25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Compiled by Sara Garton

The shift from the upper Durant Mine was out of work four days before Christmas, the Aspen Democrat reported in 1907. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

What has been feared for some time happened yesterday, when an order was received from Denver to shut down the Smuggler and Durant mines [see photos]. The order went into effect on the 4 o’clock shift.

When the financial panic occurred and the metal market went to pieces, it was feared these mines would have to close, but Mr. Hyman, Aspen’s best and truest friend, was loath to take this step, as were also the president of the company, Hon. Charles J. Hughes, Jr., and Mr. Elias Cohen, the local manager. These gentlemen took the action yesterday in the firm belief that it was ultimately redound to the welfare of every man, woman and child in Aspen.

With the price of silver, lead and zinc way down, the Smuggler and Durant have been running at a loss ” using up the cash balance on hand and taking out the ore reserves which would not pay for the mining owing to the conditions of the metal market. … it was decided better to save the ore reserves until the market recovered and use the cash reserve in keeping the pump alive until such time as work should be resumed. In other words, it would be better to leave the ore in the mines than to mine it at a loss of both ore and ready money.

With the engineers, pumpmen and firemen, about fifty men will be retained in the mines for some time dressing them up so that everything may be in first-class order. Sufficient ore is on hand and with that which is to be taken out of the Durant, the mill will be run full capacity for at least one week or ten days, when it is expected to be closed down.

It is now up to the miners of the community to show the pure metal of which they are made. …

Some years ago when Cripple Creek received a blow, the miners of that district resorted to leasing, and from that day to this the camp has improved.

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And this morning is the time for the Aspen miner to secure a lease and hammer out expenses at least and mayhaps uncover bodies of rich ore. Even if nothing more than expenses are made, it is much better to be occupied than to be idle and spending the last dollar. … And last but not least, Mr. Miner, don’t leave Aspen. It is still the best camp in the west, and what money you will spend in search of a new location and in the end be worse off than ever, will keep you all winter here at home.

Smile and push and stick to your homes.

Passed unanimously by the three aldermen present was a resolution to hire a deputy clerk to take minutes of all council meetings in shorthand, transcribe the minutes on a typewriter and send copies to each member and city official in advance of the next meeting. …

In addition, the aldermen resolved that in the future the city office should be maintained in the city hall and that the regular office hours would be kept from 9 a.m. to 12 noon five days a week.

This resolution also provided that all records should be kept at the city hall and that a library of all municipal publications be kept there for public use.

To facilitate the task of removing snow during the winter months [see photo], the City Council voted last Monday to prohibit parking in certain downtown areas between the hours of 3 to 8 a.m.

According to the aldermen’s resolution parking will be limited in the area bounded by Main, Monarch, Durant and Hunter streets.

Aspen’s newly enlarged airport now has a service attendant and daily caretaker, it was announced this week by officials of the Airport Corporation, the firm which manages the county-owned field.

Employed jointly by the corporation and by Little Percent Taxi Service, J.D. “Woody” Woodfin is now available at the airport for plane servicing, gas sales, pre-heating and other jobs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Woodfin will also provide taxi service and car rental service for visitors who do not have their own transportation.

Some people like to wear furs, and others prefer that they remain attached to their original owners. Representatives of both persuasions were at the Charlemagne restaurant on Main Street Friday when Polo Ralph Lauren staged a fashion show there.

Georgie Leighton mustered her troops [see photo] to protest the use of furs in fashions, while luncheon guests inside the restaurant ogled the fine fashions adorning local models.

In what is considered a major victory for environmentalists over Interior Secretary James Watt, the Senate Appropriation Committee last week voted to ban oil and gas leasing in existing and proposed wilderness areas.

The full Senate is expected to ratify the committee decision since the House had previously approved a similar band. …

Under the federal wilderness law, oil and gas exploration is permitted in the protected, primitive areas until Dec. 31, 1983. However, no prior interior secretary allowed it.

Watt said his interpretation of the law was that he lacked authority to deny lease applications. But he said he would impose a moratorium on granting them until the end of this congressional session to allow lawmakers to rule on the issue.

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