Press "Enter" to skip to content

Calendar rolls over without a calamity

Brief by Central Staff

Regional non-events – February 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

Some of us were joking about what the arrival of Y2K might do around here — i.e., “the trains will quit running, turn signals won’t work on cars, and our telephone service will be erratic.”

But by all accounts, the year 2000 arrived as smoothly here as elsewhere in the world.

For instance, it’s still safe to drink the town water in Saguache, despite accounts to the contrary that were printed in some Valley newspapers. Saguache water isn’t chlorinated — not because Y2K caused a failure at the treatment plant, but because it doesn’t need to be chlorinated.

One thing that kept working was the wind in the Wet Mountain Valley, which apparently blew an insulator off a power pole near the Westcliffe town park. That caused two lines to short, which tripped a breaker and caused a power outage from 3:20 p.m. to 5:10 p.m. on Jan. 1.

In Chaffee County, the major “collapse” occurred a few days before the new year. It was a fireplace in the dining room at the county’s oldest business, the Jackson Hotel in Poncha Springs, which opened in 1878.

“It wasn’t a structural part of the original building,” explained Kirby Perschbacher of Cut No Slak Construction. “I’d guess it was added sometime in the 1940s. The stone front wasn’t properly tied to the wall in back, and over time, as the fill material behind the fa¬łade settled, the front got pushed out, and eventually gravity took over.”

Once the rubble was cleared away, the restaurant was able to re-open in time for New Year’s Eve, and owner Doug Pinto plans to have the fireplace rebuilt this spring.

And that’s about the extent of millennial excitement in our part of the world.