December 1882

The first issue of The Black Range newspaper that we have access to is the issue of December 29, 1882.



To the right is the front page of The Black Range from December 29, 1882. The articles in this newspaper are wide ranging, national news and commentary interspersed with local stories, primarily about mining. Samples follow --


Blazing Away (The story did not have a heading)

“Some months ago the Grafton altitude developed a number of pistol shooters who took delight in getting out in the street at night and blazing away into space promiscuously. The cute gentlemen were rounded up and gently given to understand that the practice was unpleasant to the masses of the people and that trouble would result if the thing was not stopped. It was stopped. Lately, however, it has begun again, and if it continues somebody is likely to get hurt, purposely if not accidentally. An accidental bullet will go through some man’s dwelling who will send an intentional slug through some funny fellow’s body in return. Night time and town is not the time and the place to be emptying forty-five revolvers.” (Editor’s note: The cabin to the right, which is now in Chloride, was originally built in Grafton.)


Postal Woes (The story did not have a heading)

(Editor’s Note: The postal service cuts in the Black Range region in recent years apparently have some history to fall back on.)

See article below.

blackrange mail service 1882


Perche (See Article to the Right)

(Editors Note:  The locale discussed in the article to the right is referred to as Percha City, Percha, and Perche.  Percha City was founded in August of 1882, this report of a thriving town is from a few months later (December 1882).  There have been times when I questioned the existence of this place, all that remains at the site now are some stumps, some bits of metal, an occasional plank.  Apparently it was up in running in short order.

A bit of caution, however, although I suspect the report is accurate, you, the modern reader may bring a set of biases to the article that you should be aware of.  For instance: the Christmas Party was held at McCuistion’s Opera House - it didn’t take much to be called an Opera House at this time and locale; an Oyster Supper was served at the Hotel de Graden - most certainly these were canned oysters (they were regularly advertised in the newspaper), the owner of the hotel was named Graden, Hotel de Graden may be a bit “grand”; the elite of the city attended (miners and a few store keepers).  My point is not to disparage, only to place the verbiage in context.

Smallpox and other diseases which have passed from the scene because of modern vaccines were a dread in more ways than one.  To say that a place had many smallpox cases was to doom it to shunning.  That is why the article seems to imply that everything is under control.  Smallpox was the antithesis of economic development and chamber of commerce hype.

© Robert Barnes 2018-2020