25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

The Midland Railroad needed its rotary plow to remove snow from the tracks after an April 1905 storm. Aspen Historical Society photo.

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.A popular entertainment in the early 20th century was the minstrel show (see photo). The headline of this article insisted “Go to the Jerome tonight.” The renovated and refinished Jerome – the New Jerome – will have a house warming tonight when everybody in Aspen is cordially invited to spend the evening at the hotel as the guest of the management. An interesting and enjoyable program will be furnished by the Kentucky minstrels, a company of entertainers who arrived in the city yesterday. …There won’t be any frills to the affair. The guests will be at liberty to inspect the hotel from top to bottom and see what a live up-to-date and creditable hostelry Aspen now has. Dancing will be indulged in at the end of the program and cards and other seasonable diversions will be provided for those who care for them.Spring weather in the Rockies is always a toss of the coin. The paper reported,

For a train to be blocked by deep snow and made several hours late at this time of the year may seem rather strange, but the Midland train was four hours late yesterday, awaiting connections with No. 3 at Basalt. The latter train was blocked by snow this side of Leadville and the rotary plow [see photo] had to be used to clear the track.A local lumberman with some interesting proposals for harvesting timber in the neighboring forests took his ideas to Washington, D.C. The paper noted,Harry G. Koch, the lumberman from Glenwood Springs and Aspen, is in town for a few days, looking up some very important business affairs that are of great and important interest to Pitkin and Eagle counties. It his desire and intention to have all the timber lands of Pitkin and Eagle counties placed in a forest reserve whereby lumbermen may buy all the timber they need to carry on their business. When in Washington last week, Mr. Koch had a talk with President Roosevelt and with the secretary of the interior and received all possible encouragement from the latter, in whose charge the matter rests. The secretary says that he realizes that the lumbermen need the timber and that if a preserve is declared upon, new trees will be planted continually so that there will be an everlasting supply. The Aspen Democrat celebrated on the day following the municipal elections. The paper proclaimed,The Democrats elected their candidates for mayor, city attorney, police magistrate and Alderman Groven in the Second ward. …The Citizens elected their candidates for marshal and street supervisor … The Democrat congratulates the Democracy on their victory and it congratulates the people of Aspen upon having elected as mayor such an enterprising, progressive and capable man as Dr. W.H. Twining. He is a man who will sink party politics in an earnest desire to work for the best interests of the city. …There were 920 votes cast for marshal and 916 for mayor. The vote was much larger than expected.

The paper announced an Easter tradition that continues (but not as early!) in Aspen.The highest Sunrise Easter Service in the world will be held next Sunday when the Rev. Bronston Greenwood, minister of the Aspen Community Church, conducts this early morning worship service atop Aspen Mountain.This is the third Easter that the mountaintop Sunrise Service has been held. …The lift will begin operating at 4 a.m. Sunday. For those who do not have a regular lift ticket already, the round trip for the Sunrise Service will be $1.00. Those who wish may ski down. The group will gather in an open snowcovered meadow just east of the Sundeck [see photo] and after the first rays of the sun streak over the tops of Mt. Elbert, and the Collegiate Peaks of Princeton, Harvard and Yale, the service will start.There will be group singing conducted by Dr. J. Sterling Baxter as song leader. A trumpet quartet composed of Bob Waterman, King Fisher, Dick Pecjak and Edddie Anderson will play “Sleepers Awake” by Bach.The devotional message will be given by Rev. Greenwood and he has entitled it “He Lives – We Live.” After the service, an Easter breakfast will be served by Paul and Hanna Wirth at the Sundeck for 75 cents.According to these advertisements in The Aspen Times, some Aspen businesses were shuttered and some adjusted their hours during the offseason 50 years ago – the same as offseason 2005.

Beginning Monday, April 11thGUIDO’S Swiss RestaurantWill be closedTo reopen about May 27thFor the summer seasonBeginning Monday, the Aspen Laundry [where Rustique is today] will open at 8 a.m., close during noon hour and close at 5 p.m. For your convenience we have free pickup and delivery service. The cottages at the corner of Main and Aspen streets were the locations of Terese David’s Pied Piper shop (see photo), her child-care school and her home. Aspen stores have always boasted unusual merchandise as the Pied Piper advertised, The sale at the Pied Piper continues, although much has been sold. There is no room for all that is there plus the new and fabulous things that are coming from Ireland, France, India, Madagascar and all kinds of exciting places including Carbondale and Basalt.

“The Great Un-Getaway” news story (see photo) suggested a kit for Aspenites too broke to consider exotic vacations for the offseason.You will need:• one sunny porch• one beach chair• one large beach towel• one bucket of sand• one bottle of suntan oil• one pair of dark glasses• one tacky dime novel• one strawberry daiquiri served in a tall glass• various tropical plants

Now lie back and let your imagination carry you away to exotic beaches flanked with tropical flowers and azure skies.Maybe it’s not quite as good as the real thing, but it is one way to beat the skyrocketing costs of airfare and gasoline.For valleybound locals, the following article may have offered some solace during offseason.Aspen Police will be issuing summonses for court appearances rather than arresting persons apprehended for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana, Aspen Police Officer John Goodwin told reporters Tuesday.”We feel summons and complaint for marijuana offenders is an efficient way of approaching the problem. It’s a problem, but not the crime of the century,” he said.Goodwin said the new policy “indicates an awareness that non-violent people who are local residents will show for trial.”This news brief reported a one-two finish for two local ski stars:

Andy Mill of Aspen concluded his amateur career on a happy note, winning the final downhill of the season at the Squaw Valley National Championships.For Mike Farny, the final downhill was also a dramatic and exciting finish to the season’s competition. Farny finished second behind Mill, giving him enough points to earn the title of combined national champion.Today it is about “Powder to the People” on the backside of Aspen Mountain; 25 years ago there were “powder suits” filed.Stephen S. Crockett, operator of Little Annie Powder Tours Inc. and Dave Farny of Little Annie Ski Corp are trading lawsuits in District Court.Farny filed a suit against Crockett, who leased a snowcat from him, for failing to pay the rental. …Crockett, in his suit, claims that Farny told him that the Little Annie Limited Partnership owned so much of the real property on Richmond Hill and the Little Annie and Difficult Creek Basin that it could prevent the issuance of a Forest Service special use permit and prevent the operation of any competing skiing tour business.According to Crockett, Farny also agreed that if Crockett had financial troubles, Little Annie would subsidize him because of the promotional value of the tours Crockett was providing.Despite the agreement, Crockett says that another business -Deep Powder Tours – operated continuously in the same territory throughout the season.Crockett claims he spent more than $25,000 as an initial investment, The competition, he says, prevented him from making rental payments on the snowcat he leased from Little Annie and he lost the initial investment.Farny says he could not keep Deep Powder Inc. from operating on most of the land of the proposed Little Annie Ski Area.The land slopes east and west from the ridge that runs along Richmond Hill behind the Sundeck on Aspen Mountain.

The eastern slope, the Difficult/MacFarlane side, is under Forest Service permit, Farny said.Only the Castle Creek/Little Annie side, on the west, is owned by or leased by the Little Annie partners.Farny said it is Crockett’s responsibility to keep Deep Powder Inc.’s snowcat off the Castle Creek side.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.


See more