the new municipal governing body — Mayor Walter F. O’Brien on one side and the council on the other. All is not serene, for Foster warns: “Watch out for the fireworks in this two-mile-high mining capital … for there is bound to be plenty.”

Dr. O’Brien was credited with tipping off local establishments that the new aldermen would launch an anti-gambling drive. “I gave them this warning (to move out slot machines by midnight last) and there wasn’t one in sight today,” the new mayor was quoted as saying.

“You can’t eliminate gambling here by an order,” the News further quoted O’Brien. “People are going to gamble if they want to. All this order will do is push gambling behind an iron curtain. It won’t work.

“I’m in favor of open gambling so you can regulate it. You can bring these gamblers into court every so often on a misdemeanor charge and fine them. That helps to finance a city and that’s a way to keep track of them instead of letting them work under cover.

“These new aldermen for the most part are relatively newcomers, and they’re not familiar with the background of the city.”

Elaborating on his stand, Mayor O’Brien told The Herald Democrat this morning that there is a different background to a mining camp, inferring that men who delve into the ground for riches are entitled to the pursuit of their own particular brand of happiness, including the Goddess of Chance — who, in olden days played a considerable part in the building of overnight fortunes here anyway.

As far as an order being issued clamping the lid on gambling here, there has been none according to O’Brien and one of the aldermen. The new council meets Tuesday, Jan. 20, and it is hinted broadly that the matter may come up for discussion at that time. It is reported that at meetings previous to yesterday’s swearing-in session, an “express” vote was taken and showed four aldermen in favor of the ban and two opposed to it.

Mayor O’Brien succeeds Mayor John Cortellini, who served in the office for the past 12 years.


January 26, 1948


Don’t let folks tell you that Leadville is a ghost town or that there are not any new mine operations going.

The trouble The Herald Democrat encounters is the fact that most folks are hesitant about giving us information on mining operations. But here are two stories that undoubtedly prove interesting to the public.

The New Monarch Lease on the entire property of the New Monarch Mining company, which has been held by Robert C. Nelson and Mike Bonan of Leadville since the early 1930’s, was taken over January 14th by Charles Hopkins, Fred H. Rice and T. E. Cass, all of Leadville, who with their associates plan a more active campaign of operations than has prevailed recently. The name of the lease will remain the same.

There are at present two sets of sub-leasers operating on portions of the property: Harry Sundstrom and company, and O’Leary and company, several promising areas being still available for other sub-lessees.

Plans for the future include the rehabilitation of the Winnie shaft, opening up still further areas for sub-lessees, and a connecting level between the Winnie and the Valley shaft of the Valley Mines, Inc., to facilitate more efficient handling of ore and improving ventilation.

Existing plans will be greatly expanded and accelerated, providing the Russell Bill or some similar legislation is enacted to provide for the resumption of premium payments on copper, lead and zinc.

Another new mine operation that Leadville has not previously been informed about through the paper is the Dahl-Shirk lease on the Fanny Rawlins property located in the south Evans gulch, which has been in operation for the past five months, employing six men.

This operation is now at 465 feet, and they plan soon to go down to a 540 foot level. Re-opening this mine after a close down of over six years proved rather costly to the new men as they encountered considerable water that it was necessary to pump out before operations could be resumed. Added to this many improvements had to be made. However, the new lease holders are getting a good grade of ore from the lease in promising quantities.

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