25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Courtesy aspen Historical SocietyIn 1957, Stuart Mace proposed the Husky Mail, with letters carried by his renowned Toklat sled dogs to the Aspen post office.

A report of the Death of Jim Casey, the Famous Prospector reprinted from a Goldfield, Nev., paper portrayed a life mirrored by many Western miners.Without doubt he was the best known prospector and mining man in the entire country. The cause of death was pneumonia, and he left a wife and two children, who will probably feel the sorrow keener than any one of his friends, but their grief will be shared by hundreds of others who knew him and worked with him and prospected with him.He first came into prominence in the early days of Aspen, Colorado, and later went to Cripple Creek. In both camps he made fortunes but he was of a roving disposition. He was the man who was always chasing rainbows. He could not confine himself to the drudgery of practical mining or be under the orders on anyone. The big frame contained a heart that was not too small for the body either. When the Klondyke excitement broke out, he with John H. Mackenzie, now the manager of the Consolidated, and W.S. Stratton organized a company to go to Alaska. The finest outfit that was ever taken up the Yukon was guided by Mackenzie and Casey. The deceased left a comfortable fortune and owned mining interests all over the country. One of his friends said in regard to him, I think, in many respects, he was the most remarkable man I ever knew. When it came to prospecting he could travel over more ground than any man that ever lived, and I think he could see the different ore shoots in a minute quicker than ten other ore men put together.[The Aspen Democrat added] Jim Casey was known to all the old-timers in Aspen, having been one of the earliest prospectors in the district. He was the locator of the Mineral Farm on Smuggler mountain, and was a pioneer locator on Richmond hill. Watch Your Traps, warned the newspaper.Yesterday some men were coming down the trail on Aspen mountain and when near the Deep shaft they heard the whining of some animal nearby. On investigating they found a dog had been caught in a trap that presumably had been set to catch a coyote or fox [see photo]. The dog had evidently been in the trap for some time, and but for the timely arrival of the men, might have remained there until it starved to death. Parties setting out traps should be a little more cautious and visit them occasionally.The small group of miners holding out at the end of Castle Creek Valley would no longer feel so isolated, the paper reported. Ed Hart received a letter yesterday from the assistant postmaster general at Washington, stating that the Ashcroft mail will be carried from Aspen three times a week, commencing today. This means a boost for Ashcroft from Uncle Sam.Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Societys archives. These 1907 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

Fifty years later the paper noted a Castle Creek Valley resident would offer a unique mail service. One of the few dog sled mail services in the world will be inaugurated in Aspen next week when Stuart Mace, owner of the Toklat Kennels, initiates his Husky Mail.Incorporated in Maces new Toklat in Aspen center, which is to open next week in the Aspen Times building on Main Street, the Husky Mail will offer tourists and residents the opportunity of having their letter carried by dog sled [see photo] before going through the U.S. mail.Every letter carried by the dog sleds will be given a special Husky Mail imprint of a dog team in action and have a special colored picture of one of the teams inserted within it before being stamped and delivered to the Aspen Post Office.Charge for the service, according to Mace, has been set at 25 cents per normal sized letter. Fifty cents will be charged for larger envelopes, which will receive an 8-by-10 color print. News of a major interstate highway that would bisect Colorados Western Slope was reported. In a report to the chamber members, Burnham Miller, Aspen lodge owner, explained that Highway 6 had recently been selected by the federal government as a coast to coast military highway and would be made into a four-lane road within the next five years.Improving the highway would bring Aspen closer in time to the major population areas of Southern California and the Midwest, Miller stated, and would greatly increase the flow of tourist traffic.In making his report, Miller suggested that the Chamber of Commerce and Aspen residents in general give support to the to the Highway 6 Association, an organization founded several years ago to promote the interest of people and areas along the highway.

The rumors were true, the paper confirmed. The Aspen Institute would shift its programs from Aspen to Maryland. Aspen Institute vice president Stephen Strickland said Tuesday from his Washington, D.C., office that expansion of conference facilities on Marylands Eastern Shore is part of a gradual shift in emphasis that represents no departure from plans initiated three years ago.Under that plan, the Wye Plantation arm of the institute will serve as a the principal campus for institute programs almost 10 months out of the year, while conference facilities in Aspen will be utilized during the summer months. During 1983, 23 events will be held in Aspen. [Two Maryland newspapers] reported on an institute request for a zoning change that would allow the conversion of a mansion on the Wye Plantation into a conference center. The mansion was donated by Arthur Houghton, who had earlier given the organization a large portion of his estate. A ski resort at Twin Lakes? Thats what The Aspen Times reported, Another major ski area for Colorado is being planned for Quail Mountain, immediately south of Twin Lakes and across Independence Pass from Aspen. According to a report in the Denver Post this week, the ski area is being promoted by Denies ONeill, who grew up on the ranch at the base of the proposed area.ONeill has purchased most of the land not already owned by the Forest Service needed for the area, the article stated. In addition, he has obtained tentative approval for the project from the county officials and from the Forest Service, ONeill told the Post. ONeill envisions the area as a year-round destination resort that would attract visitors from the southern great plains, as well as people from Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other Eastern Slope cities.Weve got good snow depth about 200 inches a year and the same vertical rise as Keystone and Copper Mountain, about 2,250 feet. We already have the draw of the lakes. On a typical Fourth of July, we have 10,000 people at Twin Lakes with no facilities. compiled by Sara Garton

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