Aspen History: Tourtelotte’s Organ
“Famous instrument of Tourtelotte Park has been hauled away,” lamented the Aspen Daily Times on Nov. 20, 1895. “Grief has struck the inhabitants of Tourtelotte Park. The cause of the present wailing in Tourtelotte Park is the loss of the organ — an instrument in which more old time miners hold stock than in any other one article in the county. It was purchased while the boom was on and did herculean service for all the public gatherings. The mere history of the Tourtelotte Park organ is interesting. Away back in the spring of 1888 a school house had been built in the park. Not long afterward the young men and women there organized a debating and literary society. After the literary society was started some sort of a musical instrument became next to a necessity. It was decided to buy one. For this purpose every man working in all that country was asked to contribute. Any amount from half a dollar to $5 was taken towards creating the organ fund. Finally the cash was received, and in due time the music box was carted up. It was placed in the school house, and it is scarcely necessary to remark it was an event for the community to celebrate. Not only that, but the organ made a jingle for the dancers who frequently held terpsichorean festivals in Welmer’s hall, which was located over the old Tourtelotte Park Merchandise company’s store. The instrument was carried from the hall to the school house when occasion required, and was therefore a most valuable piece of public property (…).” This image shows the town of Tourtelotte Park on Aspen Mountain in the 1890s.
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