October 23, 2009
A “highwayman” made the news in Aspen a century ago for attempting to blast open a safe in Glenwood Springs. The Aspen-Democrat Times reported:Within 175 feet of the county jail at noon yesterday, a lone robber attempted to dynamite the safe of the Glenwood Lumber Company at the corner of Eighth Street and Pitkin Avenue.He was surprised while at work by R.A. Davis, cashier for the company, but made his escape through the yards of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad and crossing the Roaring Fork River.When Davis surprised the bandit, he was ordered to throw up his hands and he did so and was forced to stand against the wall while the robber fled.This is the second time within a month that robberies have been committed under the very nose of the sheriff’s office. Several weeks ago, the Citizen’s National Bank, only two blocks from the courthouse and county jail, was held up and the robbers virtually circled the sheriff’s office in making their escape.
Dumpster diving has long been employed by Aspenites looking to acquire gear and household items on the cheap. Fifty years ago, enterprising thieves tried a different approach. The Aspen Times reported:How to furnish a house at no expense could be the title of a mystery now being investigated by Pitkin County Sheriff Lorain Herwick.Tuesday, Oct. 20, the Sheriff was informed of the burglary of household furnishings in a house in the Williams Addition, near the Smuggler mine dumps.According to the owners, Bill Summers, T. O’Rourke and Dave Whalen, all of Denver, someone had broken into their small A-frame house sometime between Labor Day and Tuesday and had stolen a selected list of furnishings.Although over $1,000 worth of goods were missing, the house owners reported, many valuable items were not touched by the thieves.This led the owners to believe that the burglars were in the process of furnishing a house or apartment of their own.Missing from the house was a yellow General Electric stove with four burners, a coffee table, a large black leather easy chair, pads from a custom-made couch, a 9×12 rug and several scatter rugs, six bedspreads, 12 sheets, three electric blankets and one sleeping bag.A plan to curb the spread of contagious maladies in local schools was in the works 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:A privately financed program to curb contagious diseases in the Aspen schools will begin next week.Superintendent Halston was instructed to contact Dr. Ligon Price and have him start work on the new program immediately. Dr. Price will be expected to prepare the details for operation of the program, which will be in effect for the remainder of the school year.According to the Citizens Council, which requested approval of the anti-contagion scheme by the school board, the physician’s main function will be to send home and re-admit suspected disease carriers.
It would be another couple of decades before Aspen finally gave up on the proposed use of six trolley cars and turned them over to other towns, but 25 years ago, the City Council wrestled with what to do with the cars. The Aspen Times reported:After years of existence in limbo, an Aspen trolley shuttle received a new lease on life Monday when the city council approved four recommendations made by its Trolley Task Force.The task force was created last July to help the council determine what to do with six antique trolley cars given to the city by the late Michael Hernstadt in 1980.They were purchased in Portugal by a group of Aspenites, calling themselves the Aspen Street Railway Company, who were interested in use of trolleys as a tourist attraction, several years before that.In 1982, the then-council denied a staff request to advertise the trolleys for sale for a one-year period, even though it was not interested in their use in an Aspen trolley system.In February 1983, the council again denied a staff request to solicit bids for the cars and granted another one-year extension at the request of the CCLC to study use of the cars as a transportation alternative.Monday, council member Dick Knecht, a member of the task force, told his peers that the 10-member task force had been unanimous in agreeing that use of the cars, not their sale, should be given further study.-compiled by Janet Urquhart