25-50-100 years ago
Ryan Summerlin August 29, 2006
Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.The paper announced the opening of the school year and implied the closing of one of Aspen’s many elementary schools. The town was shrinking.Monday morning the sound of the school bell will again be heard in the land. How many anxious mothers will gladly welcome the school days after the summer’s play and frolic. The little folks are just as anxious too, for that matter, and a bright and busy year we trust lays before them.High School – Principal, E. A. Lanning; Science Master, A.G. Haskins; English and Latin, Miss Whaley; Moderns and History, Miss Canning.Washington Building – Principal, Grant Ruland; [teachers listed for first through fifth grades; sixth grade was “not assigned”].Lincoln Building [see photo] – Principal, A.M. Willson; [teachers listed for first through eighth grades].Garfield Building – Pupils formerly attending this building and those in that part of the city are requested to report at the Lincoln building.
This reporter seemed to be an eyewitness to “Those Dens Of Iniquity.”The Hanrahan cesspool has been a stench in the nostrils of the people in the locality for years. Complaints after complaint has been made and nothing has been done to abate the nuisance.It should be the concern of the city peace officers that a brothel is permitted to exist where daily and nightly debauches are held and where after complete exhaustion follows beastly excess, male and female fall to the floor, their limbs and bodies entwined forming as indistinguishable a mass as a heap of angle worms.Excuses are no longer palatable. It is a condition that confronts you city peace officers and a condition that must be met fairly and squarely, and you must perform your duty.The den mentioned and those of similar character are the breeding places of corruption and vice and from them and their influences have emanated those beings who have been responsible for the crimes committed in our beautiful city.CLEAN ‘EM OUT!Ted Cooper’s driving machine was just the beginning, as the paper reported another “New Auto in Town.” Dr. A.J.O. Lof returned to the city yesterday from a brief visit in Denver. The doctor is nothing if not enterprising and public-spirited, and up-to-date in all things. While in the Capital city he purchased an automobile of the runabout type, which he brought with him on his return home. …
On the trip from Leadville to Aspen the doctor had quite an experience and a very narrow escape from serious injury and probable death.Dr. Lof was in company with F.J. Mund of Leadville, a former Aspenite, and when near Dotsero came to a fork in the road and while debating which road to take, a mudslide came down a gully just ahead of them, which was 100 feet wide and 8 feet deep, which would surely have engulfed them had they continued in their course. They decided to return to Dotsero. But they had not proceeded far when their further progress was barred by another mudslide and they were compelled to seek refuge with Doc Yost. Mr. Mund, who had a pressing engagement in Glenwood, procured a horse and forded the river and made his way over the hills to the Hot Water town.The Rio Grande train bearing the International press clubs ran into the slide and was stuck hard and fast for some time.The story continued the next day,Dr. Lof’s auto broke down on the mesa Wednesday night and was hauled to the city by the ever faithful horse for repairs. The doctor is new at the auto business but after he gets on to the job, he will have no more breakdowns.
The end of summer was marked by the striking of the Aspen Music Festival tent (see photo). The Times reported,Under the direction of Harry Ilgen and Dave Barbee, the Amphitheater tent is being taken down this week. Owned by the Aspen Institute, the Tent was leased for the summer to the Music Associates of Aspen.Presenting three concerts a week for 10 weeks, ending Sept. 2, the MAA estimates that upwards of 30,000 people attended both chamber and orchestra recitals under the immense canvas.Aspen was at the forefront of lifestyle trends 50 years ago, as the paper noted,Ready after years of planning and months of preparation, The Aspen Health Center will open for business this Sunday, Sept. 9, with Dr. Charles S. Houston as resident physician.Believed to be the first undertaking of its kind in this country, the new health center will concentrate on preserving the physical well-being of the “whole man.” It will combine programs designed to stimulate the cultural, mental and physical aspects of its guests.Renowned as a mountaineer as well as a doctor, Houston has participated in four expeditions to the Himalayas and was twice leader of the American expedition to K2, second highest mountain in the world. Part of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, the Health Center is the creation of Chicago industrialist Walter P. Paepcke. President of the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Company, Paepcke is given credit for having initiated the rebirth of Aspen following World War II.The center is primarily designed to rehabilitate tired executives and businessmen. Resident directors of the center are Bruno and Erna Geba, physical education experts trained at the University of Vienna.The new $275,000 health center was designed by Fritz Benedict and Herbert Bayer.
