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History, Berthoud, Colorado, then and now


  • When my family and I ar-rived at the Birmingham, Ala., airport on the July 4th we imme-diately noticed two things drastically dif-ferent from Colorado a serious slow-down in the pace of life and the sticky hu-midity.

    The speed of things isnt what we are used to. Speech is sluggish, move-ment is relaxed

    and even the highway speed limit is only 65 mph. Youd expect drivers to push that, but the opposite was true. Most didnt even approach the maxi-mum.

    After a 90 mile drive we reached

    our destination.In north east Alabama, in Chero-

    kee county is the city of Centre (pronounced center). Its near Wiess Lake, a large manmade chocolate milk colored body of water.

    My maternal grandparents live there in a modest home on a grass covered piece of lake-front property.

    Each year their seven children and some of my many cousins try and vis-it around Independence Day for days lled with boating, eating, jet skiing, giant-slip-and-sliding, huge reworks and other assorted adventures.

    While driving around and visiting Centre, the similarities it shares with Berthoud quickly became obvious.

    Both places have a serene, calmer way of life. Things arent as rushed. There is also a sense of community pride. Everyone seems to know and care for each other and agriculture is an important economic driver.

    Although Centre has a Wal-Mart at the end of town, the Piggly Wiggly is the place to grocery shop, similar to Berthouds Hays Market.

    Each city also has several cute, pri-vately owned retail shops. However, Centre has four different dollar stores, the kind where everything is a buck or less. Im not sure why a small town needs four, and I assume its a southern thing.

    Like Berthouds Fickel name here, there they have Pruett. An island on Weiss Lake, a gas station, restaurant and other establishments carry the locally recognized name.

    Fishing is a constant in Centre. Here we have Carter Lake and many travelers can be seen heading that way, driving west on Mountain Av-enue with their boats in tow to hope-fully catch something.

    Although the two towns share sim-ilarities, there are clear differences.

    A big one is in the attitude toward exercise and healthy eating. Colorado is ranked high on the lists of healthi-est states. Alabama is not, and it shows.

    I found myself quickly falling vic-tim to the delicious allure of deep fried everything, including cat sh and hush puppies, also the buttery tart goodness of collard greens and for some reason Little Debbie Zebra Cakes. I know they arent exclusively southern, but those things beckoned me like a seductive nymph during our stay.

    Here in Colorado we are usually offered assorted vegetarian and low calorie menu options and a large se-lection of salads, which guilt us into eating healthier. Not so much there.

    Of course after attempting to blame my overindulgence on lack of

    choice, it was time to run off the calo-ries. I headed out one morning in an effort to run a few miles.

    Bikers or joggers in Berthoud are a common occurrence; nothing about seeing them is too surprising. They have speci ed paths, back country roads or at the very least courteous drivers that share the road with them on main streets.

    But in Centre runners have no speci ed paths, very little sidewalk and drivers dont know how to react when sharing the road with some-thing other than a vehicle. Mostly they offered strange looks and their thoughts seemed to resonate with a strong southern drawl, Now whats he running from?

    After days of torrential rain, bug bites, strange rashes and discovering bizarre unidenti able creatures, as well as lots of tiring fun, packing up and returning to the Birmingham air-port was a welcomed experience.

    The south was my home all the way through high school graduation. While it was good to visit again, at the end of the day we were all ready to return home.

    Both here and there are unique, and still share many likenesses. But no matter how much they have in common, theres no other place we want to live like our Colorado home.

    To the editor:I want to publicly thank my entire

    group of sponsors: Brick Oven Pizza, Whistle Stop, Lonetree Mechanical,

    Jamie & Friends, Aslan Construction, RE/MAX Town & Country, Blondies Place, Gage Electri-cal, Da Bean, Home Town Liquor, my mom and dad, and brother Justin.

    Although I didnt win Miss Colorado Jr. Pre-Teen 2013,

    I had so much fun and I learned a lot about the pageant and about myself. I also got to meet many of the 113 other contestants. I made many new friends.

