Gems of history: Our favorite tidbits from Summit County’s colorful past |

Gems of history: Our favorite tidbits from Summit County’s colorful past

Compiled by Breckenridge Heritage Alliance
A man sits in front of a view of the old Frisco railroad tracks.
Special to the Daily

Every week, the Summit Daily prints “This Week In History,” with stories from the Summit County Journal that were published 100 years ago to the date. This is done with the help of the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, a nonprofit founded to promote and protect Breckenridge’s unique heritage.


Breckenridge mayor heads raid on soft-drink parlor

Breckenridge has not seen as many arrests for bootlegging as the amount of inebriety witnessed since the state went dry seemed to demand. It is this fact, no doubt, that has made the illegal traffic recklessly bold — so bold that officers would have required perfect blindfolds in order to not see the offense which Tuesday noon of this week resulted in the arrest for bootlegging of Arthur Bradley, one of the operators of Bradley’s bowling alley and soft-drink establishment.

The arrest was made after the mayor of the town, the town marshal and the district attorney had, from a vantage point across the street, watched for some time an impromptu moving picture show enacted on the floor above the bowling alley. Through the small window of a closet up there, could plainly be seen two quart bottles on a shelf, and every few seconds, a hand could be seen to reach out for one or the other of them, and sometimes both bottles would be requisitioned at the same time. To whom those hands belonged could be guessed from the make-up of the string of “customers” that passed in and out through the main door of the thirst-parlor below.

The officers determined to join the procession and observe the performance at close range. Taking with them a civilian to act as an additional witness, they entered the bowling alley, followed the beaten trail around the “bar,” passed through a door facing a stairway to the upper story (not heeding instructions to the effect that they could not go upstairs), went upstairs and soon found themselves in the “lookery” that had furnished the free kaleidoscopic entertainment. Such had been the demand for the contents of the decanters that, had the officers appeared a few minutes later, they would have found them empty and the sufficiency of the evidence jeopardized.

The necessary warrant was at once obtained from the county court, and the marshal arrested Arthur Bradley, who was presiding over the establishment at the time. Mr. Bradley was wroth and demanded an immediate trial, electing to be his own attorney. The district attorney and the court proved accommodating, and the case was tried instantly. Besides the story of the officers, one of the “customers” testified to the fact that he had patronized the “lookery.”

Bradley was fined $300 and costs, and placed under bonds until the payment of the amount, which he tendered the court Friday.

An injunction was filed in the county court Friday, citing the proprietors of the bowling alley to appear in court and show cause as to why the establishment should not be closed.

Friendly snake causes consternation at depot

Railroad men are presumed to possess great dignity, calmness, suavity and aplomb, whatever that is. True to the habitual demeanor of their craft, Speed Fry and Martin Waltz usually perform their routine duties coolly and undisturbed amid the jeers of the populace, and even when bombarded with succulent bonmots by local wits, manage to retain a firm hold on their poise. But when conductor Ward of the local freight walked into their office Friday morning accompanied by a large and enthusiastic snake, Messrs. Fry and Waltz chucked dignity, deportment and business cares to the wind and grabbing their courage in one hand and their hats in the other, scampered for places of safety. Although Mr. Ward explained that the snake was of the harmless bull variety, Mr. Fry has a vague belief that there is some sort of connection between the snake and the 99 gallons of booze that arrived at this station last month.

A necklace of 77 Breckenridge nuggets on display

There has been on exhibition at the Smith Jewelry Store this week, a necklace made up of gold nuggets. It is the property of Miss Mamie Kingsbury, daughter of Col. and Mrs. Kingsbury of this place. She sent the necklace from New York City to afford Breckenridge people an opportunity of viewing it. There are 77 nuggets in the handsome design, all of which are products of Breckenridge placers and washed out by Col. Kingsbury.

Miss Kingsbury is a member of a grand opera company and has attained much success as a singer. She has traveled extensively over Europe and the string of nuggets has accompanied her. Everywhere the golden ornaments have been greatly admired, and many notable personages, among them members of the royal family, have examined them with the utmost interest.

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