With 2013 almost done, it’s good to look back before we look forward to a new year. Let’s look way back, to 1913.
One of the highlights of 1913 for Eagle was the discovery of silver ore of shipping quality on Horse Mountain and the Salt Creek drainage. By the end of December of 1913, the Lady Belle strike had encouraged multiple other entities to prospect including the Eagle Mining and Leasing Co, the Eagle King Group, the Borah Brothers, the Stumbo-Rambler group, and W. J. H. Miller and associates, among others. The enthusiasm of these prospectors stirred the imaginations of all wishing to strike it rich. Yeoman became its own little town and the inhabitants “…are agitating the matter of extending the Salt Creek road from Elbow Park to Fulford via the government trail. … It will be nearer from Fulford to Eagle by three miles than the Brush Creek route, so it is figured that the people of the gold camp on Noland Creek will become loud and lusty boosters for the proposition.” – Eagle Valley Enterprise Jan. 2, 1914
The economy was booming and the businesses in Eagle were supporting the prospectors for all their needs. Those providing meat and merchandise did well and those supporting the agricultural industry did well as a result.
The Christmas season saw ads for all sorts of gifts…chocolates, cigars, silverware, gramophone records, and the Western Slope Cook Book. Published in 1912, it was available at the Enterprise office for fifty cents. It was compiled and published by the Ladies of the Gypsum Methodist Episcopal Church in Gypsum, Colorado, and was a “Souvenir commemorating the building of the Gypsum M. E. Church.” We have one in our collection and here it is:
There were also ads for new spring fashions with the encouragement to “find odd and attractive dress materials before they are all bought up by the dressmaking establishments.” – Eagle Valley Enterprise Dec. 26, 1913 This “frock of white French linen with embroidery” promised to be smart and youthful in the upcoming spring season.
1913 seems a long time ago, an era of optimism and growth for Eagle County. The eventual failure of mining in Brush Creek and the rumblings of political discontent in Europe leading to World War I were not yet clouds on the horizon of 1914. I leave you with an exhortation from J. W. Hugus & Company which had opened a mercantile outlet in Eagle in 1912: “…Bury the past. Rise above the mean and petty resentments which you may have harbored against those who have not used you well. Be generous? Get ready to move ambition.”
Best wishes for 2014!