The Saratoga Sun -

Keeping newspaper's print history alive

 

Doug Radunich

Dick Perue shows Minden Fox, of Cheyenne, how an old linotype operates during Living History Days July 27. Perue was giving tours at the Battle Miner newspaper office on the Grand Encampment Museum grounds, to show how newspapers were printed in the late 19th and early 20th Century periods.

Saratoga resident Dick Perue is out to make sure the history of newspapers is never forgotten.

Since the early 1980s, Perue, also the former Saratoga Sun publisher/owner and former owner of Perue Printing and Office Products, has been demonstrating how newspapers were printed in the late 19th and early 20th Century on the Grand Encampment Museum grounds. Spectators got Perue’s history lesson during hands-on tours at the “Battle Miner,” the old wood newspaper office building on the museum’s grounds.

Currently inside the Battle Miner newspaper office are old artifacts including two presses, one used by visitors during tours, a linotype, a type case, a newspaper stone and historic typewriters and cash registers. According to the Wyoming Office of Tourism website, the building that now houses the Battle Miner was once situated in the nearby ghost town of Battle, which was once an active mining and logging community.

During this year’s Living History Days July 27, Perue let children pump one of the old presses to print out “I pumped Museum press” on a four-page pamphlet about the ore-carrying Encampment tramway’s history, titled “The Battle Miner.” The pamphlet was typed up and compiled by Perue himself, and he also explained the history of Platte Valley newspapers and their equipment used to visitors.

“This year’s theme was the history of the tramway, and each year the pamphlet I make is based on whatever the theme is for Living History Days done through the Grand Encampment Museum,” Perue said. “For Encampment’s and Riverside’s 100-year anniversaries, we used those as themes for the pamphlets. I love seeing the thrill the kids get when they see what they printed. It’s great to see their eyes light up.”

During tours Perue also told visitors about former Platte Valley newspapers, which included the Platte Valley Lyre in Saratoga and the Grand Encampment Herald in Encampent. He also shared his history working with the 125-year-old Saratoga Sun.

“I started as a printer for the Saratoga Sun at age 14 in 1951, and in 1954 I became a reporter and photographer,” Perue said. “I then went to the University of Wyoming and came back and became the editor of the Saratoga Sun in 1958. In 1968 Cliff Hamilton and I bought it, and I was a reporter, editor, publisher and owner before I sold it in 1982.”

Outside of Living History Days, Perue said he has also given tours of the Battle Miner office to several other groups during the year.

“A lot of times I’ll come by if they have a group there, and I get to give tours to a lot of school kids,” he said.

 

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