Friday, May 20, 2011

Why do so many people think Fountain is haunted?

The blogger service allows me to see what you are searching for when you query google or another site for information, and are directed to this website.  A number of searches each week are related to ghosts and murders.  Now historically there were not many murders here, but there were a number of tragic deaths.  These deaths can likely be attributed to the times and not the place, and with changes in modern medicine and safety, such events are less likely to occur.

Weekly Gazette Sep 26, 1901

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What is a chivarii? and other fun photographs

"Back in the old days"... when a couple was married, their friends would host activities to celebrate the wedding.  True, these events were often planned to keep the new couple apart for the day, and the evening, but it was all meant in fun.  I've heard of grooms being kidnapped.  What other stories have you heard?

Here Tobie Wells pushes his new wife Jill down Main Street in a wheelbarrow.  With any luck, and a beautiful smile, well wishers gave her nicer gifts than the customary toilet paper!
[Fountain Valley News Aug 15, 1973]

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The cause of all her troubles…

Anna K. Pettingill is buried in Fountain’s Fairview Cemetery.  A tall monument marks the family plot and bears the names of Anna, James Arthur Pettengill and Gertrude Lawrence.  Who was Anna?  The monument notes that she was born in 1859 and died in 1896.  James died in 1902 and Gertrude in 1950.

Anna Pettengill was not found on the federal census, though this is not surprising as she died before the 1900 census and may not have been married at the time of the 1880 census.  A review of historic newspaper indexes provides the details.  Anna had been married to AM Pettingill, and after several unhappy years, secured a divorce in early 1896.  She committed suicide, leaving four children. 

Denver Evening Post, (Denver, CO) Monday, March 23, 1896

An article published the same day in the Post’s rival, the Rocky Mountain News, relates that:

…since her divorce was finalized in January, Anna had plotted to take her life, but had been stopped by her friends.  Mrs. Steen, a boarder, had grown accustomed to these suicide threats.

The inquest into Pettingill’s death, reported in the Rocky Mountain News on March 27, 1896, reveals a more suspicious circumstance.