File Fact: File Fact: Oct. 10, 1877, Charles Sharmon laid out San Miguel City about a mile and a half west of present Telluride.


From The Telluride Times, Oct. 24, 1969

Remarkable engineering project nears completion

A one-man engineering feat of remarkable proportions has just been completed by George Kovich, long-time Telluride resident.

Kovich is the owner of the venerable Belmont building, built in 1892 by Josiah Williams. The edifice, located on South Spruce Street, was located in part on property belonging to Telluride’s Masonic Lodge.

When it became necessary to move the structure from the Masons’ property, Kovich proceeded to saw the frame building in half and move it section by section, onto property owned by him behind the old San Juan Hotel. The property was purchased by Sam Alsop in 1893 and sold by him to the Masonic Temple in 1895.

Many well-known Telluride residents lived at the Belmont at one time or another. Mr. and Mrs. Barney Gabardi lived there when they first moved to Telluride [owners of The Senate]. It was occupied by the Joe Telk family at the time of the flood in 1914, and later by the Andreatta family.

Fred Cassagrande purchased the building from the Masons in 1925 and lived there with his two daughters until his death in 1941, after which Mrs. Louis Tecini took it over and continued to run it as a boarding house. John Petrie [not to be confused with the artist John Petrie, who lived in Telluride in the 1970s] later bought the building and sold it to George Kovich in 1954.

[Note: The Belmont Liquor store sat at this location up until Telluride Liquors acquired the business and then it moved across the street. The retail shop Down To Earth then occupied the space. There is a well-recognized photo of George Kovich with Lee Zeller taken at the Roma Bar in the 1980s].


From The Telluride Times, Oct. 4, 1974

Highlights of the Week

The Telluride Chamber of Commerce budgeted $5,000 for a bootstrap marketing program. Led by chamber president John Micetic, local volunteers Monica Gardner, Annie Bartholemy, Larry Hopkins, Sky Walters and Michael Brown will work this year’s major ski shows. Terri and Bean were getting married. George Faulkner was hired as assistant marketing director. Cheryl Ann Wilson took out a trade name affidavit as Crazy Shirley’s.



From The Telluride Times, Oct. 4, 1979

National Trust buys cribs

The world’s “oldest profession” took on a new air of respectability with the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s formal purchase of Telluride’s old Silver Bell Saloon and its four nearby “cribs.”

In a Sept. 28 announcement, the National Trust said some $80,940 from its $2 million Endangered Properties Fund was used to purchase the early day “Red Light District” buildings. The buildings will be resold “with legal restrictions that will insure their future preservation,” officials of the private-nonprofit trust said.

Plans call for both the Silver Bell and the cribs to be rehabilitated as low-cost housing. The Town of Telluride will purchase the saloon, while the present “crib” tenants are the intended purchasers of the four, tiny structures.

All five buildings are part of Telluride’s Historic District — a designated National Historic Landmark which is “the nation’s highest designation for cultural property,” the Trust notes.


From the Telluride Weekly Planet, Oct. 1, 1999

‘Big Jon’ Eaton in close call with snake

“Big Jon” Eaton, the long-time production manager for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, had a close call with a snake recently.

Big Jon was on a hunting trip in Lisco, Neb. when he was bitten on his big toe by a foot-long rattlesnake while in his hunting cabin looking for a leak. Eaton almost immediately began to feel an all-over tingling sensation and called out for help.

His hunting partner, Mike Whipp, hauled Eaton to town while Eaton lapsed into unconsciousness. An out-of-state EMT was in a local restaurant, went to his aid and an ambulance was called, which the EMT drove to meet half way. Eaton was given three shots of anti-venom and flown by helicopter ambulance to another hospital where he received more anti-venom — 20 injections in all.

Meanwhile, Craig Ferguson, Bluegrass Festival producer and Eaton’s cousin, arrived a day early to the cabin and found it empty, but the lights on. Ferguson discovered the leaking faucet, and while on his way to the sink, apparently the same rattler struck, but missed Ferguson, who quickly killed the snake

Bobbie can be contacted at Comments are welcome.