Aspen History: Mud and flood
“Deluge which hit up in Tourtelotte fills Durant buildings with mud,” proclaimed a headline in The Aspen Times on Aug. 3, 1939. “Aspenites received at least temporary relief Thursday from the withering dry spell which has parched the community in the past three months. Intermittent showers have fallen nearly every afternoon and evening since then and have kept temperatures from running uncomfortably high. Saturday night the heaviest rain in more than one year deluged the community. The local rain gauge measured 0.59 inches of precipitation in about three hours’ time. A total of 0.86 inches of precipitation has been recorded here in the past week. A cloudburst struck in Tourtelotte Park and on Richmond hill Saturday night sending huge torrents of water down into the lower valleys. Forest trails were washed out on Richmond hill, while devastating streams poured thru Spar Gulch and down Aspen Mountain filling the Durant Mine buildings with mud and debris. The change room at the mine was filled with about three feet of mud.” This image shows the Durant Mine ore bin and office (left) and some buildings of the Argentum-Juniata Mine (right) at the base of Ute and Aspen Mountain, circa 1930.