Todd: Reflection and remembrance
One hundred years ago this week, in Ouray County, life was not so different than today. On Nov. 21, 1913, mining dominated the headlines in the Ouray Herald. The Camp Bird Mine released its annual report, which disclosed net earnings of $270,042 on a gross of $679,693 revenues.
The Revenue mine, it was announced, was under new lease by J. E. Lyon of Denver. He hoped to have up to 15 men working the mine within weeks, provided his power supply was reliable.
David Foerster, of the zinc mill, announced he was closing his mill for a few weeks to make needed improvements. Manual labor reductions would increase productivity with the upgrades to be made.
And, the first meeting of the San Juan Mining Bureau was held that week in Silverton. B. H. Du Prau of Ouray was elected president and began the process of adopting by-laws and a constitution.
In Ridgway, the Women of Woodcraft, Chipeta Circle, elected officers for the coming year, then enjoyed a delicious lunch.
Rancher G. H. Lewis advertised wanting horses to feed; $4 per month. All the hay they can eat.
The Cabinet liquor store, Ouray Mineral Hot Springs, The Office Saloon and the City Steam Laundry all ran ads touting their services. Several of them had phone numbers such as "Red 1564" or "Ouray 17."
The Mentone Hotel, which stood at the corner of Clinton and Cora streets in Ridgway, advertised itself as the "headquarters for commercial men and automobile parties."
The Beaumont Hotel in Ouray escaped a near-miss when the Strout Building, which adjoined the Beaumont, went ablaze when a fire in its kitchen spread through the upper floor. The fire was put out by the Ouray Hose company, No. 1.
Sunday services were set at St. Patrick's Church, with alternating services in Ouray, Ridgway and Colona, Presbyterian Church and St. John's Church.
Everything you would think from a mining and ranching county in southwest Colorado was in the paper that week, except there was no mention of Thanksgiving.
Perhaps publisher and proprietor of the Herald, Ernest C. Bacon, just missed the holiday? Maybe he was partial to turkeys? We'll never know.
But 100 years later, we're going to give Mr. Bacon, our direct newspaper ancestor, a reprieve, and say "Happy Thanksgiving" in abstentia for him.
To do so, we'll jump back 35 years prior, to William and Henry Ripley's The Ouray Times, another of our Plaindealer ancestors. The Ripleys printed President Rutherford B. Hayes' Thanksgiving proclamation, stating that Americans should "make devout and public confession of their constant dependence upon Divine favor for all the good gifts of life and happiness."
In light of recent tragic events in our area, we agree that having a day for reflection, remembrance and being thankful for what we have is a blessing indeed.
Alan Todd is co-publisher of the Ouray County Plaindealer. He can be reached at 970-325-2838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.