History Aspen: Transforming Hallam Lake
“Hallam Lake to be transformed from a resort for frogs and jack snipes to a blooming paradise,” asserted the Aspen Times on November 5, 1898. “Billy Van isn’t anything if he can’t shine. And the brightness of his shining is now liable to eclipse that of the noon-day sun. Last summer when Billy announced the fact that he was going to lease Hallam Lake and equip it preparatory to not only winter sporting but especially for theatrical engagements for next summer, people looked upon the project as a gentle concussion of the atmosphere, and let the report pass in at one ear and out at the other. But this morning The Times desires to announce that the project has been brought to a happy consummation, and that the lake has been leased for three years, the lumber purchased to erect a 200-foot toboggan slide, which will be used both winter and summer. The pavilion now used for dancing will be converted into a room suitable for theatrical work, by having a stage erected, scenery put in, etc. and with a general renovation of the grounds, the addition of fine upholstered row seats and shady walks, the lake will be one of the finest resorts on the Western slope. Refreshment parlors will also be in evidence, and the wants of the people will in every way be fully met. A large stairway will be erected parallel with the toboggan, and by its descent admittance to the grounds will be gained. Poor old Glenwood, who has been feasting these many years off the generosity of the people of Aspen will now have an opportunity to do the reciprocity act, and return unto this camp at least a few of the dollars that have been dropping constantly into her pocket. Verily, things in Aspen are on the move.” The image above shows Hallam Lake, circa 1900.