The Caboose

by Forrest Whitman Ed Quillen Catches the Westbound Back in my brakeman days we’d say: “He caught the westbound.” That feels right for Ed, because he was a rail guy. Of course he was many other things which will be written about in this issue of Colorado Central. We’ll remember him especially as a loving, […]

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My Father is Joyful

By Abby Quillen My father named me Abigail, which means, “My father is joyful.” “You were supposed to arrive for your mom’s birthday,” he’d often tell me. “Instead you waited for mine.” I was born ten days before my dad turned 27. Growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s, many of my friends had divorced […]

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Americans Don’t Need To Be Repaired

by Martha Quillen I turned 62 in early October, and was promptly assaulted by symptoms of old age. A few days after my birthday, I woke up feeling so stiff I could barely make it down the stairs; my back ached, my muscles cramped, and my joints rebelled. I suspect it was merely the onset […]

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Dance Hall Days

In Smeltertown, the historical epicenter of partying, dancing, eating and socializing is one particular building. Located at 7595 CR 150, it’s currently serving as a tango dance studio and private residence. Before that it went through more than 80 years as a buzzing hub for the town and the region serving as a restaurant, nightclub, […]

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Nature’s Resurgence

Back in 2007, Salidans Merry Cox and her husband Erik Hvoslef were seeking rural property close to town. Merry was hoping to find several things: a new home, land that had studio space where she could create artwork, and vacant property where she could grow “a perennial food forest.” What they found was 1.5 acres […]

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Growing Up in Smeltertown

Rich Shine was born and raised in Smeltertown. His father, John Shine Sr., and his wife Doris were deeded 25 acres of farmland in Smeltertown, near CR150 and Colo. 291 in 1936 by his father, Frank Shine Sr. and his wife Frances, both immigrants from Austria. Frank Sr. worked the mines in the region and […]

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Smeltertown

Just north of Salida, above the banks of the Arkansas River sits a small community with one foot steeped in the past and another stepping firmly into the future. The town of Kortz, named for J.C. Kortz, then president of the Ohio and Colorado Mining and Smelting Company, was established around 1902 to house the […]

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Standing Tall: A Monument to Environmental Protection

By Ed Quillen Editor’s note: Back in April we asked Ed Q. if he’d like to write about the smokestacks, knowing his particular interest in Salida history, especially its sooty, grimy, industrial history. We regret his passing before it finally went to print. As the saying goes, “The solution to pollution is dilution,” and that’s […]

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Walking in the Bleak September

  by Martha Quillen A friend and I spent a Wednesday in mid-September hiking near Tincup. It was an Edgar Allen Poe sort of day – gloomy, gray and melancholy: “Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the bleak December.” Except, of course, it was September. On that rainy, cold September day, the brush was […]

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We’ve Got Issues!

Last month Colorado Central ran a reader’s survey and I wanted to thank everyone who responded. We’ll be compiling the data and selecting the winners of our prizes right after the end of September. It did occur to me that we left off an important question, one that speaks to our coverage of the region, […]

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Waste Not, Want Not

By John Mattingly I heard recently on the radio that U.S. consumers waste about 40% of the food they purchase from restaurants, supermarkets, and box stores. At first I wondered how this statistic was gathered. There must be a lot of dedicated “garbologists” out there, running various waste proxies and decomposition algorithms on their laptops. […]

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About the Cover Photo

Robert Martin Stein was seven years old when this photograph of him was taken in 1919 in front of the 365-foot tall brick smokestack near Salida, built for the long-since defunct Ohio and Colorado Smelting and Refining Company. Robert is wearing his first suit, which happened to be homemade, and is posing in front of […]

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Regional News Roundup

Sheriffs’ Deputies win Case LEADVILLE – Nine current and former Lake County sheriff’s deputies won a pay-dispute lawsuit brought against the county totalling $33,030. The suit claimed the defendants – the sheriff’s office – the county clerk and the county commissioners, violated federal law by failing to pay wages due and violated the deputies’ constitutional […]

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Down on the Ground with the Good Things in Bad Climate

By George Sibley We continue to slog through the ordained stations on the way to the selection of our American Idol for the next four years. We’ve done the primaries – and it is hard to imagine a more entertaining cast of characters than the raft of Republicans who played out that version of the […]

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A Run to Remember

By Hal Walter Over the years, running has been the vehicle for some amazing experiences. Some of them I’ll never forget, like running the Boston Marathon or facing down a mountain lion during a trail run, finishing fifth in the 5-day 100-mile Kokopelli Supermarathon, stepping on a rattlesnake, and thousands of other experiences I’d have […]

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