25-50-100 | AspenTimes.com


Sara Garton
The Aspen Democrat-Times reported in 1917 on the growing use of the automobile in the United States, and the story of a motor car's plunge off a mountain road. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

The automobile was moving in, and the horse and buggy were moving out, according to a United Press report in the Aspen Democrat-Times. With one automobile for every 11 persons in the state, Iowa led the country in 1916 in the number of motor cars per capita, according to official figures in the government office of Public Roads.California was second with one car for every 12 inhabitants.Nebraska and South Dakota had one for every 13. Arkansas stood last in the list of states with only one car for every 116 persons.The national average was one for every 29. By sections the South had relatively the fewest cars in proportion to population.

New motor-car owners were still honing their mountain-driving skills in Aspen.Sunday morning “Jack” Brunton and T.A. Castello, with the latter at the wheel of his large seven-passenger Marmon touring car, were driving into town from the Glendale Stock farm.The car was being driven at a pretty good clip and as Castello attempted to turn the sharp curve leading down the steep Dwyer hill, the right front wheel of the car left the road and for 30 feet or more, driver Castello succeeded in holding his car on the road, when the left front wheel struck a pile of rock and the huge machine somersaulted over the embankment to the little valley some 300 feet below. Both young men were in the car as it took its first somersault, when Castello succeeded in getting out, or he was thrown out, he doesn’t know which, but Jack Brunton did not get out, or was not thrown out, until the machine had made its second somersault. … Both escaped with but a few scratches and bruises. That this is so is a miracle, one of these which cannot be accounted for, except by the hand of Divine Providence.The machine continued on its downward plunge another 200 feet after disgorging its passengers, turning over and over, until it finally landed on its wheels, a total and complete wreck.

Former grocer Henry Beck was at the forefront 90 years ago in promoting a new foodstuff, which was packaged and required no fresh ingredients. The paper wrote,Henry Beck, one of Aspen’s well-known business men, is in the city in the interests of a new product which will do away with the need of eggs for cakes, cornbread muffins, or pancakes, or any other kind of baking. He is expecting to place it with the local merchants.This new product, “Ready-to-bake,” comes in the form of a baking powder with the added feature that no eggs are necessary when the powder is used. It is gotten out by the Wholesome Food Products Co. of Denver, and Mr. Beck is himself interested in the concern which is making the new product.The careful housewife can have good, palatable cakes, cookies, etc., at a less expense this winter when she does not have to use eggs for her baking. Recipes come with each package so as to illustrate the simplicity and cheapness of its use. There are no egg powders used in the product.Several weeks are missing from the microfilm of our newspapers 100 years ago. These news stories are from the 1917 Aspen Democrat-Times, as The Aspen Times and The Aspen Democrat merged in 1909. We will run excerpts from newspapers 90 years ago until the microfilm picks up again in September 1907.

Before cell phones, Bil Dunaway penned an editorial 50 years ago, imparting telephone etiquette to his phoning readers, whom Dunaway considered women, by his use of the feminine pronoun throughout this scolding.Out in this part of the country nearly everyone who has a telephone is on a party line, and it is almost a constitutional right of party-liners to listen in on their neighbors’ conversations. After all, up here in the high country, there’s no TV and only the scantiest kind of radio reception. Where’s a body to get entertainment and news on a dull morning if not over the party line?From our vague experience with party lines, we’re convinced that the actual entertainment value is vastly over-rated. Listening to two ladies discussing where to put the picture hooks is NOT our idea of fun, but it may be yours – and the right remains.However, as with any right, being an active party-liner involves certain responsibilities, too. An overzealous party-liner, anxious to hold the line, sometimes gets in the habit of leaving her receiver off the hook when she’s not using her telephone. That puts everyone on the line in limbo. They can’t phone out, no one can phone in. Normal line action comes to a dead stop, and all everyone up and down the line can hear when she picks up her phone is the homey little drama going on in the guilty party’s manse.Another party line villain is the person who listens in, knowing full well that as soon as she picks up her phone, the initial connection nearly goes out altogether. When two people are talking, everything goes swimmingly. When a neighbor down the line picks up her phone for a bit of pleasant, relaxed easy listening pleasure, the first two can barely hear each other. …It’s all ultimately good manners. Of course, a little noble work on the part of the Telephone Company [see photo] to straighten out or fortify those sensitive lines would help, too. In the interim, if there isn’t more cooperation up and down the lines, we are apt to find ourselves in the middle of a giant communications war.

