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Features

  • Editor’s note: This is the second installment of a three-part series examining the past, present and future of Clear Creek.

    By Ian Neligh
    Courant Editor
    Through the mountains and down to the plains, Clear Creek has rushed along its jagged banks long before civilization ever found it and the gold hidden within. Its discovery led to industry, economy and community. The tie binding the stream to the people living along its banks will not be broken easily.

    A commitment

  • For 16-year-old Olivia Urbalejo, prom was a chance to experience the quintessential high-school thrills of fancy clothes, fast friends and memorable times.

    “I always have a fun time at stuff like this,” said Olivia, who joined 60 other campers and 30 volunteers as they listened to live music outdoors before the annual prom at Easter Seals Rocky Mountain Village.

  • The Countess Magri was the most famous person ever to stay at the Hotel de Paris in Georgetown.
    The countess, probably better known as the former Mrs. General Tom Thumb, appears to have been the most famous person to sign the guestbook in 1893, anyway. Before she married Count Magri, an Italian, the countess was well known in popular American culture. She and her husband were internationally known through the marketing and promotion efforts of circus master P.T. Barnum.

  • If a dog is barking or a horse goes on the lam, folks call Jeromie Morgan, one of two animal control officers in Clear Creek County.

    In fact, Morgan spends quite a bit of his work time looking for pet owners. If a dog is running loose, animal control officers will respond right away and try to find the owner, Morgan said. If a dog is barking, he also follows up with the owner, who oftentimes professes ignorance.

    “Those are the easy ones. (Owners say they) aren’t aware that the dogs are barking when they’re not home,” Morgan said.

  • The Silver Queen will be awash in steel and chrome on Saturday, Sept. 13, as up to 70 vintage road-rockets roar back into Georgetown for the second annual Hot Rod Hill Climb.

    “These aren’t sports cars,” says Mike Nicholas, chief wrench at Nick’s Garage in Englewood and the man who kicked the Hill Climb back into high gear last summer. “These are the drag cars of the early ‘50s running four-bangers, flathead-8s and early in-line motors.”

  • For 16-year-old Olivia Urbalejo, prom was a chance to experience the quintessential dance-night thrills of fancy clothes, fast friends and memorable times. 

    "I always have a fun time at stuff like this," said Olivia, who joined 60 other campers and 30 volunteers as they listened to live music outdoors before the annual prom at Easter Seals Rocky Mountain Village.

  • At first glance, it didn’t appear Jack the burro would be very speedy.
    Looking a little gaunt in the chest, and with his unkempt, shaggy facial hair, Jack looked perfectly comfortable trimming the lush grass at Courtney-Riley-Cooper Park in Idaho Springs during Sunday’s burro races at Tommy Knockers Mining Days.

  • Many people pass through Idaho Springs on their way to somewhere else, but few do it on foot — and even fewer are in the midst of a stroll across the country in both directions.
    Armand Young, 53, is making the walk while hefting a 63-pound pole draped with American flags, all in the name of kindness.

  • By Dawn Janov

  • For the first time in nearly 80 years, children and their families walked into the old Georgetown School House on the Fourth of July.

    Derelict for many years, the giant brick building was open to visitors to celebrate the new Georgetown Heritage Center, an educational and cultural arts center expected to open officially in 2015. People walked down unfinished hallways and went in and out of the schoolrooms last used in 1938.

    The Georgetown Trust for Conservation and Preservation hopes the 140-year-old building will once again become a place of learning.

  • Georgetown has brought its historical territorial charter into the 21st century.

    The document, which governs how the town board operates, has been updated to designate the powers of the mayor (police judge) and town administrator and let the board appoint replacements for selectmen who step down rather than hold an election. 

    The changes also include rolling the document’s amendments into the charter to make a more streamlined governing document. The provision that the town board must inspect food and whiskey barrels also was eliminated.

  • Thanks to all of you who came to the 28th annual  Empire Frog Rodeo!

    For those who have never attended, it’s a chance for kids to have an experience with frogs that wouldn’t normally happen in the mountains. It’s where you can race a frog with a squirt bottle and hope for the best jumper.  It’s just for fun and to give people a chance to check out the small-town charm of Empire.

  • A clear front-runner emerged from the pandemonium of flailing limbs and airborne amphibians at the annual Empire Frog Rodeo.

    With a casual disregard of gravity, 13-year-old Reno Miller’s frog effortlessly bounded away from the pack. Spending more time sailing through the air than on the ground, the frog helped Reno win the first event of the 28th annual Empire Frog Rodeo.

    “Inject him with a triple shot of espresso,” Reno gave as his secret to success.

  • The jagged cliffs around the mining train look steep and menacing — despite being only a foot high and made of painted tinfoil.

    The cliffs, train, tracks and more are part of a new museum display being constructed by the Historical Society of Idaho Springs.

    City council member Bob Bowland, who is one of the exhibit’s volunteer builders, said the train, when finished, will move back and forth on its track when visitors approach.

  • Boy Scout Troop 1876 proved that Friday the 13th was anything but bad luck for Idaho Springs.

    The Arvada troop spent two days working to refurbish and repaint the town’s dilapidated World War II monument in front of the Idaho Springs Library.

    On Friday, a handful of Scouts climbed over and around the monument, sanding and stripping off the ancient and chipped paint to make way for a new coat.

    Mayor Michael Hillman dropped by to talk with the Scouts and thank them for their efforts.

  • Editor’s note: This is the first installment of a three-part series examining the past, present and future of Clear Creek.

    Like a line from a great pickax drawn through rock and stone, Clear Creek rumbles down the center of the county, cutting through the mountains to the plains.

    Starting at Loveland Pass northwest of Grays Peak, the creek travels 66 miles before joining the South Platte River, which in turn joins the Platte River, the Missouri River, and the mighty Mississippi, finally flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Opposition is growing to investors' plans to prospect for gold and silver in the currently closed Capital Prize Mine.

    Georgetown’s Board of Selectmen has declined to write a letter of support for a proposed $117,500 economic development grant to upgrade the mine's infrastructure, said Selectman Lynette Kelsey. The board discussed the matter at a meeting on May 27.

  • Residents with fireplace ashes to throw away need to know the proper way to dispose of them.

    A seven-minute video made by first- through third-grade students at the Montessori School of Evergreen offers some tips.

    Put ashes in metal buckets — not plastic buckets or paper bags — and cover them with water, according to information in the video. Don’t dump ashes on the ground outside if there’s any chance they could smolder and start a fire, the video instructs. 

  • More than 100 people gathered Monday to remember those who died while serving their country during the annual Memorial Day ceremony on 16th Street in Idaho Springs.

    Under a clear sky, the wind gently blew flags along Miner Street as veterans, students and others addressed the largest Memorial Day crowd in recent years.

    The event included patriotic music from the Original Cow Boy Band and an honor guard of students from Rite of Passage.

  • Editor’s note: On Memorial Day we remember the men and women who died serving our country. This article recalls Idaho Springs resident Warren Frye, who died during World War II while fighting in Holland against the Nazis. 

    Warren Hill Frye’s name is found in white letters on the worn World War II memorial overlooking Miner Street in Idaho Springs.