25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet UrquhartAspen Times Weekly

Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyIn the early 1900s, most trips up Independence Pass relied on horsepower. Here, two women arrive at the top of Weller Grade behind a horse called "Blossom," circa 1905.

A century ago, a road trip to inspect Independence Pass was in order. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:Tomorrow morning a party of good roads enthusiasts will inspect the Roaring Fork road over Independence Pass to Twin Lakes. The return trip will be made by way of Lincoln gulch.Those who desire to join the party are requested to be at the Cooper book store with their saddle horses preparing to leave at 6 o’clock sharp tomorrow morning.Don’t lag behind, but be there on the minute!••••A booster club was organizing in Aspen a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:A majority of the above committee-men assembled at the city hall last night to formulate plans for the organization of an Aspen and Pitkin County Boosters’ organization, the name of the organization to be decided upon later.A complete set of by-laws governing the club were adopted and will be published later.The committee decided that no initiation fee would be charged, but that annual dues of $4.00 per annum be charged each member, said dues payable quarterly in advance, or that each member shall pay $1 in January, April, July and October of each year.Every male citizen of Pitkin County is earnestly invited to become active members of the club and do his individual best for the advancement along all lines of the county.

A downtown pedestrian mall was in the formative stages 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Aspen will have a park-like pedestrian mall somewhere in the center of town, at least for a nine-day experimental period this summer, if a plan presented to the City Council Monday, June 19, is accepted.The project, which was first proposed at the recent Seminar on the Future of Aspen, was worked up in detail and presented to the aldermen by a committee headed by Architect Richard Lai.In his presentation, Lai suggested that the best location for the experimental pedestrian mall would be either Hyman or Cooper Ave. between Mill and Galena streets. Both are centrally located and have retail, craft and dining establishments bordering them.Aim of the project, according to Lai’s presentation, is a permanent City Center in Aspen. However, this would take the form this summer of an experimental center, sponsored by the city, the chamber of commerce and local merchants for the nine-day period.••••Police questioned those responsible for the Night Writer, an anonymous publication circulating about town 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Two men who were distributing the Night Writer, a mimeographed sheet which proclaimed recently that it planned to expose evil in the community, were picked up for questioning Friday, June 16 at about 1 a.m., but distribution of the periodical continued during the early morning hours.Stopped at the corner of Main and Mill streets by City Patrolman Roy Baker were Whitey Davis and Bill Haneman.A one-and-a-half-hour questioning period followed at the police station. Davis and Haneman were also asked to appear Friday afternoon and Saturday morning at the station and complied with the request.No charges were pressed.

The Popcorn Wagon in downtown Aspen is currently shuttered at the very spot where it was about to move 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:An Aspen tradition for almost two decades, the antique popcorn wagon received permission Tuesday to return to the corner of Mill and Hyman across from the Opera House.This came in the form of special-use approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission to place the wagon, as a commercial restaurant, in the Barnard property open space.The popular eating stand had been located for the past few years on the Volk property at the corner of Cooper and Galena, but was forced to move when work began on a new building there.••••An expansion of the Hotel Jerome won approval 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Despite recommendations from the planning office and planning commission, Aspen’s City Council opted Monday to heed the Historic Preservation Committee and approve the Hotel Jerome addition as proposed by the owners.Although planners and the planning commission had approved all other segments of the addition, including parking, service area and landscaping, they found the 40-foot height for half the frontage on Bleeker Street excessive and not compatible with the neighborhood.However, at its June 10 meeting, the HPC found that compromise plans, prepared after the P&Z commission recommendation, with reduced height at the corner of Bleeker and Monarch, were unacceptable.”We believe this design is too complicated and fragmented. The massing is not compatible with the old Hotel Jerome in our view,” the committee informed the council.

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