Newspaper reports of turn-of-the-century subsidence events are sparse, but the lawsuit surrounding subsidence at the Abner C. Goodhue building (also known as the Bermont building) was well reported.
In the summer of 1902, a sinkhole next to the A.C. Goodhue building at 311 E. Simpson Street (Block E, Lot 12) was reported “filled up and leveled” in the Lafayette News, which “contributed to the improvement and appearance of the street.”
The building was built for $8,000 in 1892 by W.O. Van Etten for George B. Cannon, but was purchased by Abner C. Goodhue in 1893 and housed the Cannon & Bermont general store followed by the George E. Bermont Dry Goods and Groceries store. W.D. Cannon, brother of George Cannon and James Cannon Jr., was Bermont’s early partner.
Goodhue initiated a lawsuit against Northern Coal and Coke Company, owner of the Simpson mine, in 1903. Goodhue claimed that undermining had caused the damage. He asked for damages of $19,000.
Photos taken for the jury trial in 1903 by Boulder photographer J.B. Sturtevant show the second story on the south side of the brick building leaning a few degrees toward the street.
In December 1903, a Boulder jury agreed with the subsidence claim and awarded Goodhue $3,650.
The (leaning) second floor of the A.C. Goodhue building was not removed until the 1940s. The building later housed a grocery store and was torn down about 1999.
Sources: Lafayette News, 1902 and 1903; Daily Camera, Sept. 1, 1892; “Reference List of Buildings in Lafayette, Colorado” by Anne Cramer, 1980 (updated and kept current by the Lafayette Historical Society).