25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Compiled by John Colson
Aspen Times Weekly

Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyThe governments of Pitkin and Gunnison counties began negotiations to adjust their joint boundary line. The boundary included the tiny mining town of Crystal, shown here with its famous mill that survives to this day, and nearby Marble in Gunnison County, even though it took days to reach the county seat and Aspen and Pitkin County were much closer.

A petition was submitted to the Pitkin County Commissioners asking that the portion of Gunnison County containing the towns of Crystal and Marble, some dozen miles up the Crystal River Valley above Redstone, be annexed into Pitkin County. The area’s inclusion in Gunnison County by a Denver-based cartographer drawing straight lines and paying no attention to physical topography, river drainages and distance from the county seat, already was seen by area residents as a serious blunder and was addressed in state legislation passed in 1907 that permitted the adjustment of the county lines.

After the matter had been talked over, the … petition was introduced to be submitted for signature to the taxpayers of the section of country sought to be annexed to Pitkin County. When this petition is signed it will be forwarded to the commissioners of Gunnison County and then the commissioners of Pitkin County will be notified that … the proposition could then be included in the official ballot …

It was not unusual for the editor of The Aspen Democrat to announce birthday celebrations in the paper, but it is likely that only the town’s more notable 5-year-olds got such treatment.

Miss Lila Elisha celebrated her fifth birthday yesterday afternoon from 2 to 6 o’clock by inviting a number of her young playmates to spend the afternoon with her … Miss Georgie Healy helped the young hostess to entertain and, what was still more unusual, the mother, grandmother and great grandmother waited on the happy children.

Politics, geographical corrections and social news aside, stories of mining frequently occupied the central columns of the paper, such as the following note on work going on in Lincoln Gulch east of Aspen.

Anderson and Larson, of Colorado Springs, have opened up a good body of quartz, carrying gold, silver, lead and some copper.

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J.A. Nichols, of Joplin , Mo., one of the old-timers of the gulch, who has been running a tunnel for the past five years, struck ore the other day in the Sailor Boy claim. He has cut the vein five feet and is not yet through it.

Gleason and Blair, of Colorado City, have a lease and bond on the Quebec, St. Lawrence and Vinton claims. They are now on the edge of an ore chute, which is improving with every foot of work done. They expect to have a shipper in a month.

Every now and then a short item appeared, alluding to an earlier incident that sounded important but never made it into print. To wit:

The wrecking crew arrived in the city Sunday and pulled the derailed cars on the track and the track was clear before the arrival of the incoming Grande passenger.

The local sheriff, outraged that a judge had decided to release a woman convicted of a crime, decided to ignore the judge’s order and keep the woman in jail. The woman, Mrs. Maud Corey Niggle was said to be ill, and her defenders said she would be unable to withstand the discomforts of imprisonment. Judge William G. Alexander agreed. But Sheriff Nisbet did not.

“The release of Mrs. Niggle would be an outrage,” he said. “This woman ought to be in prison for life. She was convicted of taking her young daughter and making of her a woman of the street. I simply won’t stand for it. All this talk of sickness is rot. She may have heart trouble, but she had it before she got into this scrape … Let them take her case up through the district court, or get a pardon from the governor if they can … A year’s sentence is little enough punishment …”

Clearly happy that the Hotel Jerome was back in action, Editor Charles “Cap” Dailey ran what really was little more than an advertisement for the establishment at the top of the front page.

It is well worth while to visit the kitchens of the Jerome under the new management of Mr. and Mrs. George Folsom and Mrs. Combs … everything has been scrubbed until they are white and spotless. It is clean as a pin throughout … All new bedding has also been purchased and provided for all the rooms throughout.

Don’t forget the grand turkey dinner tomorrow evening … As there is bound to be a crowd it will be to your interest to place your orders ahead. Another feature … has been the throwing open of the big double parlors up stairs for the use of social functions by private parties.

(Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1908 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.)

The Aspen Institute brought some intriguing characters to town for the various seminars, classes and events held at the Aspen Meadows campus, including Harold J. Gibbons, a vice president of the Teamsters Union and right hand to Teamsters President James Hoffa. Gibbons made a bold statement while here:

Two predictions, which if substantiated would launch the national labor movement into internecine warfare, were made here last week by [Gibbons] … that the CIO-AFL executive council would ask all affiliated unions having labor pacts with the Teamsters to break those pacts.

“And I predict that some of the CIO-AFL affiliates who have pacts with us will refuse to terminate them. They will face expulsion rather than lose the cooperation of the Teamsters … this will be a serious blow against the labor movement.”

When questioned about corruption within Teamster ranks, Gibbons was vehement: “We are running a model union,” he stated.

Closer to home, the Aspen Times reported that enrollment in the Aspen School for the new year was the highest in modern history.

A total of 382 students registered at the school when it opened Sept. 2. That is 38 more than the 344 in school at the end of last year and approximately 50 more than started school last September. The largest class in the school, according to Superintendent Ira Ralston, is the third grade. With 42 students, it has been split into two sections. Kindergarten [has] 41; first grade, 32; second, 28; fourth, 34; fifth, 35; sixth, 32; seventh, 30; eighth, 26; ninth, 24; 10th, 20; 11th, 15; and 12th, 23.

A story heralded a big change on the face of Aspen Mountain ” not a ski run, or a ski lift, but a new restaurant visible from town.

It’s … Ruthie’s Restaurant, and it’s the first real change on Aspen’s most venerable mountain in many a year. Visible from town, the new edifice at the bottom of Ruthie’s Run is definitely large; 11,000 square feet of interior space, plus a 3,000 square foot deck. The building will house a cafeteria with seats for 190, with room for many more out on that deck, plus an exclusive, high-ticket, sit-down restaurant for 50, with a cocktail lounge with a full bar and seating for 35 or so.

Building permits, a gauge of the pace of growth in the upper valley, were reported to have increased “sharply” from the same month a year earlier.

The largest increase was recorded in Snowmass Village, where the building department reported issuance of 67 permits valued at $5,001,026. Last year during July, 57 permits were issued with a total value of $1,361,887. In Pitkin County there were 106 permits issued … with a total value of $2,153,110, compared to 72 in July, 1982, valued at $1,750,104. For Aspen the building department reported 112 permits [valued at] $1,590037, while last year during the same month 70 permits were issued valued at $757,237.

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