Highlights from the

Carbonate Chronicle

75 years ago

“Gun-less” Holdup Foiled by Officers

Monday, November 25, 1946

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Maynard A. Burggraf, 32, an employee at Climax, is being held in jail here for investigation following a holdup he is alleged to have pulled off at the Miners’ Club Saturday night. Sheriff Clarence McMurrough and Capt. George O’Malia took Burggraf into custody shortly after 9 o’clock at the club.

According to the story told McMurrough, Burggraf entered the Miners’ Club when things were quiet, approached the bartender, Jackie Esseman, and said: “This is a stick-up!” He demanded the money in the cash drawer, but qualified his order with “just the bills — don’t bother with the silver.” Burggraf had a hand in a bulging pocket, so Jackie complied and handed over $40 to him.

The man then asked if she had a gun in the drawer, and when she told him no, he told her to let him see the drawer. She opened it and there was no gun there. Burggraf ordered up drinks for himself and his victim, apparently either in no hurry to leave or else waiting for a break to make his exit. Jackie had slipped her rings off her fingers and cached them in a sink, hoping to save them.

Meanwhile, bystanders had slipped out of the place and calls for the police had been put in from the Bank Club and from the avenue, the latter by a couple of soldiers.

When McMurrough and O’Malia took Burggraf into custody they found the $40 — but there was no gun in his pocket.

City Manager Plan Discussion Tonight

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Of great importance to all Leadville citizens is the meeting tonight in the High School auditorium at 8 o’clock. Chet Cook, the city manager of Canon City, will be the guest speaker, brought here by the Civic Improvement League.

The city manager form of government will be discussed and explained. Leadville has lately been given considerable publicity as one of the three “wildest town” in the country — and it has caused some concern amongst local residents.

Leadville is trying to become a community known as one of the finest anywhere. To attain this goal many things are necessary, and a modern form of city government is one of the first considerations.

A good attendance at tonight’s meeting is urgently requested by the local league. Mr. Cook’s appearance here will afford an excellent opportunity for Leadville to learn first hand about city management.

SO THIS IS ONE OF THE WEST’S WILD TOWNS

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To Leadville comes the highly doubtful honor of being chosen one of the West’s wild towns, along with Butte, Mont. and Deadwood, S. D. The appraisal in the current Esquire, apparently sincere and not malicious, was made by a Denver writer, Henry W. Hough.

Such articles are continually popping up; not so long ago a St. Louis paper carried one in a similar vein. Most of these colorful stories are factual to a certain degree, but marked by overemphasis on the bawdy, boisterous factors that at present appeal most to readers. These views of the Cloud City from afar do not set too well with most Leadvillites. One of the few comments made on Esquire’s article was “it sickened me” — that was the reaction of a long-established resident who has the interests of the Old Town at heart. Others ostensibly laughed the left-handed praise off, contending “every knock’s a boost.”

Perhaps the free publicity will bring benefits to Leadville — certainly if we were out to buy such advertising the cost would be enormous. Once we get hordes of visitors here they are going to find out that, in addition to our “dens of iniquity,” there are a great many other attractions — mountains, scenery, historical lore. But as for finding Leadville an outstanding “wild” town — well, a lot of folks are apt to be a bit disappointed.

A discussion of Leadville’s checkered career, past and continuing, could go on and on. There are many angles. Slurs against the then-great mining camp were in evidence in the very early days: the Denver papers referred to “Leadville women,” while elsewhere in the state the gentler sex were “ladies.” More recently, Leadville almost got tagged a “ghost town,” and all along the past and the present have been considerably confused.

At any rate, you can’t keep a good town down — nor a bad town. Whichever it is depends on the view you take; but in either case, anything’s better than being completely ignored.

COOPER HILL IS FOR AVERAGE SKIER

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Cooper Hill ski tow, probably the longest of its type in the world, opens Saturday, Nov. 30. The lift will be operated by the Lake County Public Recreation Board for the general public on weekends and holidays; on weekdays, beginning Dec. 2, the Army will take over, using the facilities for training mountain troops from Camp Carson.

The LCPRB is stressing the appeal of Cooper Hill to the average skier. The expert runner may find the hill a bit tame, but John Q. Citizen can have himself a grand time. The 13.8 miles of improved runs provide amble room for the anticipated horde of ski enthusiasts. There are no steep inclines to induce breakneck speed and endanger life and limb.

Cooper Hill’s Constam lift carries skiers on inverted T-bars 1,138 feet in one jaunt to the top of the course, 1,150 feet above the base. With 30 inches of snow accumulated and the course already in excellent condition, there will be good skiing for weeks whether more snow falls or not.

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