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Berthoud Weekly Surveyor January 9, 2014 Page 5

A LOOK AT BERTHOUD

Thin ice caused skating tragedy at Sunnyslope Reservoir in 1906

T

he thick ice that has formed on local lakes is certain to serve as an invitation to Berthoudites who enjoy ice skating. In the community’s early Surveyor years winter Columnist sports were popular cold weather pastimes for local residents who hailed from other parts of the country where winters stayed cold and ice grew thick. Mark In Colorado, French where winter temperatures

fluctuated, thick ice was not always the rule and that condition caused a skating accident at Sunnyslope Reservoir north of Berthoud that caused the deaths of two young men in December 1906. Following the mishap, Berthoud’s newspaper reported, “This community was plunged into grief Wednesday when word was received over the telephone that Everett Munson and Lloyd Armstrong who were skating with a number of young companions on the lake on Mary D. Cole’s ranch had fallen through the ice and were drowned. The word was so shocking that it could hardly be believed, but it proved to be only too true. The call for assistance was quickly answered by our townspeople, but the lives of two of our brightest young men were

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already lost, and the work of recovering the bodies was all that could be done. The awful affair occurred about noon, and from eyewitnesses we have been able to learn the circumstances as near as follows. “About twenty young people were skating on the east side of the lake, all but five of the crowds being girls. About noon they decided to quit for dinner, and Lloyd Armstrong and Albert Sampson started to skate to the west side where their rig was hitched. Sampson skirted closer to the shore than Armstrong, who was an expert skater. On the west side of the center of the lake one of Armstrong’s skates caught in an air hole and the boy fell heavily on the thin ice, the skate being torn from his foot and landing on ice that was covered with water. The boy removed the other skate and started to walk to shore, and the thin ice broke, letting him sink in ten feet of icy water. “Everett Munson, skating on the east side of the lake, saw the accident and started on his skates to rescue his companion, but as he neared the danger point the treacherous ice gave way and he was beyond his depth in the water. Sampson, who had reached shore, started out on the ice toward Munson and when within twenty feet of him the ice broke and he was precipitated into the water. “Albert and Fred Hartford were the only boys left and they at once attempted a rescue. They procured a rope and ventured upon the ice as far as possible, but they could not reach Armstrong, who was struggling desperately. At this instant Walter Hall, the painter, arrived on the scene and with the rope around his body made an attempt to reach Armstrong, but the ice broke and he was pulled out. In the meantime Sampson had told the rescuers to go for the others first, but both Munson and Armstrong had disappeared beneath the water and the rope was flung to Sampson and was rescued in a half drowned and frozen condition. Word had been telephoned to Berthoud and a crowd

gathered quickly. A boat embedded and Carroll Hendershott. Rev Moffett in the ice on the east side of the lake accompanied Mrs. Biggs with the rewas quickly brought to the mains to Illinois.” spot, and the dead bodies The “lake on Mary of Everett Munson and D. Cole’s ranch,” Lloyd Armstrong that is also known were recovered as Sunnyslope where they were Reservoir, is loseen last by cated about 1 their compan1/2 miles north ions. of Berthoud “The on the east unbounded side of Old sympathy of Highway the entire 287. The community “M.E. goes out to church” or the heartMethodist broken Episcopal parents. church, Everett was where the only son Armstrong’s of Mr. and funeral serMrs. John Y. vices were Munson, and conducted, sat was a model boy at the southeast in every respect. corner of the inPolite, generous, tersection of Fourth kind and giving, he Street and Welch had by his manly qualiAvenue. That historic ties endeared himself to building now houses two everyone. Photo from the Ludlow Collection, apartments. “When the Services for Berthoud Historical Society Lloyd Armstrong was one of two young men accident ocEverett Munson who lost their lives in an ice skating accident were held at curred Mr. north of Berthoud in 1906. Armstrong and his Berthoud’s and Mrs. Munson and mother moved to Berthoud from Illinois to Presbyterian benefit the young man’s health. Dr. Harry church. The Ingalls and promising young wife, of Boulder, were somewhat east man was laid to rest in the family plot of town in their auto, and were finally in Longmont. notified by phone at Johnstown. One year later, in 1907, town “Lloyd Armstrong was the son of founder Peter Turner provided a safe Mrs. Ada Biggs, who came here from place for Berthoud skaters when he Atkinson, Ill., last September in the flooded a few acres of land that he hope of benefiting her son’s health. owned east of the flour mill to create His remains were shipped to his old an ice rink. The stockholders of the home Thursday after funeral services Loveland Lake & Ditch Co. donated conducted by Rev. Moffett at the water for the rink from their lake loM.E. church Thursday at 1 o’clock. cated a stone’s throw northwest of the The services were impressive and present-day intersection of Larimer were largely attended. The pallbearCounty Rd. 17 and Berthoud’s ers were the dead boy’s companions Bunyan Avenue. — Albert Sampson, Frank Saltzman, Albert and Fred Hartford, Will Brown

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Berthoud Weekly Surveyor, history, then and now, Mark French