Stair Strife
Stair Strife

The following excerpt was extracted from the Herald Democrat, September 22, 1891.

Read more about the Blumberg family.

Read more about the Isaacs family.

The Blumberg family was an interesting group of people who acquired a history of conflict with their neighbors and the police in Leadville. They were particularly protective of their staircases. Paulina Blumberg was a feisty figure with a temper. Apparently there was a violent disagreement with the Blumberg’s neighbors, the Isaacs, over the use of a staircase around September 22nd, 1891. This would have occurred at 122 Harrison Ave. The staircase was between both houses, and each family claimed ownership of the property in question. However, “it was decided to send for the city engineer, who, after taking a few measurements, decided that the passage was the property of the Isaacs, estate.” After this decision, Mr. Isaacs decided to board up the staircase to prevent its further use by the Blumbergs. This caused ample distress, too.

“Mrs. Blumberg, who, in the absence of her husband, was in charge of the business. During the progress of nailing up the doorway she appeared very much excited, but made no hostile demonstration until Sunday, when, wrought up to a high pitch of nervous excitement she secured a hatchet and began the work of demolition. She had not proceeded far in her work of destruction when Captain McDonell appeared and arrested the woman, who gave bonds for her appearance in the police court. Monday the case came up before Magistrate Moore and Mrs. Blumberg was fined $5 and costs.”

Whether due to the stress of this altercation, or some unrelated cause, Mrs. Blumberg died on October 5th, 1891.

title
Article from the Herald Democrat, September 22, 1891. Page 2.
Click to view larger.

The following excerpt was extracted from the Herald Democrat, October 3, 1895.

Read more about the Blumberg family.

Read more about the Lavinsky family.

Samuel tangled with the law on multiple occasions. On April 13th, 1892 Samuel is mentioned in two cases which Judge Goddard heard in the same day. Following this Samuel had an altercation with his neighbors which would be worthy of Paulina Blumberg’s memory. In fact, due to this particular event, Samuel is listed as having “more trouble than half the town.” The colorful confrontation was with Blumberg’s neighbor Sam Lavinsky, and it was once again over who owned the shared staircase between their premises. Lavinsky was a saloon owner whose exploits could rival Blumberg’s. Accordingly, the scene was set for clash. The following is an excerpt from the article which describes the incident:

“Mr. Blumberg had enjoyed ingress and egress to his apartments through a certain stairway on the Lavinsky premises from some ancient landlord whose power had long since grown obsolete. As long as the relations between the two neighbors were not strained he was permitted to continue in the enjoyment of this ancient privilege, and to which he did not prove the shadow of a title, the landlord testifying that Lavinsky paid the rent and was required to make good the damages that Blumberg inflicted with the ax on the hall door. The relations became so upset that Lavinsky nailed up the doors while Blumberg would chop them down with an ax. This led to Blumberg kicking Lavinksy down stairs and running him up stairs with his gun, while Lavinksy would, as occasion required, lay his neighbor’s scalp open with a billiard cue. Blumberg became so engaged that whenever Mrs. Lavinsky appeared on the scene he would call her the worst and vilest of names. After being placed under a bond for keeping the peace and after being warned by an officer, he chopped down a door on the disputed stairway. For this breach of the peace and defamation of character Samuel Blumberg was let off with a fine of $5 and costs…”

This altercation is reminiscent of Paulina Blumberg taking a hatchet to her disputed stairs in 1891. It is also representative of Samuel’s turbulent personality.

title
Article from the Herald Democrat, October 3, 1895. Page 6.
Click to view larger.

The following excerpt was extracted from the Herald Democrat, December 31, 1895.

Read more about the Blumberg family.

In December of 1895, Samuel Blumberg got into a confrontation with Duke McGlynn over their shared affection for the same “bewitching maiden of uncertain chastity.” The following excerpt describes the event at the Primrose Club:

“Blumberg was unkind enough to declare Duke a vagrant, which charge, Duke says, was prompted by jealousy. To prove that it was not Blumberg called a number of witnesses, and to show that his position was beyond reproach the accused also had a host of friends present. Susie Reynold’s smiling face was seen among the Duke’s friends, as was also the noble figure of Ben Loeb. But it was all in vain. The Duke had not paid his monthly assessment for November to the club, which amounted to $32.60, and he could expect no more favors. He couldn’t prove that the charge of vagrancy was not true, so went on the slide. He will have to put up $33.80, in addition to the former assessment, before he can see Birdie again.”

Sam Blumberg became a frequenter of shadier premises after his wife’s death. However, as evidenced by this article, he was not a vagrant and was quick to point that out if he felt it was to his benefit, as in the case of Duke McGlynn.

title
Article from the Herald Democrat, December 31, 1895. Page 8.
Click to view larger.

Temple Israel Foundation
208 West 8th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461
303.709.7050

Temple Israel Museum
201 West 4th Street
Leadville, Colorado 80461
longled@longled.cnc.net

Hebrew Cemetery
SW Corner of Evergreen Cemetery
North end of James Street, Leadville
Contact Us