• Editor’s note: The Clear Creek Courant is celebrating its 40th anniversary of serving the residents of Clear Creek County. This year, the Courant will reprint portions of past articles from its four decades and will publish a series of stories about former employees. While the faces and names have changed over the years, the Courant still believes in producing reliable and award-winning content. See next week’s interview with Courant co-founder Carol Wilcox.


    From Jan. 11, 1974

  • Twelve little girls in a line, decked out in a variety of pink outfits, ran in slow motion to the synthesizer-heavy soundtrack of Vangelis’ “Chariots of Fire.”

    A handful of moms chuckled at the spectacle from the hallway of the Georgetown Community Center on Feb. 6 during the rec-district-hosted “Youth Dance with Nuria” class.

    Nuria Leighton, dance teacher and county resident, led the procession of hilarity. Moments before, the girls were dancing to the theme song from “Hawaii Five-0.”

  • Winter is now deeply entrenched in spite of some exceptionally warm days and spring-like temperatures. We still need snow, but selfishly, I am pleased not to have it.

    We need the moisture right now for we had a long, dry summer. However, we will need rain badly by the time spring and more tourists return to the mountains because the large amount of dry grass will present a wildfire problem this spring.

  • As I predicted a few weeks ago, this has become a redpoll winter. Over this past weekend, at least four different reports were on the Denver Field Ornithologists Rare Bird Alert.

    Besides these, I have had several calls from people who think they may have had some at their feeders and one from Sandra who sent two good photographs of redpolls at her feeder. You could clearly see the black around the base of the bill, and one photo caught the tip of the white wing bar.

  •  What would we do to put a bit of color into the winter season if it weren’t for the willows?

    Willows line our streams with lush green growth all summer, much of which turns yellow in the fall to join the brilliant golden display of the aspen. These old leaves eventually wither and fall, leaving just the woody skeleton of the willows. 

    This is where the winter color of willows appears, and as spring approaches, the sap begins to move upward to the tips of the branches, and he color intensifies.

  • Hulking uncomfortably in an aisle of hair curlers and makeup supplies, I repeated myself to the beauty-store clerk as she stared up at me.

    “Mustache wax,” I said. Then, after a delicate moment, I pantomimed a 19th-century gentleman with a bemused eyebrow quirk, as he straightened his long mustache ends. “It’s for a — costume party.”

  •  When I go down Little Cub Creek Road, I always look for a small cluster of Gambel’s oak, which grows on a scruffy southwest-facing slope just south of Mountain Park Road. It is a clump of small trees. Although they have single trunks and are tree shaped, they are little more than shrubs. 

  • Editor’s note: This is the first of two installments on local residents caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease.

    By Stephen Knapp

    For the Courant

    One sunny morning in 2008, longtime Evergreen residents Bob and Jean Jacobus were running some errands about town when they happened to pass an unlucky motorist wrestling with his spare tire in the breakdown lane.

    “Look at that guy changing his tree,” Bob remarked.

  •  It has been a sunny day but considerably colder than it has been. I assume that means the cold front is moving in and temperatures will be more what we normally expect in December.

    It has also clouded up and that may mean we are going to receive a bit of snow that the weather forecasters have been promising.

  • Braving the cold wind on the 23rd Street bridge above Clear Creek, more than 20 people gathered in Idaho Springs on Dec. 7 to remember the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

    For those who organized the event and spoke, paying tribute to the great generation that answered a call to fight was important no matter how many attended, or how long ago it was or how far.

    The Pearl Harbor attack by the Japanese spurred the United States to enter World War II.

  • By Stephen Knapp

    For the Courant

    Just when you thought the good folks of Idaho Springs couldn’t do Christmas any better, they did it better.

    Last Saturday’s merry menu of festive fetes was a triumph of yuletide unity, knitting together the city’s several separate seasonal celebrations into a single seamless Christmas sweater big enough to warm every heart in town.

  •  Crowds huddled together under a brilliant moon and enjoyed the sounds of children singing holiday songs and the unseasonably warm weather on Nov. 24 as Georgetown officially kicked off its holiday season with the annual tree-lighting celebration. 

    Live music and the smell of wood burning from a bonfire filled the air as crowds mingled between Rose and Sixth streets. The event was hosted by the Georgetown Parks and Recreation Commission, and local restaurants provided free hot chocolate and apple cider.

  •  Thanksgiving has come and gone, and winter will soon begin to settle in. It is not bitter cold today but colder than forecast. This is no doubt due to a high overcast, which appears to be much thicker than expected.

    With no sun breaking through, we have not warmed up as much as the weather forecast had expected. Christmas is still a month away, but if you have listened to your television programs, they are selling it like it was tomorrow.

  • At the height of the Gold Rush, 1,600 mines were developed in Clear Creek County, and the now-abandoned mines severely damaged the local watershed over the next 150 years.

    In the 1990s, the watershed was in desperate need of an ally and found it in the Clear Creek Watershed Foundation and its unpaid president, Ed Rapp.

    Over the years, Rapp and the watershed foundation have completed countless mine remediation and rehabilitation projects, including the Doctor, Dibbens, Minnesota, Sydney and McClellan mines.

  • By Sandy Barnes

    Staff Writer

    Even though he no longer lives in Brookvale, Paul Fiorino is fascinated with the community and its history. 

    “Everything I do now is Brookvale-related,” said Fiorino.

    Nestled in a picturesque corner of Clear Creek County where Bear and Yankee creeks converge, Brookvale was once a thriving resort that attracted visitors from afar. 

    The 19th-century hotel in Brookvale was known as Sisty’s, named after the man who founded the town.

  • Outfitted in a medley of the macabre, Georgetown Community School students wound their way down the center of town from the school to the county courthouse as part of a longstanding Halloween tradition on Oct. 31.

    Tourists and business owners stopped to watch the colorful procession.

  • In seven seconds, longtime Idaho Springs resident Cindy Moore went 171 mph in her 1,000 horsepower, alcohol-injected dragster to win the Western Colorado Dragway 2012 Superquick Championship in Grand Junction on Oct. 6. 

    With the help of her crew chief and husband, Kevin, Cindy beat out 16 of the competition’s fastest cars to win the championship.

    In August, she also won The Wally trophy — the National Hotrod Association’s most coveted racing award.

  • Ignoring the frigid October wind, a group of children explored Empire’s new playground at Minton Park on Oct. 28, while town officials held a chilly ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the first improvements to the park in 20 years.

  • The first snow is always so beautiful that I am forced to admire it even though I’m not a winter person.