25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

Two nurses model their uniforms in 1913. Two nurses were also in the news in 1907 when they captured a badger at the hospital. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

One of Aspen’s most popular downtown features was part of downtown 100 years ago, the paper noted.Billy Pratt’s new pop-corn wagon is the chief attraction in the city these days. When up town this evening take a look and watch Leon Somerville operate the popper and see the large white flakes fall like snow – and then buy you some, it’s lickin’ good.

The wary relationship between Aspen’s residents, both tame and wild, was and is ongoing. The paper wrote,Two of the nurses [see photos] as the Citizen’s Hospital had a very funny experience at that place Tuesday evening which they rather enjoyed. They espied quite a large animal roaming around on the lawn and at first took it to be a bear, but on looking the second time found it to be large badger. The two ladies procured large clubs and chased the badger into a barrel, which was near by, and then sat on the barrel until one of the men came to attend to Mr. Badger. The nurses are very proud over their capture and will remember their experience for some time to come.The headline proclaimed, “One of the Finest Mine Buildings in the State Destroyed on Sunday.”

About a quarter to 5 o’clock Sunday evening fire was discovered issuing from the upper portion of the magnificent shaft house of the Free Silver mine, and almost simultaneously the Smuggler’s whistle sounded the alarm and the fire department was called out.The fire is believed to have been caused by lightning, as a very heavy thunderstorm prevailed at the time. Every possible effort was made to save the structure but without avail. The shaft house was entirely consumed, leaving the gallows frame standing but badly damaged. …The total loss to the Free Silver company on building and machinery will reach $30,000.The Smuggler Mining company has been using the Free Silver shaft for some time for the purpose of hoisting waste from the 900-foot level and for lowering and hoisting men. … The fire caused a temporary suspension of work on the Smuggler, but yesterday the mine was being operated by three shifts of men. The loss is a serious one to the district as well as to the company, but it is a matter for congratulation that the shaft was not destroyed.Microfilm of The Aspen Times 19041909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1907 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

Municipal elections in Aspen were only a sometime thing, according to research by Aspen Times’ publisher and editor Bil Dunaway. He reported,Though Colorado state laws require that cities of Aspen’s size hold municipal elections every two years, only four elections were held here during a 30-year period – in 1917, 1927, 1936 and 1947. Regular elections have been held since that time.

According to Aspen Times files, the principal reason given for the election lapse was money. … Changes were made in the official roster during the 10-year lapses by appointment. …The casual system of elections has allowed A.E. Robison to hold office as alderman and mayor uninterruptedly for 21 years, and he will seek another term [as mayor] in the Nov. 5 city election.Dunaway generously praised the launching of Sputnik in an editorial,Last week a complex, machinery-filled, 22-inch sphere, weighing 184 pounds flashed into the sky and into the attention of people throughout the world. Not for many years has one object aroused so much interest. And justifiably so: It is man’s first successful attempt to launch an earth satellite.The fact that it was conceived and perfected in the Soviet Union does not alter the magnitude of the achievement. Its creation and successful launching into an orbit 560 miles above the earth is one of the greatest scientific attainments of all time.

The paper reported there were “Muppets in the Mountains.”It’s a Rocky Mountain holiday for the Muppets who are camping in the Aspen wilderness with John Denver [see photos] this week. Bert, Grover, Animal, Fozzie Bear, Kermit, the Jugband and Miss Piggy herself are here with the rest of the lovable puppet characters to film an ABC-TV special, tentatively scheduled to broadcast in the early spring.

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A backcountry hut built 25 years ago was the first bead on what would become a full necklace known as the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association. The paper wrote,An estimated 70 area residents participated in a picnic sponsored by the Pitkin County Park Association to celebrate a new cross-country ski hut above Lenado. Called Margy’s Hut, the structure is on a new trail system being constructed from Aspen to Vail under auspices of the park association. According to the association, volunteers are still needed to help complete sections of the trail for use this coming winter.

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