The South Park Sentinel is a typical newspaper office of the gold mining era. According to a former Lake George resident, this building was originally a saloon and then a one-room schoolhouse in the town of Lake George, Colorado. It was the first building to be moved to South Park City and required a haul of 45 miles over Wilkerson Pass. A Washington Hand Press that used hand set type is displayed for public viewing. A high stool sits next to a table of type, suggesting that the typesetter may not be far away. A Linotype machine signifies a major advance in typesetting; with it, an entire line of type can be cast at one time. A large, foot-operated stapler, type fonts, ink roller, early mimeograph machine and a G.P. Gordon Press with a patent date of 1861 are some of the items one can see and touch. The Washington Press was hauled across the plains by oxen in the early 1860’s. On this type of equipment, the events of the day were logged on paper. This establishment also printed hand bills, campaign notices and wedding announcements. In fact, all types of printing were done at the newspaper office.
Journalism was not an easy profession. Delays of printing material due to storms and equipment breakdowns caused many sleepless nights for editors. Sometimes it was necessary to print on the back of old handbills or brown wrapping paper. The town newspaper was one of the most important elements of frontier life. No radio or television gave out the news as it was happening. Besides the town newspaper, the only communication with the outside world was talking to travelers that came into town on horseback, stagecoach or train. Reading the numerous articles and newspapers on display in this