25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

compiled by John Colson

Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyThis is the eastern entrance to Glenwood Canyon as it looked until the early 1980s, when a federally-funded highway project began to expand old Highway 6 & 24 to the four-lane Interstate 70. Longtime residents will remember the thumb-shaped rock on the right, which once greeted wandering valley residents as a sign that home was not too far away.

Aside from the bombast of politics and crime, which the paper managed quite well, the Aspen Democrat kept up a running commentary on the doings of people around town, such as the following item regarding a local church organization, the Epworth League, which flourished in the mid-1800s and early 1900s around different parts of the United States.The Epworth League met last evening in the basement of the Methodist Church to hold its regular monthly social, which included a reception to the new pastor of the church, Rev. Gerkin, and his family … Rev. Gerkin then addressed the audience, creating a favorable impression. His remarks were instructive and witty, which appealed alike to old and young.The paper also kept tabs on Aspens home girls, a phrase that referred to local young women who graduated from Aspens schools and went out into the world to teach.Miss Nannie Canning, our efficient superintendent of schools … says that Miss Cicily Mulqueen, who has the Owl Creek School, is doing excellent work … the same can also be said of Miss Mary Epperson, who is teaching at Norrie this year. In visiting the school at Meredith, in [the] charge of Miss Dryden, and the Thomasville school, in [the] charge of Mess Benson, Miss canning says she also found these teachers thoroughly capable, efficient teachers with their schools in excellent shape. She [Miss Canning] believes that when a teacher is doing good work she should be told so and The Democrat is always glad to speak a good word for those that deserve it.In a daily column called Local Briefs, the paper reported on a wide range of personal issues submitted by local citizens.Billy Johns went to Ouray last night to work on the Camp Bird [mine].Pete Rosa left yesterday morning for Ashcroft with the mail and supplies for the natives. He returned in the evening.H.H. Gage, representing John A. Tobin Grocery company of Chicago, was in the city yesterday taking orders from the grocery firms.Mr. Allen Reese of Denver, a young friend of Ed Coopers, came in from Denver yesterday and will spend a day or two visiting with him and taking in the sights of the city.Mr. and Mrs. Barker have sold their valuable ranch on Sopris Creek to an Iowa party and the Barker family will be prepared to give possession to the owner in a few days.Word was received from Grand Junction stating that Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin are there and Mr. Baldwin is still seriously ill at that place, not having recovered from his attack of typhoid fever before leaving Victor.W.S. Copeland left last evening for Denver to be a witness in the case of the United States vs. Fred Light. It is believed that while Mr. Copeland is in Denver he will decide to resign his candidacy for state senator. Let us hope not.Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Societys archives. These 1908 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

By the late 1950s, Aspen was a confirmed ski town and the newspaper reflected the citizenrys annual agitation as everybody waited for snow to fall on the ski slopes.The promise of early skiing was in the air this week as the seasons first snows arrived Tuesday in some parts of the Colorado Rockies. While Aspen basked in warm fall sun, snow fell on Berthoud and Loveland passes, west of Denver, and Monarch Pass, west of Salida in the south central part of the state. Trail Ridge Road, between Estes Park and Grand Lake in northern Colorado, was closed because of drifts and poor visibility. Fraser upheld its reputation as the nations icebox with a frigid temperature of 14 degrees early Tuesday morning while Leadville, just over Independence Pass, dropped to 23 degrees.An advertisement in the Sept. 18 edition offered a home for sale.Newly remodeled, three bedroom, year round home, all modern conveniences, including a 16X24 foot substantial building, suitable for guest hours, dormitory or garage, amidst a large grove of trees … in the Town of Marble, twenty-eight miles south of Carbondale, in the beautiful upper Crystal River valley. There is a running stream in front of the property. The price is $11,600, with liberal terms to responsible parties.The Aspen Institute brought interesting national and international speakers to Aspen, discussing some topics that are as relevant today as they were then.Gualamnahi Mansuri, the newspaper editor from Karachi, Pakistan, spoke last evening … his topic was Comments on Pakistan, India and Kashmir. Mansuri is the editor of one of Pakistans influential daily newspapers, and is in charge of the non-English edition. The paper, Dawn, is printed in two languages.In addition to speakers, the Institute frequently would show the latest in nationally popular films, such as:John Houstons acclaimed film rendering of Stephen Cranes immortal war story, The Red Badge of Courage, starring Audi Murphy and Bill Mauldin. Wheeler Opera House, 8:30 p.m., presented by The Aspen Institute.Lacking any monumental issues or controversies, local politicians have long been known to find something smaller to quarrel over.The question of whether or not to allow people to play football in the newly-seeded Wagner Ballpark was the subject of a lengthy debate [of] the city council … Monday. The subject was brought up when it was reported that the county commissioners had also discussed the matter at a meeting [and] had disapproved of any activity on the newly seeded land. Permission to use the park had been requested by the Aspen School for its home football games. The school shared the expense of seeding and improving the park with the county and the city. [Some officials] expressed the opinion that use of the park this fall would result in irreparable damage … and … a waste of taxpayer funds. The aldermen voted to instruct [Alderman Breezy] Zordel, as their representative on the park [management] committee, to vote against allowing the school or any other group to use the park this year.

The controversial Interstate 70 project through Glenwood Canyon, begun a year earlier over the protests of numerous critics, was soaking up more money than expected and was predicted to ultimately cost up to $600 million over the anticipated 5-year construction schedule.If there was ever any doubt about the state and federal commitment to [the four-laning project], it ended earlier this month when the project was awarded $43 million for the next 12 months of construction … it brings the total [spending over two years] to $70 million.Sometimes local reporters and cops would get together to inject a little fun into the news.[Local law enforcement, health care and media] representatives assembled at the Aspen International Speedway [in Woody Creek] Wednesday afternoon hoping to make a convincing demonstration that drinking and driving dont mix [those participating included Deputy Bob Braudis, now sheriff of Pitkin County; reporter Mick Ireland, now mayor of Aspen; and radio news director Pat Bingham, now public relations official for Pitkin County]. Victims chose their individual poisons … beer, scotch, gin, bourbon or vodka … the problem is that nobody got drunk on the prescribed doses [according to official blood alcohol charts] and everyone had to go for a second round. By the time everyone was able to exceed the .05 level [the minimal legal limit] … nobody could follow instructions, let alone drive.

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