From the Vault: Light It Up

Three b/w photographs of a sleigh in front of the Sardy House. There are two children in the sleigh, which is pulled by a shetland pony named Katy. The sleigh was owned by Fritz and Fabi Benedict, and is now owned by the Aspen Historical Society. The house was built in 1891 by J.W. Atkinson (often called Three-Fingered Jack), who was part owner of the Little Annie Mine. It is typical of the Queen Anne Victorian style, with its thick brick walls, sandstone detailing, and wood ornamental trim. The house was built circa 1891 by J.W. Atkinson, a freighter and later a miner who moved to Aspen in 1879, using bricks made in aspen by his father John Atkinson in his brick yard at the base of Smuggler Mountain (N. Mill Street). In 1938, the Sardy's moved to Aspen and purchased the Aspen Lumber and Supply Company along with the mortuary. They also purchased the house that became known as the Sardy house and Tom ran the mortuary out of their house through the mid 1970s . Tom was very ingrained in the community along with his wife, Rachel, and was instrumental in developing the Airport and securing federal funds through his seat on the County Commissioners. 1955-

“City to give $250 for better Xmas lighting this year,” announced The Aspen Times on Nov. 19, 1959. “The city will spend $250 for Christmas lighting and decoration it was resolved Monday, Nov. 16, by the members of the City Council. The decision to spend the money was made after Tom Sardy and Pat Henry presented a request from the Chamber of Commerce asking the city if it would do something to improve the town’s Christmas (decorations). They told the aldermen that the chamber had also received to ask the county to contribute money for more Christmas decorations.” The photo above shows a sleigh in front of the Sardy House, circa 1955. The tree on the right has been lit up with thousands of lights each winter for more than 30 years, and is one of the tallest living Christmas trees in the country.

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

Aspen Times Weekly

See more