25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

The Ed Powell family seems to enjoy having a photograph taken. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Never since the panic of 1893 has Aspen felt the dark days so close upon her, but have her citizens sat down and begun to mourn?


Naturally, everyone felt a little blue over the situation the first few days when the Smuggler closed, but they soon began to turn their thoughts to how many blessings there were yet to be thankful for!

Yesterday [Christmas Eve] a general spirit of Christmas pervaded the town. The stores were filled with shoppers, the streets lined with people hurrying home with their arms laden with packages, and in nearly every house last evening, if you looked close, somewhere near the window you would catch glimpses of the perennial Christmas tree, gaily bedecked for the children of the household. …

‘Tis the merry, merry Christmas time, the gladdest of the year. Forget dull care and remember only your blessings.

“Peace on earth, good will to men.”

A large number of men representing the various stock interests of Aspen, Roaring Fork, Capitol creek, Woody and Brush creek met at the district courtroom yesterday afternoon for the purpose of organizing a Pitkin County Stockgrowers’ Association. …

It is understood that the first matter taken up by the association will be a strong effort for the appointment of a brand inspector, as the services of such an officer will be of great value to the stockgrowers of this county and would aid materially in breaking up “stock rustling,” which has been all too prevalent in our county. The loss sustained by Pitkin County stockgrowers during the past years is placed at 150 head.

Never underestimate the power of Willy Schaeffler.

His “weakened” Denver University ski team flashed through in a very strong fashion last weekend, Dec. 21-22, to take the 10th annual Aspen Intercollegiate Invitational meet with a combined score of 1167.7 out of a possible 1200 points. …

DU swept the meet, taking the slalom, downhill, cross-country and jumping honors. In addition DU skiers made off with the top two places and six of the top 10 places in each of the events. …

Aspen’s Johnny Thorpe, skiing for DU, won the downhill, followed by teammates Sonberg, Ronnestad and Meyers. Then Ronnestad went on to win the slalom, with Aspen’s Tommy Carter, a DU man, and Thorpe coming in second and third respectively.

On local’s wife gave her husband a 50-pound salt block for feeding the deer this Christmas, because, she said, “How else can you get a 50-pound present for a buck?”

Two weeks ago Fire Chief Willard Clapper announced his retirement after 25 years of service with the Aspen Volunteer Fire Department.

But the chief was not even able to enjoy a quiet retirement celebration for long, as a major fire broke out last Friday in the Durant Condominiums.

Rousted out of bed (along with 28 other fire department volunteers) before 6 a.m. by wailing sirens, Clapper was on the scene of the hours-long blaze that destroyed six condos in Unit B of the complex near Little Nell. …

Leaping out of bed and running from dinner and meetings at the sound of a pager won’t be an easy habit for Clapper to break.

Take, for example, a dinner held in his honor two weeks ago at the Steak Pit. Midway through the festivities, firemen were called away for a smoke alarm at the Continental Inn ” all in a day’s work, and they were able to return to the party. …

Of his firefighting peers, he said, “I don’t feel there’s any better group of people in the U.S. than we have in this department.”

He added that the district board has done an excellent job of funding and furnishing the Aspen fire department with safety and fire attack equipment.

The fire department operates annually on a 1 mill tax levy. And as Clapper summed it up, “It’s probably the best buy in town.”

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