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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Reprints: 1964 – Lafayette’s new school brings back old memories

The second Baseline School built in 1904 at Baseline and Iowa. Photo from the Lafayette Public Library.

The opening of the new grade school (Lafayette Elementary on Bermont Avenue) today, February 24, brings back memories of the opening of the new school or should I say old grade school on an October day in 1904.

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Reprints: Biographical sketch of Thomas Miller, Lafayette’s first mayor

THOMAS J. MILLER, who was the first mayor of the now thriving little city of Lafayette, Boulder County, is a native of this county, and from his earliest recollections has been earnestly interested in its upbuilding and development. He occupied the office of mayor for two successive terms, giving general satisfaction to the citizens, and later he served in the capacity of justice of the peace for four years.

He is identified with Lignite Lodge No. 64, Knights of Pythias, and is past chancellor of the lodge. In his political proclivities he is a Democrat, strongly in favor of free silver.

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Reprints: Biographical sketch of Lafayette Miller

LAFAYETTE MILLER, in whose honor the village of Lafayette, Boulder County, was named, and who, from 1863 until his death, was a resident of this section, was born in Toulon, Stark County, Ill., March 18, 1840, the son of John and Mary A. (Able) Miller. He was one of eleven children, six of whom are still living. His father, who was a native of Rockaway County, N. J., born October 8, 1800, acquired in youth an accurate knowledge of both law and medicine, and engaged in professional practice in Cincinnati, Ohio, for some years. In 1836 he removed to Stark County, Ill., and from there, in 1852, went to Iowa, settling near Independence, Buchanan County. His death occurred in Johnson County, that state, May 13, 1884.

On the organization of Stark County, Ill., John Miller donated fifty acres of his farm as a site for a town, and upon that land the village of Toulon was built. For eight successive years he held office as judge of the county or the probate court. He also served as magistrate for the organization of the county until his removal to Iowa. The latter part of his life was devoted to farming and stock-raising.

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Reprints: $1,150,000 Contract Let for Installing Plant in Lafayette

That the Northern Colorado Power Company is a certainty, there can be no question of, as they have paid $750,000 in acquiring of plants, franchises and other property. The central station, from the present attitude of the Company, is to be located east of Lafayette in the vicinity of the Blue Ribbon Mine. The only thing that will prevent the location is the failure to find coal on the Elder property, which however, there can be no doubt about, if the opinion of the coal experts is correct.

Should the Elder property and the Blue Ribbon properties not be used for this undertaking, in all probability the location will be on what is known as the Hultz farm. The plant or central station alone was originally figured to cost $486,150, but owing to the fact that the power will be used in addition to its original calculations for power purposes in operating railroads, both passenger and freight, will probably increase the cost another $150,000.

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