25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

Just last week, a man was sentenced to jail time for throwing a glass at another individual in an Aspen nightclub, but such altercations are nothing new. A century ago, a man was facing an assault charge after an incident at a local watering hole. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

On Wednesday night, in the neighborhood of 9 o’clock, Victor Spindler was sitting at a table in Frank Marolt’s saloon on Cooper Avenue, when Henry Hosey entered and, it is alleged, without any provocation, struck him on the head several times from behind with the handle of a double-hand hammer. Hosey then left and the police were summoned.

When Marshal Sanders and Captain Sullivan arrived on the scene they found Spindler in very bad shape. They took him to Dr. Lof’s office where his numerous wounds were dressed.

Yesterday, Spindler swore to a complaint in Justice Sander’s court in the following words: “Henry Hosey did willfully, maliciously and unlawfully assault this affiant and did then and there strike, beat and bruise this affiant and otherwise mistreat him.”

A warrant was issued and placed in the hands of Deputy Sheriff Sanders, who arrested Hosey and brought him into court about 8 o’clock last night, where he admitted he might be guilty as to part of the complaint, but not guilty as to other specifications.

Fifty years ago, a familiar face in Aspen was named to a newly created post with the Aspen Skiing Corp., predecessor to today’s Aspen Skiing Co. The Aspen Times reported:

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A new title, that of Executive Vice-President, was added to the roster of officials of the Aspen Skiing Corporation by the directors at their annual meeting Saturday, July 4.

Named at the same time to fill the new post, which is a full-time, salaried position with complete charge of all local corporation affairs, was Corporation Director D.R.C. Brown of Carbondale.

Brown will have his office in the corporation’s offices, presently in the Hotel Jerome, but soon to be located in the Tom Thumb building, now under construction.

Re-elected vice president was Edgar Stanton. He was assigned the duties of directing corporation promotion and public relations and will be in charge of stock holder relations and race planning and coordination.

The Aspen Music Festival and School has a couple of pieces by composer Benjamin Britten on this year’s performance calendar, including one by the Aspen Chamber Symphony on July 31. Fifty years ago, the festival was host to a stateside premiere of new work by Britten. The Aspen Times noted:

The American premiere of a new work by England’s celebrated composer Benjamin Britten will take place on Sunday, July 12, at the Aspen Amphitheater.

On the program will be Britten’s “Nocturnes” for Tenor and Small Orchestra, Op. 61, with Leslie Chabay as soloist and Festival Director Izler Solomon conducting.

Written during August and September of 1958, this work was first performed at the Leeds Festival in Great Britain during the month following its completion, and had its London premiere at Friend’s House on January 30, 1959 with the composer on the podium.

As they have this year, frequent rains kept the fire danger in check in 1959. According to The Aspen Times:

The official fire rating in the White River National Forest, which surrounds Aspen on all sides except the northwest, is now near zero, the Forestry Service reports.

Recent rains have added over two inches to the total accumulation for the year in this area. This dropped the fire rating from a high-moderate level in mid-June to the present safe range.

Rain and melting snow caused trouble, and created a new lake, in 1984. The events made the news. The Aspen Times reported:

Last week’s heat wave, accompanied by Saturday’s downpour, were just plain too much for Hunter Creek and the Roaring Fork River, both of which swelled high enough to inflict serious damage on bridges over them.

The Benedict Bridge on the Hunter Creek hiking trail washed 50 yards downstream late Saturday, and the Hopkins Street footbridge over the Roaring Fork suffered serious enough damage to warrant its closing.

Although Forest Service as well as city and county officials are hoping to make repairs before the summer hiking season is over, there is some possibility that a large part of the Hunter Creek access won’t be open until next summer, and that funds may be hard to come by to fix the bridge.

And, runoff created a lake at Northstar Nature Preserve east of town, prompting talk of making the feature a permanent part of the landscape. The Aspen Times reported:

Should the lake formed many years during spring runoff on the Northstar Nature Preserve immediately east of Aspen be made permanent for recreation use?

Yes, said Aspenite Raymond Auger in a proposal to the board of the Pitkin County Parks Association during its regular meeting last week.

Perhaps, said the board when it endorsed the concept and agreed to form a committee to investigate environmental impacts of a permanent lake on the site.

A parks association board member since 1973, Auger is the author of the Aspen Trail Guide and an experienced sailor. [He] told the board a lake would benefit Aspen without harming wildlife.

He pointed out that 80 percent of the 175-acre preserve, purchased by the county for open space several years ago, was flooded during years of high runoff.

“It is probable that during the immediate post-glacial period, the lake was both larger and deeper than it is now, and that its present shallow depth and the bog and small ponds it partially becomes in late summer is the result of siltation,” Auger explained.

-compiled by Janet Urquhart

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