25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

Aspen was nearly stripped of its trees 100 years ago, as so much timber was required for supports in the mining tunnels and for fuel. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

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 holidays were over, and thoughts turned to spring. The reader wonders how relevant a column about the latest in spring fashions was to women struggling to make ends meet in post-mining-boom Aspen (see photos). Perhaps it was simply a pleasure to know somewhere, someone would wear such finery.IN DRESS GOODSChecks are easily the leading favorite, but stripes are making a gain with the advance trade. Judging from the business already placed, it now seems evident that next spring will be a fancy season.Plain veilings have been especially active for the spring and summer. They are bought for early spring use and are shown in a range of qualities greater than have ever been the case before. Veilings of the best qualities will have a crisp touch that is away from the chiffon idea that has ruled so long. … Black and cream white voiles will be used freely, and there will be a fair demand for color. …

IN DRESS ACCESSORIES[O]n imported gowns we see a combination of Irish, Brussels and Cluny laces. The three distinct types are shown forming bands and motifs. … Never has there been a time when such lavish use has been made of expensive laces. …Among small dress accessories, buttons have become a most important and also a very expensive one. The fabric buttons of last year are replaced by those of metal and stones: Tortoise shell, mother of pearl and imitations on a very large scale of almost the entire range of precious stones are employed. Beautiful paint miniatures of the Louis XV or Louis XVI period on ivory or porcelain are greatly prized.Runaway teams were reported too often 100 years ago. On Friday evening Dick Pierce was coming down Smuggler mountain with a load of logs [see photo]. When near the Park Regent mine, the brake of the wagon caught against a snag in the road, swinging the wagon in such a manner as to throw Mr. Pierce to the ground. This frightened the horse and they dashed down the grade for a short distance when horses, wagon and logs went over the grade down the steep hillside. One horse was killed, the others receiving but slight injuries. Mr. Pierce, while not seriously injured, received a number of ugly scratches.Many Aspenites left town because it was hard to make a living during “The Quiet Years.” They kept in touch with their old friends and town through the newspaper.Word was recently received in the city from Dixie, Utah, from Mickey Hays, a former well known Aspen man stating that he is getting along just scrumptious, but he still has a longing in his heart for dear old Aspen. He was recently promoted to the “boss of the timber gang” and says he expects to be allowed to “ile” the ore cars in the immediate future. You’d better come back to Aspen, Mickey, you old bald-headed sooner.

The holidays were over, and thoughts turned to Wintersköl. The 1957 theme was announced,Harking back to Aspen’s beginnings in the 1890s as a silver boom town, Aspen residents are being asked to deck themselves, their cars, houses and pets in silver for this year’s Wintersköl.According to the carnival’s central committee, silver is the annual frolic’s theme this year, and they want it to appear in as many places as possible.Silver bells on cars, silver tassels on hats and animals, and silver dollars in pockets are among the ideas the committee has suggested to promote their silver infiltration scheme.The annual Coronation Ball will have silver as its theme, too, with revelers wearing silver masks.The carnival is slated for Jan. 17 to 20.

A new event was added to the weekend schedule for Aspen’s “Toast to Winter,” the paper noted.Talking its place among many Wintersköl attractions this year will be an old-time square dance.Slated for Thursday evening, Jan. 18, at 8:30 p.m. the dance will be held in the Blue Lounge of the Hotel Jerome. Caller for the dance will be Mike Cross, renowned square expert from Rifle. Cross will also provide the music.A charge of $1 per couple will be made to cover the cost of the caller and music. The lounge and facilities will be donated by the Aspen Company.According to the Wintersköl Committee, the dance is designed for residents and guests alike and all persons are invited to attend.Aspen was a favorite movie location, and its citizens were the stars, the paper reported,Residents and visitors will have a chance next Thursday to see several phases of Aspen’s development in three diverse films made here.

