Highlights from the
75 Years Ago
Milk, Cream Prices
Hiked By Dealers
August 5, 1946
Four Leadville milk dealers — Rocky Mountain, Paris, Western and Valley Home dairies — have announced an increase in the price of milk and cream, effective Aug. 1.
Milk will be 18 cents a quart, 10 cents a pint and 68 cents per gallon (bulk). Whipping cream will be 30 cents a half-pint and coffee cream, 20 cents.
The dealers point out that the loss of government subsidies and increasing costs of feed, labor and supplies forced the price hike.
Tunnel Fiasco Still Much Discussed Topic
Leadville has suffered through the failure of the U. S. Bureau of Mines to complete its drainage tunnel, states the Denver Mining Record.
Recently, a number of old-time miners of the Leadville district were discussing the tunnel fiasco, and an opinion was offered as to why the tunnel was not finished for the $1,400,000 appropriated for the work by Congress. One mine foreman was of the opinion that if Leadville miners had been given the money, they would have completed the job and had some change left. Said another practical miner, “They can’t handle this Leadville formation unless they are experienced.”
The impossible job was turned over to Bureau of Mines appointees, who, it is said, had never driven a tunnel before. It was brought out during the conversation that had the contractor been wise, he would have taken Leadville advice and first driven a pilot or smaller tunnel that would have drained the country sufficiently so that the breast of the main tunnel would not have been a constant threat and would have allowed much better time in the driving.
Said another miner: “The tunnel was driven big enough for a freight car to run thru it; there was no sense in driving such a big tunnel. When the tunnel hit the dolomite sands and the water began to pour out the breast, it was a foregone conclusion such a tunnel could not be held, and cave after cave occurred and thousands of dollars were wasted because of that. Six good Leadville miners could have driven that tunnel to its objective for 50 cents on the dollar of the money now lost, and with a pilot tunnel and capable spilling the tunnel would have been a success. As it now stands, it’s merely a ‘monument to stupidity,’ and no brass plate at the entrance names the contractors nor the engineers, as is found at other tunnels, as it appears no one wants to own the failure.”
Some day, perhaps, the local mining associations will start experienced Leadville miners at the present breast and drive a smaller and better tunnel on through to its original objective, and it’s a safe bet that work will be accomplished for less than 50 cents on the dollar what the “cost plus tunnel” spent per foot.
Job Outlook Good Despite Setbacks
The outlook for employment in Lake county is definitely on the upward trend, according to the U. S. E. S. office here.
Despite shutdowns in some the smaller lead-zinc mines because of the removal of premium payments, more jobs exist presently than there are workers. Increased operations at the American Smelting and Refining Plant, the molybdenum producer at Climax, the New Jersey Zinc at Gilman, the Resurrection properties and various other mines of the area have tended to absorb surplus unemployed, and need still exists for experienced workers in all of these operations.
The return of veterans to the community has continued and veteran immigration from other states has increased during the past sixty days. In June, 14 veterans from Lake County were discharged, and for the like period in May, there were 26 Lake County separations.
Approximately 25 veterans were registered with the U. S. Employment Service, nine of whom have varying disabilities due to war service. A few of these dischargees cannot be considered to be in the labor market as they plan to return to school in the fall. Others newly discharged are not job shopping at this time and are making the most of self-styled vacations.
The very small number of unemployed here is made up principally of miners by occupation who can no longer pass the rigid lung examinations given by most mines, and because of their advanced ages cannot readily learn new trades. This continues to be one of the spots in the state where there is no housing shortage.
HOMECOMING DAYS CANCELLED BY BAN ON ACTIVITIES
Move To Combat Spread Of Polio
August 26, 1946
Leadville’s Homecoming Days celebration, scheduled for Labor Day weekend, has been called off. The cancellation was in conjunction with the state-wide ban for children under 18 attending public gatherings.
Dr. Franklin J. McDonald, after conferring with members of the V. F. W. Homecoming committee, ordered compliance with the state recommendation, and, further, the dropping of plans for the celebration. He pointed out that the influx of many people from hard-hit polio areas might bring the disease here. Lake county is at present free of polio cases, despite rumors that one or several cases have developed in the last few days.
The Ministerial Alliance — pastors of the Methodist, First Evangelical, Lutheran and Presbyterian churches — has cancelled Sunday school and youth meetings during the polio ban, and expressed the hope that other Sunday school services here would also be discontinued.
The polio ban is also being carried out at the Fox theater, where a sign is posted reading “Children under 18 not admitted.”