    Thank you again,

    Paige BauerBerthoud

    To the editor:A newcomers view of Berthoud - OK

    so we are not newcomers we are old timers, of sorts, who have become newcomers. I remember my rst real experience of being a newcomer in a town in Colorado. It was in 1983 and my husband and I had just purchased a new home in Louisville. The interest rate was 12.5 percent. The excitement about our new home was something we rejoiced in everyday. We would go and see our vacant lot and imagine where the trees would go, how we would add sod and decks and make it our own and imagine with great joy what our family would be like. We had found the great

    dream of home ownership in our late 20s and early 30s. Life progressed and time passed. We made other moves in Boulder County, ultimately raising our two children there.

    I grew up in the village of Proctor, Ver. It was and still is a true New Eng-land Village of 2,000 people. I go back at least once a year. I see the same beautiful and charming old homes that were there when I grew up. I remember the families who lived in the homes and I walk the solid marble slab sidewalks that I walked as a child. I al-ways go for a walk around town when I am there and although it is still the same village, a few of the faces have changed or the elderly members of the families I grew up around have passed away and the family may have sold the property to a young new family. The schools are excellent and the children in general, excel at their education because of the strong support from the community. I know in my heart, I was always wishing that at some time in my future I would nd a place like my home village in Vermont; somewhere in Colorado.

    By chance, magic and grace we found our home in Berthoud many months before we actually decided to make an offer to buy it. We didnt do much research about Berthoud before we closed on our property; it was really our gut feeling that buying here and the decision to live here was the right thing to do. Berthoud and the agricul-tural land around it are more like my home town in Vermont than anywhere I have seen in all the years I have lived in Colorado. We closed on our home

    here in late May and then we discov-ered more and more magic when we moved in the brewery in town, the shops on Mountain Avenue, the swim-ming pool where I can swim laps on a summer morning, the nice and polite teenagers in town who seem to be an included and a vital part of Berthoud, the A & W drive -up with service at the window of our car like the 50s when we were growing up, the local farmers market, Darlene s pies great coffee, easy access to everything and the very best of all: free and easy parking!

    On Berthoud Day, 2013, I had lived here only a few days. I went into town and I didnt know a soul. I saw so much pride, interaction and excite-ment about the event. I was glad that day that I wore my sunglasses because my eyes welled up with tears as every

    oat, scout troop, baton twirlers, young dancers, World War II Veterans, descendents of the town founders, old cars and John Deere displays went by. I knew on that day that I was home I found a real home in real Berthoud, Colo. I found my village!

    Our family took a vacation last sum-mer to Camden, Maine where some of my ancestors are from. We kept seeing the saying on t-Shirts and memorabilia from the area I wasnt born here but I got here as fast as I could. I de -nitely feel that way about Berthoud, Colo. I didnt really know what I was looking for, but ended up nding it

    I wasnt born here, but I got here as fast as I could!

    Ann FairProudly from Berthoud

    Page 6 Berthoud Weekly Surveyor August 1, 2013

    A large number of early resi-dents of Berthoud and the Lit-tle Thompson Valley came to the region during the Pikes Peak gold rush of the 1860s. While only a handful of them uncovered mining claims that yielded riches many remained to le homestead claims and pursue business opportunities in the Colorado Territory. Berthouds Peter Turner, among many other local residents, was among the gold seekers who settled in towns and

    on farms after it became ap-parent that they werent likely to get rich by pan-ning for gold or sinking a mine shaft. Turner who founded the town of Berthoud in 1883 was one of the few who prospered as a miner and a businessman.

    While Colo-rados mining camps were gen-

    erally located in the mountains in 1879 there was a gold rush to the foothills of the Little Thompson Valley. In January of that year the Fort Collins newspaper reported, On Saturday last we made

    a visit to the new mines on the Little Thompson. Great excitement prevails and at least fty men were there, all with fond hope of striking something. The town of Berthoud was represented by J.W. Everhard, John Ish, Lewis Cross and two of his sons. Headquar-ters seem to be at David Lykens. Judge Owens, of Boulder, was on the docket. Mr. Lykens conducted a party of us to his claim about a mile above his ranch on the Little Thompson. Mr. Lykens is an old California miner of 49 but after all his experience he says that over this discovery he is non plussed. He & Co. have taken the above claim of fteen hundred feet square.