25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton
Rink-Rink Opera House is the sign on the Fraternal Hall, located at Cooper Avenue and Monarch Street (west side of today's Wagner Park). (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

The newspaper held its breath about October’s annual night of mischief-making.Tonight will be Hallowe’en and we fear, notwithstanding the precautions taken to prevent it, there will be numerous complaints of destruction of property.Last Hallowe’en there were several complaints of serious damage done. In two cases the malicious pranks nearly resulted in fatalities. Numerous fences were torn down and rocks thrown through elegant plate glass windows, the missiles narrowly missing persons seated in the rooms.At the last session of the city council, that body was requested to provide an ample police force tonight, and it was promised. To fulfill this promise, the Democrat recommends that Mayor Cain appoints one special officer for each block in the city and that the officers be instructed to let no guilty wretch escape that is caught destroying or mutilating property and that the full penalty of the law be involved.And breathed a sigh of relief in reporting the next day,

For the first time in the history of Aspen, Hallowe’en is classed with the “has-beens” without any serious complaint being filed at police headquarters.The weather, perhaps, had a tendency to cool the ardor of our impetuous youths and kept them at home or sent them to the miners union ball or to some of the many parties held throughout the town. …The council is to be congratulated upon its selection of special policemen. None better than the robust High School boys could have been chosen. These boys were assigned to beats in various parts of the city, which they patrolled like veterans. Marshall Boyer, Captain Murphy, Special Officer Coryell and all the aldermen were on duty also, with Mayor Cain as the chief.And the property of the city was protected last night as never protected before.The headline read, “A Roller-Skating Rink for Aspen” (see photo). The rink will be open from 7 till 10 every evening, except when there is to be a dance in the hall, and every afternoon from 3 till 6 beginning next Tuesday.Fraternal hall will make an ideal roller-skating rink, with its splendid floor and the best skates that are made. These are ball-bearing and the rollers are of fiber. …

No doubt this form of amusement and exercise will prove very popular in Aspen during the winter months, and it puts the people right in the swim as roller skating is the rage in all the larger cities.Later on the Aspen Roller Skating Association will give masked skating parties, fancy dress parties, and all kinds of dress parties. In fact everything that is enjoyed in the city rinks throughout the east will be enjoyed right here in the Crystal City of the Rockies. …Smile and skate, or smile and fall! Both are equally enjoyable and you won’t hurt the floor. Microfilm of The Aspen Times 19041909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1907 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

The Around Aspen column noted the faint flicker of a new ski area on the horizon, although its reported location was a bit off.Pete Seibert, one-time teacher at the Aspen Ski School [see photo], who the past two years has been engaged in the development of the Loveland Ski Area near Georgetown, Colo., has shifted his interests from that project to a new one, which he hopes to develop on Vail Pass.Roy Parker is now head of the Loveland area.Mr. and Mrs. Jack McTarnaghan and family are leaving Aspen. Jack will be associated with Roy Parker, another former Aspen resident, in the operation and development of the Loveland Ski Area. They will make their home in Georgetown, Colo.Jack McTarnaghan has withdrawn his name from the list of those running for council member in the West part of town.There was a sighting of the Aspen men who had been paddling for months through America’s rivers and lakes from Colorado to Maine.In a race with winter, Aspen’s four canoers [Jerry Hewey, Ed Vestal, Bengt Soderstrom and E.G. Rickers] were surprised in Canada last week to encounter another Aspenite.After two days of fruitless searching in the Montreal area, ski instructor Ed Lynch sighted the paddlers on the St. Lawrence River.First blinking his headlights to attract their attention, Lynch resorted to shouting and finally waved them in to shore.Lynch reported that the adventurers were stunned to meet a fellow Aspenite in the Canadian woods and that all four ” have long bushy whiskers, long hair and are very sunburned and peeling.”He said he filled them in on Aspen news, gave them some magazines, a few back issues of the Aspen Times, a fistful of cigars and a fifth of Canadian whiskey.

The Aspen Skiing Company urged voters to make it easier to travel to Aspen. The Aspen Times reported,The Aspen Skiing Company supports city question number 3 [in the Nov. 2 general election], which asks voters to approve a 150-foot right of way across the Thomas property so that the state highway department can put a two- or four-lane highway there. The new highway would be a straightaway into town.According to Peter Forsch, director of transportation and housing for the ski company, “Ten years worth of work and studies say that this land acquisition and entrancing into Aspen is an imperative first step to improving Highway 82.”Forsch said if the measure is defeated, the state highway department may turn its back on Aspen for good. …

The ski company also supports the county ballot question seeking voter approval to issue $3.25 million in revenue bonds to widen and lengthen the airport runway.”What you will get is an airport that has the capability to handle bigger and quieter aircraft,” Forsch stated.The Thrift Shop is now in the middle of a campaign to build a new building along with the expansive renovation of the firehouse. The paper reported that the longtime institution was building new quarters 25 years ago.A waiver – sort of – of the building permit fee for the new Thrift Shop building next to the firehouse, led the county’s roster of land-use decisions in a slow week. …County Manager Curt Stewart, however, suggested that a more proper way of helping the Thrift Shop would be to collect the fee and then make a donation to the shop equal to the fee. …Taking Stewart’s advice, the commissioners quickly voted to make the donation.The amount involved was $160.

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