The film look at Aspen will be part of the Wintersköl program and will be shown in the Opera House at 8 p.m.The first, and earliest, film was made by Friedl Pfeifer and pictures Aspen in the days when the mountain was only slightly manicured and the old boat tow was the only mode of transportation uphill.Second in the group is a film called “Snow Carnival,” a short made by Warner Bros. It was filmed in 1951 and features Gary Cooper, then a part-time resident of Aspen.The latest film was made last winter by [Fred] Iselin for the H.J. Heinz Company. Called “Little Skier’s Big Day,” it stars Suzie Wirth, Iselin, Jean Tournier and Steve Knowlton. It chronicles a day in the life of young Miss Wirth who lives at the Sundeck.The pizza invasion of the United States in the 1950s infiltrated the Colorado Rockies in 1957, the paper wrote in a front-page story,Aspen’s most famous oven arrived in town this week. Weighing nearly two tons, the oven, designed to make pizzas, was picked up by truck in Grand Junction and transported yesterday by its owners, Pierre Olivan and Dick Hollers.The gas-fired mammoth, specially designed for the new Heidleberg cafe, was made by the Blodgett factory in Vermont, and had been en route to Aspen for three weeks. Its arrival made possible the often postponed opening of one of the town’s newest enterprises, the Heidleberg. Grand opening of the pizza shop is now scheduled for this Saturday, Jan. 12, at 6 p.m. …

In addition to serving pizza, the new restaurant will have breakfast, sandwiches, and 3.2 beer. It will be open from 7 a.m. until 3 a.m., with beer served each evening until midnight.Whoops, sometimes the city forgets those tiresome details. The paper reported, The City of Aspen is in violation of its own building code, it was learned last Monday, Jan. 7, at the regular meeting of the City Council.Pointing out the violation was Clarence Rader, building inspector. Rader told the council that no building permit had been requested or granted for the work in progress on the Armory [see photo].Present regulations call for all construction, both new building and remodeling, to be covered by a building permit. At present the Armory is being renovated to permit its use by the City Electric Department and as a City Hall.During its Monday meeting the council discussed possible punishment it could mete itself for disregarding its own laws.

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The holidays were over, and thoughts turned to snow – there was too much (see photo).Last winter The Aspen Times was running headlines saying, “Don’t worry: it usually does snow.”And this winter the headlines read, “Don’t worry: it will stop snowing” (it usually does by June).Since the first of the year, just a week ago today, 25.5 inches of snow has fallen on Aspen. According to Jim Markalunas, who keeps the snow records at the Aspen Water Plant, the snow for this winter (from October until this far in January) has reached a count of 116.5 inches. …This Wednesday’s snowfall of 10 more inches seemed to be the final straw. Everybody in town in town was saying, “Enough is enough. We wanted snow for skiing – but this?”All the schools, both public and private, were closed. … The tennis bubble at the Aspen Club collapsed under the weight of the snow.Streets in town were clogged with cars (some hadn’t moved in three weeks of snowstorms and looked like white mounds instead of cars). Many of the streets were down to one-way traffic.Markalunas suggested that Aspenites go back to their old custom of tying red ribbons on their car antennas so other cars can see them coming around the snow-piled corners. At the city shop Puppy Smith said his crew of 11 men manning the plows and sanding trucks has been working 12 to 16 hours a day trying to keep ahead of the snow. …The snowfalls brought unexpected prosperity to the taxi drivers in town.

Since the Aspen Airport was socked in most of the past three weeks, taxis were put into service driving tourists to and from the Denver airport and Grand Junction airport. Fred Kamm, manager of High Mountain Taxi, said that over the last 10 days his drivers have shuttled well over 1,000 people back and forth. …It actually has been snowing almost steadily for three weeks. And most of the snowfalls each day have been from 6 to 11 inches. …The biggest snow since records were kept was the winter of 1964-65 when 219 inches fell and the roof of Tomkins Hardware caved in under the weight.How spoiled we are today; the paper noted 25 years ago,Those who like the steep and the deep for skiing will be happy to hear the Aspen Highlands opened the Steeplechase Wednesday,Steeplechase, located on the north slope of the mountain, didn’t open at all last year and rarely opens in January. Ski patrolman have been working hard on avalanche prevention in the area to prepare for an early opening.The Steeplechase chutes are accessed by riding the Loges Peak chairlift. The 10 chutes are never plowed and some are as steep as 40-45 degrees.

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