The Aspen Times announced public land for sale!Three lots of valuable government land adjacent to Aspen totaling over 27 aces will be offered for public sale on Sept. 26, it was announced last week by the Bureau of Land Management.Located just north of the Williams addition along both sides of Hunter Creek on the east slope of Smuggler Mountain … one of the lots, 26, is comprised of rocky hillside, and although parts of the other two lots are steep, much of the land in lots 28 and 25 is rolling sage and aspen-covered bench land suitable for building.Minimum bid prices announced by the government are $8,750 for lot 28, which contains 8.75 acres; $8,945 for lot 25, which has 9.97 acres, and $93.50 for lot 26, containing 9.35 acres.

Last Monday evening, July 30, in the Benedict Tent, the Suite, op. 157b, by Darius Milhaud was performed. In August 1957, a world premiere of a composition by Milhaud was scheduled for the “Aspen Amphitheater.”Composed by one of the titans of the contemporary music scene, Darius Milhaud, “Aspen Serenade” is a work for orchestra, featuring nine soloists.Having spent several summers in Aspen, Milhaud planned the composition expressly as a vehicle for the Aspen Festival’s top soloists. With Milhaud himself conducting, the first performance will feature Albert Tipton, flute; Lois Wann, oboe; Reginald Kell, clarinetist; Harold Goltzer, bassoon; Wesley Lindskoog, trumpet; Eudice Shapiro, violin; William Primrose, viola; Nikolai Graudan, cello; and Stuart Sankey, double bass. …Recently elected president of the French National Composers Union, French-born Milhaud spends alternate years at the French National Conservatory of Music and Mills College in California.

An Aspen institution turned 100 years old in 1982, the paper noted.This weekend a variety of activities will be held at the historic church in commemoration of the centennial [of its founding]. The public is welcome at all activities [a string ensemble concert; an ice-cream social; a centennial Mass, celebrated by Archbishop James Casey of Denver; and a potluck picnic]. … The first Mass was said by pioneer priest Rev. Father Harney on Sunday, July 3, 1881, in the new Aspen Times building at the corner of Hyman and Mill streets.When Father Edward Downey crossed the mountain range on foot to arrive in Aspen in June 1883, he found a promising young mining camp with a population of about 2,000.Taking the place of Harney, this missionary priest soon began construction on a church that was to be known as St. Stephen’s. … The beginning of St. Mary’s Church took root in 1890 when St. Stephen’s became too small for the thriving Catholic community in Aspen. And St. Mary’s was dedicated March 13, 1892, after Aspenites contributed more than $22,000 for the building fund.A parochial school flourished on the first floor of the new church, under the watch of the Benedictine Sisters, who taught music and a respected academic program. …The historic church building is built of brick from Atkinson’s Brickyard at the foot of Red Mountain and has a bell weighing more than a ton.

The opening salvo of what would become a battle royal was reported in The Aspen Times. Aspen and Pitkin County were asked this week by a petition from 42 members of the Aspen Center for Physics to secure parking to permit access to the Hunter Creek Valley. …”We request that the county commissioners, the mayor and councilmen of Aspen and the U.S. Forest Service obtain public year-round parking near the top of Red Mountain for access into Hunter Creek Valley. … Appropriate access to large public lands whose principal purpose is for recreational enjoyment is a public right,” the petition stated. …[Rosie Colgate] explained that the only place parking is available for access to Hunter Creek Valley is at the base of the trail by Silverking. …According to her history, the county is now negotiating with the Red Mountain Homeowners Association to use Lot 22 {a lot used by the city for a water storage tank halfway up Red Mountain] for parking in winter only in order to ski into Hunter Creek Valley. …After a brief discussion of the petition, the council asked its staff to discuss the matter with the county to see if some solution could be reached.