From the Vault: Fourth of July festivities |

From the Vault: Fourth of July festivities

One 5" x 7" glass plate negative of a Fourth of July celebration event. Miners are preparing to have a drilling contest in rock which is peeking through a bunting wrapped platform. Umbrellas are up in this photo.

“The miners of Aspen are not satisfied with all the arrangements for the Fourth of July celebration,” revealed the Aspen Democrat on June 23, 1901. “They believe that, being the most important factor in Aspen’s business prosperity, they should not have been overlooked as they claim to have been. Suggestions have been tendered to the committee of general arrangements to have a drilling contest on the Fourth. A contest of that kind would give them far more pleasure than to witness the horse races or the parade. Both these are good things to have on the Fourth but it seems strange that a committee of business men who rely entirely for their success on the trade of the working men would so entirely ignore the wishes of the majority of the community. There is no doubt but that (…) they will bring their friends and backers with them and a large wad of money would be left in Aspen. This thing is not a fad on our part. We hear it every hour on the streets. All the miners are talking about it and why should not the general committee consider it. Large prizes will not be needed. Most expert miners would be content to compete for a reasonable purse and the additional honor. Aspen has as good double and single jackers as any camp in the state, and the miners will be sorely disappointed if they do not have a drilling contest. It is hard to please everybody. We know that the committee is doing its best, but in having such a contest on the Fourth, they will please everybody for once.” The image above shows two miners preparing for a drilling contest as part of Aspen’s Fourth of July celebrations in the early 1900s.

This photo and more can be found in the Aspen Historical Society archives at

Aspen Times Weekly

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