Reprints: 1919 — Early Lafayette residents included George Bermont, Mike O’Day and William Barrowman

George E. Bermont, engaged in merchandising at Lafayette, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1866, a son of George and Clara (Gilbert) Bermont, who were likewise natives of the Keystone state. The father there passed away, but the mother is still living. They reared a family of six children and all yet survive.

George E. Bermont spent his youthful days in his native state and is indebted to its public school system for his educational privileges. He continued there until about seventeen years of age, when he removed westward to Carroll county, Illinois, where he resided for four years, during which period he was employed as a farm hand.

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Reprints: 1913 – A brief History of the Northern Coal Field in Boulder and Weld Counties, Colorado

SINCE the inauguration of the present strike in the coal mines of Northern Colorado, now in progress three years?, we have heard and read, from time to time, the harangues of professional agitators (and others) portraying the tyranny of the rich coal barons who have waxed fat at the crib of corporate greed in the north, and so persistent has such bitter criticism and false representation been herald abroad, that seemingly, the general public has accepted the same to be more-or-less true. But, to nurse the belief that coal operators in the Northern Coal District have made money, is far from the true facts, as the following brief review of thirty years history of the lignite coal industry and the numerous business failures of those engaged therein, will show.

In 1880 lignite coal for local and winter markets was mined in Boulder County at Marshall, Langford and Louisville; and in Weld County at Erie and in its vicinity. The more prominent producing mines in the early eighties were the Welch Mines at Louisville; Fox and Patterson Mine at Marshall, and the Boulder Valley, Northrup and Mitchell Collieries at Erie.

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1860: Colorado came close to be named “Lafayette”

When the question of territorial organization came up in the United States Senate the name “Jefferson” was promptly turned down. The list of proposed names included “Tampa,” “Idaho,” which was the name first accepted, “Nemara,” “San Juan,” “Lula,” “Arapahoe,” “Weappollao,” “Tahosa,” “Lafayette,” “Columbus,” “Franklin” and “Colona.” When the bill was about to pass, the name “Colorado” was ordered substituted for that of “Idaho.” On February 28, 1861, President Buchanan signed the bill creating the Territory of Colorado.

The name “Colorado” is the past participle of the Spanish verb “Colorar,” “to color,” with a secondary meaning of “ruddy” or “blushing;” and was originally applied by the Spaniards to the Colorado river, whose water is red in hue when swollen by the heavy rains from the disintegration of the reddish soils through which it flows.

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The 1927 Columbine Mine Massacre: Trouble in Serene

A 1921 panorama of the Columbine Mine call camp at Serene, located five miles northeast of Lafayette, Colo. Photo courtesy the Lafayette Public Library.

THEY’VE torn down Serene. During 1972 and 1973 the remaining buildings were systematically torn down for salvage. Serene joined the hundreds of other Colorado ghost towns that are only memories.

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