Category Archives: Leadville Life

Leadville News – June 4

Spring Rain Brings Fresh Mountain Snow



It was a busy weekend in Leadville for the first one in June. A sure sign of things to come as America’s Highest City heads into a busy summer season. However, one thing that most could agree with was how nice it was to see some rain in town last night; things seem to settle down a bit with a good spring rain. Of course waking up to fresh mountain snow on Colorado’s two highest peaks is a treat anytime of the year, so it’s #HappyMonday in Leadville Today.

Race Season Kicks-Off for a Good Cause

On Saturday, racers in the Turquoise Lake 20k saw near perfect weather as they headed out on the trail for the first “official” race of the Leadville season. In the end, it was homeboy Alex Willis who took top honors with a time of 1:14:43. Rounding out the podium was Pat Cade of Leadville at 1:18:56 and Wesley Toews of New Castle in third at 1:20:35.   The first female finisher was Leadville Sierra Willis with a time of 1:35:53. For Turquoise Lake 20k FULL RESULTS

Turquoise Lake 20k Race 2018_1

Racers at last Saturday’s Turquoise Lake 20k took their place at the start line to raise money for a good cause – the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame – while kicking-off the official start to the Leadville race season.

Then on Sunday, the pace and the course slowed down a bit with the group’s second weekend challenge: the Fish Hatchery 5k.  The winner’s podium looked somewhat familiar as willis and Cade both took the top two position with times of 17:53 and 19:06, respectively. Only Sunday’s competition saw Denver’s Leroy Briggs take third place with a 22:49 time. Sierra Willis crossed first for the women again at an impressive 23:04. For Fish Hatchery 5k FULL RESULTS.

Both races are for a good cause: The Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame, which will hold its next induction ceremony on Friday of Boom Days, August 3. More details can be found on their website. 

Synagogue Provides Insight into Pioneer Jews

Also on Saturday, June 2 the Temple Israel opened its doors to a full house of people interested in learning more about “Jewish Life in Leadville in the 1880s,” as well as participating in a rare service held in the historic building. 

Temple israel Bill Korn Leadville Today

Saturday’s “Jewish Life in Leadville in the 1880s” program and service drew a good crowd of faithful and #Leadville history buffs as Bill Korn with Temple Israel Leadville provided a fascinating look into the life of Pioneer Jews and their valuable contributions to this mountain community. The temple/museum is open for the summer season and if you haven’t visited in a while, #stopin you’ll be impressed with the recent upgrades!

Rabbi Ruth Gelfarb led the discussion of a gathering of more than 50 people, on the topic of  American Judaism in the 1880’s., which was  followed by a short Shabbat Service in the style of the 1880s. 

The program concluded with a fascinating slide show by Bill Korn, President of Temple Israel Foundation on “The Jews of Leadville.” Leadville Today was allowed to video the program which will be available to readers soon. It was wonderful to see a full-synagogue, and everyone enjoyed all of the information displays and interactive exhibits.

The Temple Israel is now open for the summer season. The museum is  open daily through Sunday, October 28, 2018 from 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. They are also available by appointment year round. You can check their website or Facebook Page for hours of operation and special events. The Temple Israel Foundation was incorporated in April, 1987, “to acquire, historically rehabilitate, and maintain” the Temple Israel building and to research the history of the Jewish community in Leadville as a whole without losing sight of the particulars of individual lives.

Temple Israel_Synagoue_Leadville Today_2

The summer tourist season has begun! Pictured here are visitors enjoying the Temple Israel Museum in Leadville, located on W. 4th Street.

Leadville News – June 3

Leadville Fish Hatchery Adds New Building


The Leadville National Fish Hatchery saw the construction of a new building in 2017/18 at its facility located southwest of Leadville Today. It will be used for special projects.

Did you see it going up last summer? Right from the start you knew it was going to be something different. Part of the foundation was square and deep. New hot springs? You wish!

And the location seemed a bit fishy right from the first brick! But if all goes as planned, come this summer, friends and fans will at least be able to peak in the window of the new building at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery.

“What we’re building,” explains hatchery manager Ed Stege, “is a two-room fish isolation building.”  

Construction on the project started in June of 2017.  And now that it’s complete on the outside, the work begins on the inside. In this exclusive time-lapse Leadville Today video, Stege explains the type of work the new building will allow fish biologists to conduct.


Now that the “isolation” building is complete, the next step is to install and plumb all of the fish tanks and then by this Spring they will bring the first cut-throat strain into the new facility.

“What this will allow me to do,” continues Stege, “is to bring in either fish or fish eggs or any other aquatic organism from the world, that has not been fully disease-tested.” From there, the wildlife is raised up until it passes a fish health inspection, and can then be moved out into the general hatchery population. It allows the Leadville hatchery to become further involved in developing important cutthroat brood stock and other native fish species in Colorado.  How cool is that?! Once again Leadville leads the way!

Ed Stege Fish Hatchery

Ed Stege shows off his lighter side as manager of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery during a Leadville parade.

“We can’t do anything with wild fish in the hatchery, unless we first try to do something with them in isolation,” the long-time local fish hatchery manager said, emphasizing the importance of making sure, “I’m not bringing a fish disease into the facility.”

The new building will have public viewing windows on the east side. However, the general public will not be allowed inside the building.

While the functionality of the new building is interesting, the design and attention to detail on this project certainly stands out. The intention was to integrate and match the historic landmark – the original hatchery building – that overlooks the new, smaller addition as well as the established runways located on the grounds.

The original hatchery building was complete in 1890, built by architects L.J. Hunt and John Gorham. For many of Leadville’s Pioneer days, it was the only thing standing in the area. Since then, it has become an integral part of the Leadville community, from the student outings to take advantage of the impressive educational tours the facility provides, to the miles of recreational trails that have been established and maintained, in part thanks to the Friends of the National Leadville Fish Hatchery.  In 1980, the original building was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fish hatchery Building_Front

The Leadville National Fish Hatchery established in 1889 southwest of Leadville, is one of 70 hatcheries in the National Fish Hatchery System. It is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

It’s beautiful sandstone brick is stunning and the white trim makes its deep red color stand out all the more. The original building which turns 128 years old this year, stands as a testament to its solid construction, considering the many winters it has weathered in its home located inside the Mount Massive Wilderness area.

The Leadville National Fish Hatchery was established in 1889 and is one of 70 hatcheries in the National Fish Hatchery System. It is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

There’s little doubt that a lot of effort was put into mimicking that same stone material and design in the new building. A job well-done for all. So be sure to come and see it for yourself at the Leadville National Fish hatchery 5k

A Visual Tour of Leadville Fish Hatchery & Nature Trail

Friends of Hatchery Meets June 16

The Annual Members’ Meeting for the Friends of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, at the hatchery. Weather permitting, the group will meet under the pavilion in the picnic ground up by Evergreen Lake. If you need to drive up to the picnic ground, please do so; otherwise, park below and walk up.  They will be having a potluck breakfast/brunch with the meeting, so if you care to please bring something to share. The Friends will provide juice, coffee, and water.  

During the meeting the Friends will discuss the budget for 2018, talk about our plans for improvements to hatchery grounds, have a vote on board members and solicit new ideas from members. Come and contribute your voice to your Friends group.  Following the members’ meeting, the board will meet to select officers. All members are invited and welcome at the board meeting. For questions, call Board Secretary Judy Cole at 719-293-1829 and leave a message. 


The pavilion at Evergreen Lake was constructed in the fall of 2013 by the Friends of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery and is used by hundreds of people for a variety of events and activities. The group will hold their annual meeting here on June 16. Everyone welcome.