Quarquicentennials: 125th birthdays
Brief by Central Staff
Local History – March 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine
Several area institutions are turning 125 this year: Salida, its Mountain Mail newspaper, the Chaffee County Times in Buena Vista, the Saguache Crescent, and the town of Poncha Springs.
Salida celebrated its centennial in 1980 with many events, starting with New Year’s Eve fireworks from Tenderfoot Hill, but if any municipal festivities have been announced for this year, we’ve missed them.
The Mountain Mail, whose first edition appeared on June 5, 1880, published a centennial book, 100 Years in the Heart of the Rockies, in 1980. And on June 5, 2005, the newspaper plans to issue a special publication to celebrate 125 years.
It has outlasted several area enterprises that were older, such as the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad; Colorado Fuel & Iron; Bateman Hardware (advertised in the first Mail, and still in business as Patterson Hardware in 1980); and the Jackson Hotel (still standing in Poncha Springs, but not currently operating).
The exact birthday of the Chaffee County Times could be a matter of contention, since various authorities offer Feb. 6, March 16, or March 18, 1880. The paper is celebrating with a special edition and an open house on Friday, March 18.
Without any fanfare, the Saguache Crescent began its 126th year of publication in January. It is the last paper in Colorado printed the old-fashioned way, with Linotype slugs and hand-set type on a sheet-fed press. The printer of 1880, if brought back to life, could walk in there and go right to work — the rest of us use these new-fangled computers.
Poncha Springs plans to celebrate this year. The date isn’t firm yet — Aug. 6 is the leading contender — for a barbecue and dance in Chipeta Park, and a formal ball is scheduled at the county fairgrounds for Dec. 10.
Poncha’s 125th Anniversary Committee is looking for a logo, which “will be featured on the town’s letterhead, T-shirts, a special cancellation stamp at the post office, pins, and basically anything else we can think of.”
If you want to submit a logo, the deadline is March 15, and you can drop it off at the town hall or mail it to P.O. Box 190, Poncha Springs CO 81242.
Poncha’s calling this a Quar qui centennial. That’s a mouthful, but it fills the need for a word to describe what comes between centennial and sesquicentennial — the 125th anniversary.
Dictionaries and other references may not list it, but it is a logical construction. Start with centennial, which comes from the Latin words centum, one hundred, and the adjectival form of annum, which means year. With sesquicentennial, the prefix is a contraction of two Latin words, semis, which means half, and que, which means and.
Thus sesquicentennial is a way to say “half and a hundred years,” and by analogy, quarquicentennial for “quarter and a hundred years.” So, happy quarquicentennial to Poncha, Salida, the Times, the Crescent, and the Mail.
We also note that Colorado Central turns 11 with this edition; our first edition was dated March, 1994. No festivities are planned.
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