25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Fourth of July in Aspen a century ago was to be a busy day. The Aspen Democrat-Times laid out a schedule that included an evening picture show, grand military ball and an address by ex-Gov. Charles S. Thomas. Also planned:

The Fourth of July will be properly observed in Aspen this year. From 9:45 a.m. till noon will occur the fourteen street events, consisting of all manner of races, wet hose test and last, but not least, the water fight with fire hose between two teams, each composed of five young fellows under 21 years of age.

This event will be the most exciting of any on the program and will be pulled off on Cooper Avenue between Mill and Monarch streets.

At the fairgrounds in the afternoon there will be a three-inning ball game between the Fats and the Leans, catching greased pig, climbing greased pole, pie-eating contest and a ball game between a team composed of Elks and Eagles and the Crystal City club team.

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The state of Independence Pass was the topic at Aspen City Hall a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

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A large number of persons assembled at the city hall last evening in attendance at a meeting of the Good Roads league.

On taking the chair, Dr. Lof stated the meeting had been called for the purpose of receiving the report of the committee that had been detailed to inspect the Roaring Fork road over Independence Pass to Twin Lakes.

Following is the substance of the report made by Theodore Cooper and Arthur Colyer of the committee [an excerpt}:

The road from Aspen to the top of the range is in fairly good condition for vehicles with the exception of two or three places men could repair in a few days. For a few miles on the Lake County side of the pass, the road was rough, boulders having run onto the right of way during the spring thaw. This section could be made passable for vehicles in a week by a small force of men.

A flying saucer in the skies over Aspen? That was the scuttlebutt 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

A flying saucer in this area? At least there appeared to be a strange object over the hills above Aspen early this week, according to a group of picnickers.

After the sighting was reported, a large U.S. Air Force plane was seen in the vicinity, presumably investigating. Information on what was found, if anything, has not been released.

Nationwide, an increased number of sightings have been reported in the last few months. The Air Force announced that the objects were not from outer space.

• • • •

Fifty years ago, plans for a Fourth of July celebration in Aspen were in the offing, much as they are every year. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported on the highlight of the day’s festivities:

Fireworks – a full 45-minute display – will again highlight the Fourth of July celebration scheduled next Tuesday by the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department.

As usual, sky rockets, aerial bombs and other pyrotechnic thrillers will be launched from a road high on Aspen Mountain. Ground displays will be set off at the south end of Wagner Park.

A two-way radio is due for service to coordinate the parties of volunteers at each location.

Fire Chief Clyde Clymer described the show as “about the same as last year.” The 1960 demonstration, biggest ever here, was considered a top notcher by most viewers.

Clymer added that the volunteers plan some surprises, but he did not elaborate.

There was considerable interest in the CEO job at Aspen Valley Hospital 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

A chief executive officer, rather than a management firm, will be hired to replace Glen Scott, who has accepted a position at a Pueblo clinic.

More than 200 applications have been received by the hospital and Volunteer Hospitals of America will screen candidates, narrowing the field to 15 to 20 job candidates, according to AVH spokeswoman Eve Homeyer.

Homeyer said questionnaires will be sent to the 15 to 20 candidates who advance through the screening process. A group of finalists will be chosen for interviews, and the board is hoping to offer a position by July.

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Proposed lift improvements at Aspen Highlands were pulled off the table 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

It was predictable, but not expected. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp. has withdrawn plans to reconstruct two chairlifts in light of a recent decision by Pitkin County to deny the ski area future year allocations for a 300-unit resort hotel complex.

The lift project was to take place this summer. It would have replaced the existing Cloud 9 double chairlift with a triple chair, and replaced the Golden Horn Poma lift with the existing Cloud 9 double chair.

But Highlands, with a phone call the morning of the scheduled public hearing on the lift plan, announced it was withdrawing the proposal “until such time as the county can determine the scope and timing of the base facility upgrade.”

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