25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Aspen, and the rest of America, was gripped by baseball fever in the early 1900s. And the Bloomer Girls, or Ladies Base Ball Club, shown here posing next to their own train car, were part of that fever. Some have even suggested the Bloomer Girls were a necessary precursor to Aspens ladies rugby team, which was still decades away from reality when this picture was taken. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Baseball was Americas pastime, and The Aspen Democrat seemed to take it as a special mission to use its front-page columns to boost the fortunes of the Aspen Blue Stockings, who were taking on teams from around the Western Slope in grand style.Aspen defeated New Castle for the first time in six years, and did it so decisively as to leave no question whatever as to which was the superior team. The men from the coal camp narrowly escaped a shutout … Aspen, 14 and New Castle, 2 …In a game far more interesting than the score would indicate, the Blue Stockings of Aspen won from the Columbines of Leadville by a score of 13 to 1 … Worn out by their long and tiresome journey from Leadville, the Columbines showed a snap and ginger throughout the game … In every department but pitching the Columbines were the equals of the home boys …The second game of baseball between the Columbines of Leadville and the Aspen Blue Stockings was the best played on the local grounds this season … the prettiest game of the season with a score of 7 to 1 … Equally important to the locals lives were the diverse churches and chapels available to Aspen worshippers every week, with many denominations represented. And while the editor of The Democrat did it infrequently, he occasionally felt a particular sermon was worthy of publication on the front page of the paper, such as this one by The Rev. L.J. Hole of the Methodist Church, on The Claims of Christian Science.Christian Science, so-called, is destructive of the truth! This I am here purposely, firmly but kindly to maintain. To do otherwise would be to stullify [sic] myself, and magicians say, to beg the question … Are the teachings of Mrs. Eddy [evidently a Christian Scientist practitioner of local repute] in accordance with the Word of God? …The name Christian Science is either correct or it is a misnomer. The term science, as is well understood, includes all forms of systematic knowledge philosophy, psychology, theology, geology and all the other ologies known to man. Allow me to say it is certainly a bold thing for an educated woman to rise up in the nineteenth century of the Christian era and endeavor to overthrow the accumulated wisdom of the ages …

While operating as a truly local paper, The Aspen Democrat lived up to its name in terms of state and national politics, regularly excoriating Republicans for one slight or another and trumpeting the affairs of the Democratic Party. But Editor Charles Dailey could also be counted on to blare the results of Republican conventions in headlines just as loudly and vigorously as any Democrat could hope for.TAFT NOMINATED ON FIRST BALLOTThe Roosevelt Stampede Movement Failed to Materialize and Teddys Man, Bill Taft, Secured the Plum An Easy Mark for William J. Bryan.Same Old G.O.P. Hot Air Predominated in Chicago YesterdayBack covering local affairs, the paper gleefully recorded the success of its latest effort in boosterism, the Strawberry Shortcake Day in Aspen.It was certainly a beautiful sight yesterday out at the Fair Grounds, which were packed with twenty-five hundred handsomely gowned women and well-dressed men and happy children … The berries were large, juicy and sweetened and were the best the market of the West could furnish … It was an Aspen success. Never one to rest on his laurels, the editor immediately began agitating for yet another big civic festival to draw tourists to Aspen and invigorate the local economy. Now that the rush of Strawberry Shortcake Day is over and preparations on the way for a great and glorious Fourth of July, what is the matter with inaugurating a TROUT DAY some time about the fifteenth of August. Then just think of what an advertisement it would be for Aspen. It would call attention to the fishing possibilities in and about the Crystal City of the Rockies as nothing else could. Now is the time for our Boosters to get busy and appoint committees on arrangements, publicity and railroad rates … Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Societys archives. These 1908 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

Aspens summertime calendars had already made the world sit up and take notice over the course of the preceding decade, with the internationally known participants flocking to the Aspen Music Festival and the Aspen Institute. Scientists, diplomats, a noted poet and a Supreme Court justice are among the men who will lecture here this summer under the aegis of the Aspen Institute … Mortimer Adler, head of the Institute for Philosophic Research in San Francisco, lectures on Labor and Leisure: Their significance for Democracy and Capitalism … Poet Paul Engle, leader of the famous writers colony in Iowa, on The Art of Poetry …In early August sessions Justice William Brennan will speak on The Supreme Court and Civil Liberties … Aspen even sported rumors of visitors from the stars. A number of Aspenites and residents of Basalt were being severely quizzed last week by a 71-year-old meteorites scientist. Dr. H. H. Nininger from Sedona, Arizona, believing that a meteorite which flashed over Colorado last October 10 struck Red Table Mountain … came to Aspen to uncover people who had seen the meteorite in action. The sports car races rated prominent mention, in particular the fact that the winner of the event was a Denver woman. Although a Triumph TR-3 and MGA took the top two positions in the first annual Golden-Aspen rallye last Saturday … Porsches dominated the event … Winner of the event, with two perfect heats and a phenomenal low score of 109 penalty points was Charlene Patch, Denver. Mrs. Patch drove a TR-3 …

Aspens water department chief Jim Markalunas made it official the area had missed receiving a record amount of snow over the winter by a meager inch, and the snowpack could still rise. The winter of 1982-1983 had a total of 218 inches of now, only one inch less than the record snowfall of 219 inches in 1964-1965. The month of May, 1983, actually did break all records of snowfall for May with 41 inches. The record … before this year had been 21 inches in 1938. Says Jim Markalunas, director of the Water Department, The count could still go up … because June isnt over yet and we could still get snow. Following a protracted battle over the permissible size of its trademark golden arches, McDonalds corporate headquarters was rumored to be giving up on Aspen. But the Times reported that it wasnt so and that the fast food joint would open as soon as construction allowed, with greatly reduced arches out front. That fact was acknowledged this week by company representatives at the restaurant chains Englewood office. The confirmation of their anticipated opening put to rest recent stories that the company had quietly shelved its plans and had slipped its sesame seed buns out of town. compiled by John Colson