The Sopris Sun

Pages of the Past: Foreign foreman and a trailer park under threat

From the archives of the Roaring Fork Valley Journal, compiled by Will Grandbois

Feb. 10, 1977
State officials revoked certification for a former Mid-Continent mine foreman after he reportedly neglected to file a form indicating his intent to become a citizen. Tom Johansen, whose nationality was not specified, had been working as an engineer for several months after an accident that left one miner hospitalized and was also the subject of several complaints regarding worker safety. His legal counsel, the late T. Peter Craven, said he could call witnesses to refute the allegations. It was unclear after the initial court appearance whether Johansen would be permitted to simply recertify as a foreman, although his status as an engineer was not impacted. It was also up in the air whether Mid-Continent would pay his legal expenses, though “serious consideration” was indicated.

Feb. 12, 1987
With a new 10,000-square-foot post office nearing completion (the old space now houses Carbondale Beer Works), a five by 15 foot painting by the late Redstone artist Frank Mechau was ready for installation. The painting, commissioned in the ’30s and depicting cowboys trying to saddle and tame wild horses, had previously been displayed in Glenwood Springs at the post office and American Legion, and later at the General Services Administration Building in Denver. 
The artist’s widow, Paula Mechau, was present as it was delivered – as she had been two months earlier when a different painting showed up. On that occasion, the Journal noted that architect Dean Moffat, “who had worked with CCAH for about eight months to get the painting through the red tape channels of the federal government, said that when the wrong painting appeared, all anyone could do was laugh.”

Feb. 13, 1997
Residents of the Bonanza Mobile Home Park made a formal offer to purchase the property. The announcement accompanied an extensive article on the benefits of trailer park cooperative ownership, citing few laws to protect mobile home owners. Specifically, it referred to similar move by Lazy Glen residents to purchase their park in the face of developer interest. There were fears that Bonanza, which was zoned commercial and located on Colorado Avenue just north of downtown Carbondale and south of Town Hall, would eventually be sold, and the mostly month-to-month renters turned out. That’s precisely what happened not long after, and the park was bulldozed to make way for a proposed development that was scrapped in the early days of the Great Recession.

Feb. 8, 2007

A three-way trade between the Town of Carbondale, Roaring Fork School District and the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (now simply Carbondale Arts) was taking shape. Among the lots exchanged in the shuffle was a 2.7-acre lot near the new high school on which CCAH had considered building a performing arts center. With pending construction of the Thunder River Theatre Company, however, they turned their sights on the vacant former Carbondale Elementary School building. With CCAH as an anchor tenant, the space would eventually become the Third Street Center.

Published in The Sopris Sun on February 9, 2017.