25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Compiled by John Colson
Aspen Times Weekly

Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyThis stately old mansion at the corner of Hallam and Center (now Garmisch) streets in Aspen was home to D.R.C. Brown, a founding pioneer of Aspen, and his family. In the early 1900s it was turned over to the Aspen School District and used as a high school for decades. It was torn down to make room for a new school, now known as the Red Brick Arts and Recreation Center, which was built in the 1940s and for years was Aspen's only school. In 1958, the school district was negotiating to acquire land in town for a new elementary school when it received unexpected offers of land outside of town for a new high school, as well.

Juvenile misbehavior in the early 1900s was of a different tone and tenor than it is today.

The management of the Hotel Jerome has been exceedingly annoyed of late by a number of half-grown boys loitering about the rotunda and holding down chairs in the pool room the greater part of the night. Time and time again they have been chased away by the manager only to return when he has retired for the night. Manager George Folsom is determined to abate the nuisance even if he has to have the gang thrown into jail.

Occasionally the newspaper would comment on the fickle commercial nature of local citizens and business owners alike.

“Always Patronize Your Home City” is a very fine motto … [but] Some of our business houses who want people to patronize home industries … do not pay much attention to what is implied in the motto … There are a number of people in Aspen who expect constant employment at the highest possible wage who contribute practically noting toward the general well-being of the community [and] spend but little money in the place where they make it. The same can be truthfully said of a number of business people [who] demand and get the highest market prices for their goods, and when they need anything out of their line they kick [about] the other fellow’s price … Out business men have taught the people all they know about sending out of town for supplies. This system is not good for the community.

A brief announcement told of the planned construction of a local irrigation ditch, which, while not named, seems to have been the locally famous Salvation Ditch.

Yesterday a contract was let by C.A. Wilcox and others to C.A. Savage for the construction of four and eight-tenths miles of ditch on Red Mountain. Mr. Savage expects to begin work December 15 with twenty-five men. Forty thousand feet of lumber will be used in the construction of the ditch. As far as possible men with families will be given preference in the work.

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Editor Charles “Cap” Dailey continued to praise the up-and-coming quarrying operation at Marble, which was shipping huge pieces of white marble for public buildings and projects around the U.S.

For a verity the gold, silver, copper and zinc miners and the farmers of Colorado will be obliged to look to their laurels within the next ten years, otherwise the products of the mine and the farm will be surpassed in value by the returns from the marble industry now being developed within this state. Although the industry is scarcely two years old, it is coming to the front with amazing strides. Two years ago the Town of Marble, for many years an abandoned mining camp, had a population of four people. Today it is a hustling little community of one thousand persons …

When any mine in the region reported hitting paydirt, the paper would trumpet the news to its readers.

Men recently in from the Enterprise Mine in Taylor Park report a rich gold strike in that property … Recently in drifting from the main tunnel a vein was cut which carries seventeen ounces in gold. A small streak in the vein carries something over twenty ounces gold.

When another gold strike was reported, the editor declared that the news confirmed previous speculation about there being rich gold deposits in the area.

Evidence is accumulating almost daily to bear out the assertion that there are gold measures close to Aspen. For several years it has been known there is a strong vein about eight miles from Aspen on Castle Creek … Yesterday Mr. Andrew McIntosh brought to our office samples … from the Lady Jane claim … ten miles back on Smuggler Mountain. Now is a good time to begin arranging to prosecute a hunt for gold as soon as spring opens. Anyway, The Democrat is going to keep boosting until a gold mine is found in this district and until all accusations of our “hitting the pipe” will fall heedless upon our shoulders.

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

Property values were rising rapidly in Pitkin County, according to a statewide panel called the Colorado Public Expenditure Council.

According to the Council the 1959 valuation in Pitkin will be 8.64 percent higher than in 1958. It was $7,463,940 this year, and will be $8,109, 030 next year. Total countywide levies [property tax rates] will remain the same, amounting to $27.40.

As school districts statewide underwent a controversial reorganization, the Roaring Fork Valley’s downvalley district declared itself opposed to a plan to bring Carbondale, Redstone and Basalt into the Aspen district. Carbondale and Redstone school kids were enrolled in the Garfield County district, Basalt in the Eagle County district.

During the course of the meeting Garfield County reorganization committee chairman Attorney Kenneth Balcomb stated that the Glenwood Springs area would not release Carbondale to the Pitkin County district no matter how Carbondale felt about it. Pitkin chairman Sam Howell of Aspen said … that if Carbondale wished to align itself with Garfield County that Pitkin County would be willing to release it. The Eagle County committee has already released Basalt to Pitkin County.

Meanwhile, in an entirely unconnected school issue, the Aspen School Board got some good news concerning its projected need for a new high school site in the next decade or so.

Having faced a mountain of problems in acquiring land for a proposed elementary school, the Aspen School Board last week found itself the dazed and happy recipient of an offer of ten acres for the site of a future high school … Walter Paepcke and John Spachner have offered the school a 10-acre tract near the Trap Club, and Paepcke, who leases the land from James Moore, and Moore have made a similar offer on 10 acres up Maroon Creek Road.

A proposal by Rocky Mountain Airways to move its first in-bound landing at the Pitkin County Airport to 6:10 a.m. every Saturday, Sunday and Monday was summarily rejected by the Pitkin County Commissioners.

The problem with that plan, as the commissioners saw it, is that the airport doesn’t open until 7 a.m. ” and the reason it’s closed is that people living near the airport and beneath the airlines’ flight path like to get some sleep.

Although the snow gods got off to a slow start in 1983-84, opening day that season turned out to be one of the best that local skiers could recall, according to slopeside interviews by The Aspen Times.

“I can only remember maybe three Opening Days like this in the past 20 years,” said Jack Brendlinger of the Aspen Skiing Company … Yesterday the SkiCo was reporting 34 inches at the top of Aspen Mountain ” with five inches of fresh powder ” and a full 13 inches at the bottom … at Snowmass, the report was 47 inches at the top, with eight inches of fresh powder … Aspen Highlands could boast 35 inches at the top ” two inches of it new ” and 18 inches at the base … The 55 inches of snow that fell in November of 1983 was the greatest amount of snowfall in November in Aspen since the Water Department began keeping snow records in 1933.

Wage discrimination at Aspen’s City Hall was alleged by a city council member, Charlotte Walls, who discovered that men made far more money than women while performing the same basic kinds of work under the same roof.

Walls found that 60 percent of the women on city staff earned under $20,000 a year while only seven percent of the men earned that amount. At the top half of the salary schedule she found that only two and a half percent of the women made over $40,000 a year, while 20 percent of the men make that amount.

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