25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

The newspaper was concerned about burros on the loose in 1908 Aspen. This mule and horse appear to be well-cared-for companions. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

February 1908Roaring Fork Valley citizens have always had a soft spot for our four-legged friends. The paper appealed,Ranchmen from the valley report there are five head of horses in the deep snow on the hill opposite the Brush creek schoolhouse. The horses should be driven in and taken care of as there is a small chance of their getting much to eat for some time yet. At present they have to paw through between two and three feet of snow to find something to feed on. It is not known to whom the animals belong.Again in the west part of town several burros are permitted to roam the streets at night with no care and with nothing but fence posts to eat with perhaps the occasional tin can and a wisp of hay that falls outside of some barn or from a delivery wagon.These burros must be taken care of or they will be placed on some ranch, if any ranch will take them, otherwise they will be shot by officers of the law. However, the paper reported there was good animal husbandry being practiced in our valley. ,Dr. Sherm Smulling, veterinary, has six horses receiving treatment in his hospital on Cooper avenue.These horses are all valuable animals, the most recent patient being a thoroughbred from the Horace Gavin ranch. Dr. Smulling says that, while Mr. Gavins prize animal is in a serious condition, he believes he will be able to pull him through in a short time. The fact the doctor has so many sick horses on hand is preventing his making a trip down the valley where he has some hundred head of horses to look after.Dr. Smulling is the busiest man in Aspen these days, and, by the way, he is one of the best veterinars in the state of Colorado. Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Societys archives. These 1908 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

February 1958 Who has title to the land the railroad or the city? The Aspen Times reported, [City Attorney Clinton] Stewart told the council that although he explained to the Rio Grande lawyers that the citys patent would not affect legitimate claims to the land, but would facilitate ultimate clarification of titles, they had not withdrawn their title bid.According to Stewart, the railroad was applying for title to two tracts by the present station site, and wanted these deleted from the citys application for townsite patent. He stated that if the railroad persisted with its demands, a possible decision might take the Bureau of Land Management several more years to make. A brouhaha was brewing in our halls of academia. The Times wrote, The attendance of four ineligible racers from the Aspen School at the Southern Rocky Mountain Ski Associations divisional championships at Winter Park last weekend gave rise to two resignations (unaccepted), a heated discussion and a flurry of motions climaxing in an abandonment of eligibility standards at the Aspen School Board meeting last night. The hassle began Feb. 12, when one of the four, the daughter of Board Chairman Rudy Pecjak, was declared ineligible to compete in the upcoming ski meet because of a D grade in mathematics. According to a report on the incident delivered by Superintendent William Speer, individual members of the board informally agreed that since the meet was an individual rather than team competition and that it was not an interscholastic event, the four could not be prohibited by the school from going. Thus, Pecjak took the four to the meet last weekend. Parent Stuart Mace said that he believed the whole situation had demoralized the student body and the teachers.Mace, together with James Adams and Mrs. Irving Burkee, seemed to feel that the Board had been remiss generally in their support of their own policies and the teachers.During the meeting, teacher Sterling Cooper, who had issued the ineligibility grades, reported that all of the air had been let out of the tires on his car after the grades were issued. In defense of some sort of activities program, Assistant Superintendent Ira Ralston said that the schools had a responsibility to teach the children how to live. [Teacher Robert] Lewis replied, Lets teach them how to think, and theyll figure out how to live. Finally, at the recommendation of teachers Cooper and Lewis, who felt the present system was not working, the following motion was made by Vagneur: That as an experiment, we will suspend our eligibility requirements to attempt to encourage high scholastic attainment among the students through self-discipline.February 1983 The Aspen Times wrote about a litterbug who tossed litter from the sky. Tim Hartman of Blueberrys in Snowmass Village says he is prepared to take the blame for the approximately 150 leaflets that were dropped from an airplane Tuesday over Snowmass, and he says the sortie was a joke that got out of hand. The brightly colored leaflets promoted Blueberrys Mardi Gras Bash. A member of the Snowmass Ski patrol failed, at least initially, to see the humor in the incident. He called Blueberrys and contacted the U.S. Forest Service as well.According to all versions of the story, the leaflets were pushed from a small plane circling above the Campground area and floated to the ground there, at Wildcat and the Snowmass Wilderness area. Hartman conceded that the leaflet drop was probably illegal, and that he was prepared to make restitution. Aspenites loudly said no to being taxed to promote their resort. The paper reported, A heavy turnout of votes in Tuesdays special city election soundly rejected a proposed business license and occupation tax that would have funded a $1 million annual marketing budget for the resort. Proponents of the proposed tax, which would have cost most businesses $300 plus $25 per full-time employee, argued that Aspens share of the skier market has slipped steadily during the past decade and that the declining market share ought to be bolstered by an Aspen Resort Association (ARA) that would unify resort advertising and marketing programs. Opponents, including The Aspen Times, attacked the proposed ordinance as poorly conceived and likely to destroy the quality of life that lured many of the towns residents here in the first place. Ironically, the group that wanted to sell Aspen to the world was unable to sell itself to local voters, as overhead ate up most of the $66,000 set aside [by the Aspen Chamber of Commerce] to advance the plan. compiled by Sara Garton

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