25-50-100 Years Ago
Copies of The Aspen Times from October 1903 until 1911 are missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. To continue our journalistic history of Aspen, we include excerpts from The Aspen Democrat, the Times’ competitor 100 years ago.Spring was in the air, and this advertisement appealed to the ladies’ desire for new finery (see photo) to wear Easter Sunday. How about that new spring suit for Easter? You have just enough time left to select your materials and have it made to FIT you. I have taken the agency for one of the largest – made to order – suit house in the east, beautiful tailored suits, waists and skirts of every conceivable shade and material – these suits, the skirts in particular, are especially beautiful this season. Shirt waist suits in all the new spring shades in silk and wash goods are a special feature of this house. You are invited to call at any time to look at samples and styles.MRS. FRANK ROYAL.131 West HopkinsMarch doesn’t always go out like a lamb, especially in the Rocky Mountains. The paper noted,
Wm. Stapleton, who had been located at the Enterprise mine in Taylor park for a short time, came to the city yesterday to remain. He was accompanied by C.M. Leavitt, who has had charge of the culinary department there for the winter, who was forced to return to the city owing to his health, his heart causing him considerable trouble. Their trip over the range was a very dangerous and hard one and the two men had several very narrow escapes. On the range they were caught in a blizzard and for a time it appeared they had lost their bearings. Then a snow slide three hundred feet in length came down just in front of them. They were forced to keep near the timber to save themselves. Mr. Leavitt and Mr. Stapleton are congratulating themselves on reaching home safely, although completely worn out.However, these members of the Stapleton family didn’t have William’s good luck.Mrs. Tim Stapleton and her daughter, Miss Margaret, who suffered a painful accident Sunday while enroute to town from their ranch west of town, are slowly mending from their injuries. They were driving by Dwyer’s place when their horse became frightened and starting off at a rapid pace threw them out of the rig – Mrs. Stapleton striking on a rock and suffering a broken rib, besides being badly bruised. Her daughter was also quite badly bruised. They were taken to the Dwyer house and are now receiving the best of care there, where it is sincerely hoped they may rapidly mend of their injuries.In 1905, Aspen’s water supply (see photo) was a campaign issue in the upcoming municipal election. The Aspen Times Democrat printed the following statement:The undersigned candidates as mayor and alderman on the Democratic ticket, desire to go on record in reference to the purchase of the water works in this city.As Democrats, on the general proposition, we believe in the municipal ownership of public utilities.Particularly, we favor the purchase of the water works in this city at such a reasonable rate as will make it a good business proposition for the people.We will not favor the payment of an exorbitant price and failure to purchase reasonably, we will insist that water rentals shall be materially lowered. We further favor the referring of the question of purchase or non-purchase, to a vote of the people.
W.H. Twining M.D.Wm. C. TagertC.M. MarkleEd G. GroverFrank Bruin
Main Street was the only paved road in Aspen 50 years ago (see photo), inspiring this letter to the editor.As I sit at breakfast and watch the children walking – or should I say paddling – to school, I wonder if it would not be possible to pave the road leading to the school.Many children leave home with dry streets and not wearing overshoes. They wade through puddles and sit with wet feet – hence all the sniffles.The road leading from the chair lift to the school is a much traveled one and is in an undesirable condition. Something should be done before next year if possible to the whole street, but at least to the part most used by the schoolchildren.TERESE DAVIDThis public notice needs to be repeatedly published in The Aspen Times. There is a difference in today’s notice, however, as our animal shelter is a no-kill facility.Warning is hereby given that on and after April 10th dogs found at large without the proper tags securely attached to collar, will be picked up and impounded. Dogs so picked up will be disposed of according to ordinance.Aspen City CouncilA.E. Robison, MayorAspen was growing up – library cards!On April 1 there will be a change in the procedure of issuing books at the Pitkin County Library. This has become necessary because of the increase in the number of patrons and in the number of books taken out by them. The library, which operated under a budget of $2500 in the past year, acquired 568 books in 1954. The total number of accessioned books to date is 10,505. Cards are held by 500 residents and visitors. The total number of books issued last year was 13,141.Under the new system, each person will be given a borrower’s acrd which he must bring with him when he wishes to take out a book or renew one. …
Any borrower who loses his card must pay five cents for a duplicate.A campus for the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies was developing on the Meadows property. The paper reported, A 16-room chalet AIHS chalet, recently finished by Contractor August Diemoz, faces Red Mountain and overlooks the Roaring Fork River. One of three such units now complete and in use for winter and summer guests, the Institute plans to build additional units as fast as conditions warrant. The two other units make a total of 40 rooms available with two tennis courts and swimming pool. Besides other rooms in the planning stage, the Institute plans to build a central building for lobby, offices, dining room, kitchens, etc. in the near future.