The school play area on Hallam Street in 1956 was a different scene from our state-of-the-art school campus on Maroon Creek Road today. In an editorial, Bil Dunaway addressed a deplorable situation.Though there is still room inside the school, there is very is very little room outside. Playground facilities for large numbers of children simply do not exist. The school has a side play-yard equipped with swings for the very young children. It has the use of a vacant lot across from the school and, in fall and spring, they can use the block which become an ice-skating rink in winter.At present, Wagner ball park – some six blocks away from the school – is used for football and baseball. More like a rock-studded dust bowl than a playing field, it is barely adequate, and it is too far away from the school for the younger children.Lately, the school has had to use the adjacent streets as playgrounds. They are blocked off by sawhorses in the mornings and kept blocked off through the school day. In crowded, overgrown cities, one might expect to find children playing in the streets. In a small, airy mountain town like Aspen, it seems almost incredible.
Mary Eshbaugh Hayes wrote about “The day Andy Warhol visited The Aspen Times.”He seemed as intrigued with us as we were with him. …”What a wonderful old-time newspaper,” he said.I was staring at the black tuxedo jacket.I though of Lord Byron, remembered reading how he made dramatic entrances in his black cape and with his white skin, as much an actor as a poet.I thought Warhol must be as much an actor as an artist.John and Kimiko Powers were with him. So was Bob Colacello, the editor of Warhol’s Interview magazine. And some young man who kept running in and out, going next door, trying to get Carl’s to carry Interview.Looking at their watches they mentioned how they had to catch a plane in another half an hour. They were in too much of a rush to sit down. But Andy Warhol sat down. His penetrating eyes took in everything. … He pulled his eyes away from staring at the writers’ cubbyholes, stared at me, and smiled with glee.”There’s no new direction,” he said. “It’s the same old stuff. The tomato soup cans are coming back.”And I’m dealing with what I call American myths – Mickey Mouse and the Wicked Witch and Santa Claus. They’re done as silk-screened prints and some have diamond dust. I did a really good Mickey Mouse.” …I wondered if Warhol had been in Aspen before.”Many times,” he said. “Two good things happened this time. I had dinner with John Denver and lunch with Jack Nicholson, who has been giving us a tour of the town. Notice that I’m name-dropping celebrities,” he pointed out. “I also came to see my land in Carbondale,” he said. He’s had land on Missouri Heights for 10 years. The land is near John Powers’ ranch.
“I’m not going to build on it,” said Warhol. “It’s too pretty.”Land is the best art.”Warhol’s blue eyes took in the old bookcases that wall The Aspen Times, the notes and photos stuck everywhere, my old upright typewriter pushed aside to make room for the modern word processor.”I love this place,” he said.The grand ‘ol opery house would remain in public ownership, the paper reported,Aspen should retain ownership of the Wheeler Opera House [see photo] and spend the estimated $3 million needed to bring it up to code and make it a functioning theater. This was the informal decision by the city council during a special study session as noon yesterday with three of the four council members present in concurrence. [City Manager Wayne Chapman] explained that, despite the poor situation of the bond market, the city could still raise an estimated $2 million from the real estate transfer tax. …He listed three alternative methods for acquiring the additional $1 million to complete the renovations with options previously selected by the council: 1) sell the building; 2) negotiate a master lease for the basement and first floor; 3) use the sixth-penny open space tax fund to issue additional bonds.