Editor’s note: Microfilm of The Aspen Times from October 19031911 is missing from the Pitkin County Library. To continue our journalistic history of Aspen, we include excerpts from The Aspen Democrat, the Times’ competitor 100 years ago.OCTOBER 1904Never ones to shy away from offering their opinions, the editors of the Democrat said this about “The People’s Champion,”Did you hear a dull, sickening thud yesterday, like an ice wagon tipping over?Did you hear a “hark from the tombs a doleful” sound?Did you feel the cold clamminess of the morning and a dreary lassitude during the rest of the day, like a patent medicine advertisement of something “good for that tired feeling?”That was the first issue of the Pop paper descending in chunks on the porches of Aspen. That was the advent of “The People’s Champion” into the local political arena.The paper was one of the prosiest affairs that ever purported to be a campaign sheet. It was as “heavy” as an underdone fruit cake and harder to make head or tail of than one of the Times articles on the whyness of the is-it and the whenceness of the when.While the paper argued in 1904 that “Aspen Should Get This,” there is still no real road to Ruby.Another season has passed, and still no road built up Lincoln gulch. A state surveyor was here several months and for all good he accomplished, he might as well have stayed away. …The Ruby is one of the best mines in the gulch, and is producing some rich ore. They have their own jack train and at present are shipping on an average of sixty sacks of ore per day. …The ore, which is being shipped to Leadville, could just as well be she shipped to Aspen if this long-talked-of road was a reality. This company buys all their supplies at Leadville, which amounts to thousands of dollars during the season. They have just placed an order with Leadville merchants for over $3,000 worth of supplies for the winter.After reporting on the trial of a boy accused of stealing, the editor offered this bit of advice:The moral of the whole affair is that boys who loaf around saloons playing pool will get into trouble sooner or later. They may come from the best of families and they very frequently do. It is in just such cases that the innocent suffer the disgrace of guilt. If the officers did their duty and kept the saloons free from minors there would be less wildness and wrong doing which can lead to only one thing. A boy of 17 or 18 who loafs around saloons, smoking cigarettes and playing pool, will soon find his money getting short. To get money he commits petty crimes and the boy who has got this far is well started on the road to Canon City.OCTOBER 1954The Times began following Aspen’s bid for the 1960 Winter Olympics in October 1954.Bob Craig left Aspen Wednesday morning for Denver where he will attend a meeting of officials of the Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Association on Wednesday evening. There he will present the official bid of Aspen for a part of the 1960 Winter Olympics. The part that is wanted by Aspen is the Downhill and Slalom events and possibly the Bobsled events. Water woes are nothing new in Colorado, as evidenced by this article,Denver has available and earmarked enough water for 200,000 more persons than are now served in the city and metropolitan area and could obtain 100,000 acre feet of water by condemnation proceedings, according to Frank Delaney, Glenwood Springs attorney for the Colorado River Water Conservation district.The present and earmarked supplies plus the water which could be condemned would supply more than 1,200,000 persons, twice the present metropolitan population. Savings created by metering water and building more storage facilities would stretch the water much further, according to figures of Delaney.”Assertions by Denver papers that the growth of Denver must cease by the year 1963 because of insufficient water are baseless,” he declared.Chance are you won’t find anything like this in today’s “society” columns,Ranchers shipping cattle and sheep to Denver last weekend were Jens Christiansen, Bernard and Sam Stapleton, Evan Melton, Bill Skiff, Art Roberts and Johnny Hoaglund.Long before computer labs and multimedia rooms were de rigueur, local schools had to bargain for the simplest things. The Times reported,In conjunction with Civil Defense authorities the school is negotiating to buy a slide film projector. The Federal Government will pay for one-half the price, and in return, the school is obligated to show several Civil Defense movies to both the elementary and high schools twice a month.OCTOBER 1979What’s all the stink about? In 1979, the Sanitation Plant. The Times wrote,Aspenites will have to live with the stench from the Aspen Sanitation Plant on North Mill Street for about another year.According to Aspen Sanitation District Manager Heiko Kuhn, it will take that much longer to complete the expansion on the Aspen Metro plant near the Airport Business Center and begin phasing out the North Mill Street plant. …The Aspen Times pointed out, however, that the district has promised repeatedly during the past several years to do something about the unpleasant odors, either by operating the Aspen plant in a manner to eliminate the smells or by abandoning it so that all the sewage is processed at the large metro plant.Kuhn insists the district is working as quickly as possible to fulfill those promises.”Originally,” he said, “the Aspen plant was in the boondocks. No one noticed the odor problem.”Replace the word “condominium” with “timeshare” and this story could almost run in today’s Aspen Times.An ordinance imposing a 90-day moratorium on condominium conversion of lodges was adopted on first reading by Aspen’s city council during its regular meeting Monday.Such a temporary moratorium was recommended recently by the planning and zoning commission to prevent applications while the subdivision regulations are being redrafted.The reason given by the PZ commission for seeking new subdivision regulations to control lodge conversions is loss of hotel rooms in areas designated for tourist uses through the condominium process.The late 1970s were a time of great growth for the ski industry, as evidenced by this article,For the first time in 11 years of World Pro Skiing, the whirlwind tour, featuring the best professional ski racers in the world, is completely filled.Boating 13 races, World Pro Skiing’s founder and executive director, Bob Beattie, made the formal announcement detailing the tour which will make stops in Europe, the US and Canada this season. The tour will be in Aspen Dec. 10-15.”World Pro Skiing is experiencing a popularity unprecedented in its history,” said Beattie, “Never before has there been such an internationally diverse field of professional ski racers, nor high level of general public interest in World Pro Skiing. There also has never been so much prize money up for grabs.”The debate continued over where to relocate the county jail and law enforcement offices …… the county sheriff and aspen police chief preferred a site behind the Mill and Main Building and First National Bank parking lot known as the Oden property. However, City/County Planner Karen Smith said her department was against use of the Oden property for the law enforcement building, since it was the best site for a future performing arts center.The planning department would prefer to see the law enforcement structure located behind the courthouse on the east edge of the county’s property.
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.