It was passing of the baton for Mountain Rescue 25 years ago (see photo). The paper announced,Mountain Rescue volunteers elected a board of five to succeed the group’s retiring director and founder, Fred Braun.Greg Mace of Ashcroft Ski Touring was elected president; Dick Arnold, who operates Tailwinds Aviation, a flight school and charter air service, was elected vice president. …According to Mace, the group will continue to operate “exactly as it did when Fred ran it.”The only difference Mace sees is that “when Fred did it, it was a one-man job. Now it takes five of us,” he confessed with a smile.Mountain Rescue was established by Braun in 1960. Mace describes the group as a “family-type thing” composed of about 25 locals who know how to survive in the backcountry. …Mountain Rescue activity normally peaks during the summer when increased outdoor activity results in more climbing accidents, stranded hikers and jeeping accident, Mace said.However, he expects wintertime activity to step up with the growing popularity of cross-country skiing. … He predicts that out of bounds skiing will be a “real problem” for Mountain Rescue in the future. …People often call Mountain Rescue to ask about avalanche risk, Mace said.”Is it safe in the backcountry?””The truth is it’s never safe in the backcountry,” he said. “Your safety depends on your ability to cope with danger.”Before there was a separate jail facility, the hoosegow was located in the basement of the Courthouse and needed several upgrades. The paper reported,Guided by state health department inspection reports, Sheriff Dick Kienast and Jail Administrator Tom Snow had the tiny 23-by-21-foot steel cellblock repainted, installed a fireproof ceiling and fireproof mattresses, pulled a “reeking” urinal, and cleaned the ventilation system.Fireproof ceiling were also installed in the area outside the cellblock and improvements were made in the electrical wiring system.
According to Snow, the remodeling was done to comply with the health department standards, but also done in an ongoing attempt to make the jail as fit as possible for human detention.It was also another step towards getting a new jail built.According to Kienast the state imposed a moratorium on the construction of new jails about two years ago. Because overcrowding is a problem, the state criminal justice department imposed a moratorium to cut back on new construction and to force jailers to look for alternative incarceration. …If the jail is still considered “that bad,” Kienast said jailers can proceed … for a review of proposals for construction of new facilities.Pitkin County jail has been deemed “that bad.” The jail has been in use since the construction of the courthouse in 1890. It is a single-entrance freestanding steel box measuring a tiny 23 by 21 by 7 feet.It contains five 7-by-7-foot cells, a 21-by-9-foot day room and a 7-by-4-foot bathroom.Prisoners cannot be separated. Drunks and mentally unstable prisoners are jumped in with work release and pre-trial prisoners. Lack of segregation means no women or juveniles are detained in Pitkin County; they are sent to Garfield County. Aspenites read highbrow magazines, according to a story picked up by The Aspen Times.Denver Post Book Editor Clarus Backes claims surveys show that Aspenites and county residents read such publications as Gourmet, Psychology Today, Vogue, Sports Illustrated, Time and Rolling Stone.The county ranks number 2 in the nation in its per-capita readership of Cosmopolitan, third for World Tennis, fourth for Saturday Review, the New Yorker and Viva.
It ranks seventh in the nation for Smithsonian magazine, eighth for Scientific American and ninth for Playboy.
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City of Aspen officials are trying to figure out what the downtown core looks like this winter as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the state and in some parts of the country.