New Castles Burning Mountain Days
While Burneice Hall Doose reminisced about her days at the New Castle School more than 70 years ago, 3-year-old Colby Hoffman showed off a T-shirt that announced his graduation from Coal Ridge High School in 2020.They were among hundreds who celebrated New Castles 32nd annual Burning Mountain Days last weekend.The theme, Back to the Future, honored the towns old New Castle School as the community welcomes the new Coal Ridge High School that opens in August.We wanted to bring back the excitement of having our own high school again, said co-organizer Judy Gordon. It has been 42 years since New Castle had a high school.The class reunion, which coincided with the festival, drew 65 alumni, which allowed former classmates to reminisce about their old stomping grounds. This was called Plumb Street because it ran plumb through town, Mick Sweetman joked.Four boys and one girl graduated in Sweetmans class of 1958. Dorothy Henricks Harcourt said they played work up at lunch, an old-fashioned version of softball while Sweetman remembered their six-man football team called the New Castle Tigers. The new school will enter the local prep sports arena as the Coal Ridge Titans.Mary Jo Ryden Baumli said students at the New Castle School went to school together all 12 years. It was a college prep school, she said as she turned around and saw Doose.You were my second grade teacher! That was 65 years ago.Doose graduated from the New Castle School in 1934 and went back to teach second and third grade in 1936 on a special teaching certificate from Denver University.Others remember how the boys at Mattivis Garage whistled at her as she walked from her fathers barber shop, where they lived, to the school.Colin Gilmore also had fond memories of Claude Halls barber shop. We called him Baldy Hall because he didnt have any hair. He cut five generations of Gilmores hair, he said.Harcourt remembered the bullet holes shot in Halls tin ceiling, compliments of a rambunctious cowboy. Cowboys came to the barber shop for a bath, haircut and shave, she said.There was a sign that said 25 cents for a fresh bath and a nickel for a bath with used water. Most of them paid the nickel.I love history, she said, I love this town.
New Castle High School graduates from left, Dick Sweetman, of Denver, graduated in 1956; Dorothy Henricks Harcourt, of California, graduated in 1955; and Mick Sweetman, of Denver, graduated in 1958.
The McCain family, of Silt, from left, Chelyn, 13, attends Riverside Middle School; Heather, 17, is a senior at Rifle High School and was crowned Miss Burning Mountain; and their mother, Cindy, who works at All About Floors & More.
Hall and Mary Stewart, of New Castle, watched the parade on Main Street. They will celebrate their 64-year wedding anniversary this fall.
Clockwise from left, Terri Hoffman, of New Castle, teaches science and ELL at Coal Ridge; Jim Hoffman teaches P.E., health and is the football coach; Hailey, 5, will graduate from Coal Ridge in 2018; and Colby, 3, will graduate in 2020.
From Mountain Valley Developmental Services, from left, Molly Murray works at Textiles & Gifts; Laura Ayers is recreation assistant; Joel Bone works at On the Way Market; and Kyle Slade works at the Mountain Valley Greenhouse. They all live in Glenwood.
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