This week in history: Snow slide kills Montezuma Miner |

This week in history: Snow slide kills Montezuma Miner

Compiled by Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
This week in history
One-time use only -Courtesy of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, Dr. Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Archives, from the Agnes Miner Collection donated by the Colorado Springs Ghost Town Club [BHA.2015.1.8]
Courtesy of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, Dr. Sandra F. Pritchard Mather Archives, from the Agnes Miner Collection donated by the Colorado Springs Ghost Town Club [BHA.2015.1.8] |

This week in history as reported by the Summit County Journal 100 years ago, the week of March 6 through March 12.

August Ostburg, aged 45, died early Tuesday morning at the Snow Baskin mine, at the foot of Argentine pass, five miles above Montezuma, as a result of injuries received in a snow slide Monday morning.

The slide crashed down the mountain at 3 o’clock, completely demolishing the bunk house and barn. Ostburg and Ed Larson, miners employed by the Shoe Basin company, were asleep in the bunk house at the time.

Larson was uninjured and managed to dig himself from the debris. He found his way to the transformer house, where he wrapped himself in such pieces of clothing as he could find, and hurried to Montezuma for help. Rescuers hastened to the scene and worked for nine hours in liberating Ostburg, who was pinned beneath the wrecked building in his bed. When taken out he was apparently uninjured except for minor bruises. He lost consciousness at no time and suffered no pain; it was believed that he would be on his feet in a day or two.

His death, occurring 14 hours later, was unexpected and due to internal injuries, which were not manifested in any way.

The body was placed on a hand-sled and take to the Dillon road, where a team was waiting. Several hours were required to reach Dillon, because of huge snow drifts. At Dillon, the body was taken in charge by Undertaker Owens, who prepared it for shipment to Georgetown, the home of Ostburg, where he is survived by a widow and six children.

The slide occurred in an entirely new place, previous slides having taken place on either side of the present one. It came a distance of half a mile and was 500 feet wide. It carried before it huge boulders and a mass of timber and that both Ostburg and Lawson were not killed outright is considered remarkable.

Activity among Kokomo Mines

Mining activity at Kokomo is more pronounced than at any similar period for many years. Several cars of lead and zinc ore are being shipped from the camp, and it is believed that important developments will take place this summer.

While several properties are contributing on a small scale to the camp’s output, the largest shipments are being made from the Colonel Sellers property, a short distance from town, which is being worked under lease. Much work has been done in the past few months, and preparations are being made for development of an increased scale, made possible by the advent of Leadville capital into the project. Much ore is said to be in evidence, and when work is commenced on the scale contemplated, production will be considerably increased.

Pete Breene is making arrangements for developments of the Utah property and recently began work in opening up the old tunnel of that mine, which, it is said, contains large quantities of zinc ore of a good grade. It is believed that Breene will soon place it among the shippers and that the output will become one of much importance as work progresses.

Several leasers are working other properties. Many have ore and all have excellent prospects for mine making.

Germans sink two British ships

London — The British steamship Masunda has been sunk. All the members of the crew were saved. Lloyd’s reports that the British steamer Rothesay has been sunk. Her crew was saved. The Rothesay was a vessel of 2,007 tons. Her home port was Cardiff.

Fierce storms cause minimal delays

Storms — raging ones, too — piled deep on the C. & S. tracks between Breckenridge and Leadville and between here and Como. However, there were only two days during which trains and mail failed to arrive. The rotary was placed in commission Tuesday and broke the way through to Leadville. It’s return to this place inspired amateur photographers to meet it as the depot where it “posed” for several pictures. Excellent success attended the opening of the road, despite the huge drifts, which in former years would have caused traffic suspension for many days.

The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance is a nonprofit founded to promote and protect Breckenridge’s unique heritage. The organization offers year-round guided tours and hikes. Go to or call 970-453-9767.

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