25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

There were three elementary schools located in Aspen in 1905. The Garfield School was located at the corner of East Durant and West End Avenue. 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.Public education is measured by the CSAP (Colorado Student Assessment Program)). In 1905 there was a state inspector of high schools. The paper reported,Dr. Sanford Bell of the state university of Colorado, who is professor of education in that institution and state inspector of high schools, left last night after spending two days thoroughly investigating the Aspen high school. …Dr. Bell gives the Aspen high school a clean bill of excellence. If anyone believed the wild charges made against our schools, he would be prepared to have Dr. Bell or any other investigator score them from start to finish. We have had it dinned into our ears that our schools were inefficient, our teachers incompetent, our superintendent a false alarm, our high school run on fads and educational freak ideas. Only the source of these charges saved them from credence. …”I have spent two days in the high school,” said Dr. Bell yesterday. “I can say unequivocally that the Aspen high school is as good as any in the state of Colorado. The standard of scholarship is as high as any school’s in the state, and the standard of proficiency on the part of the teachers cannot be excelled by any corps of teachers in the state. Discipline was maintained to a notable degree. I think you should have a high school of which the city should be proud.”

The paper continued to boost the schools (see photos) in reviewing the spring exhibition of schoolwork. “If This is ‘Incompetency’ the People of This City Want a Lot More of the Same Kind” was the subhead on this article.The visitor was simply swamped with the abundance of it all and he had to hurry to get even a bird’s eye view.Miss Rigg’s first grade class at the Washington made a most creditable display. The samples of work in weaving, sewing, free-hand paper cutting and other branches of this work reflected upon both the teacher and pupils. Miss Meehan’s class from the Lincoln and Miss Fullington’s from the Garfield also had interesting displays. …Miss Plant’s second grade class from the Lincoln school was especially advanced in mathematics and writing. …Many fine examples of relief map work were shown, but that done by Miss Harrison’s fourth grade class from the Garfield school was especially fine. The relief effect was produced by means of salt and flour and the topographical details were brought out with ingenious vividness.Miss Van Guten’s sixth grade class from the Lincoln school displayed some excellent specimens of supplementary reading work, illustrating Longfellow’s “Hiawatha” and other stories. …

Leo Silver’s set of bench lathe drawings would have done credit to a professional draughtsman and Prof. Barker declared he would back it against anything done in any high school anywhere. Miss Stewarts’s English and Latin classes made a specially fine display and covered the whole range of the work done by Miss Stewart, who is probably the best teacher in these branches the high school has ever had.Now there is ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps), then it was the High School Cadets. The paper reported, One of the most interesting features of the afternoon’s program was the drill by the High School Cadets under the direction of Prof. Palmer. … With few drill and no uniforms, with heavy and clumsy muskets and with little incentive to military work, the boys went through their evolutions very creditably. If the public spirited citizens of Aspen would raise $200, a cadet company of forty or fifty boys could be equipped with rifles, caps and belts and would be an organization which would be a credit to the town.

Here is an interesting alternative to Mountain Rescue and Homeland Security. The paper announced,Men who like to ride and have a horse, airplane, helicopter or other means of getting over the west slope’s rugged and rocky terrain are invited to be present at the organizational meeting of the Sheriff’s Posse on May 9, 1955, at 7:30 p.m. at the Court House.The Sheriff’s Posse as we understand it to be organized in other places is a group primarily of horsemen, organized as a riding club to take part in parades, trail rides and rodeos, as well as being organized to assist peace officers in many ways such as hunting lost persons, tracking down law violators and being ready for civil defense programs being organized nationwide.Sheriff Lorain R. Herwick has called this meeting when he will explain the work and duties and good times possible by joining this group.A building with a colorful history as a saloon and a “museum” of western novelties (see photos) was now owned by two colorful brothers-in-law, one a Bauhaus artist and one a Frank Lloyd Wright-trained architect. The paper reported,Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bayer recently bought one-half of the Bowman Building from Mr. and Mrs. Fritz Benedict. They are converting the former Driftwood Shop into Mr. Bayer’s office and the back part of the building will be made into a duplex apartment.

Aspen was included in The American magazine in an article devoted to Colorado. The paper reprinted the excerpt: [Writer] Don Eddy says, “At Aspen, [there’s a] a stone and log village nestling beside a stream called Roaring Fork in a secluded alpine bowl at the base of seven sky-stabbing peaks. I went into a spin trying to decide which of the myriad pastimes to try first. From spring to autumn there are overlapping programs of horse shows, shooting matches, fishing contests, rodeos, aquacades in two public swimming pools, picnics in a pavilion atop an all-year ski lift 11,300 feet high, and mountain climbs led by Bob Craig, an Aspenite who was on the K2 expedition in the Himalayas in 1953.”In summer, celebrities conduct music festivals and seminars in the arts, sciences, and humanities. In winter, thousands of visitors arrive for a Winterskol featuring torchlight races down the steep slopes and dog-sled trips organized by Stuart Mace, who trained malamutes to hunt down fliers in the Arctic during World War II.Living strictly for fun, Aspen’s 917 citizens are far outnumbered by vacationists every day in the year. Although the town has only two policemen, it has a 15-man ski patrol to comb the mountains at nightfall for strays.”

Aspen’s own sheriff was the subject of a segment on the popular television show, “60 Minutes.”The program focused on [Sheriff Dick] Kienast’s differences with federal law enforcement agencies over the question of undercover operations aimed at drug dealers. …Noting that Kienast hardly fits the traditional image of the redneck western sheriff, [CBS correspondent Morley] Safer commented that the sheriff’s department, with its lack of rank and other military-type organization, is more like some “law enforcement commune” left over from the 1960s.However, at the same time, Safer pointed out that Kienast’s men are well-trained, efficient and required to qualify regularly on the pistol range, and that local crime statistics have dropped sharply since Kienast took office.Kienast stated during the show that he considers infringement of personal freedoms a greater menace than drugs and commented that he feels the citizens should possess the true power in society and grant certain rights to their government, rather than government having all the power and granting rights to the citizens.”Around Aspen” commented on the notoriety of another valley resident.And now there’s a movie about Aspen’s gonzo journalist, Hunter Thompson, entitled “Where the Buffalo Roam. It’s a Universal Studios release, starring Bill Murray as Hunter and Peter Boyle as lawyer Karl Lazlo. Murray spent several days with Hunter in his Woody Creek cabin to pick up the voice, mannerisms and overall style of his character. John Ashton of the Rocky Mountain News writes of the film, “There really is no plot to speak of here, what screenwriter John Kaye gives us is a collection of anecdotal tales that follow this most freaked-out and entertaining of American journalists through some of his crazier misadventures.”

A follow-up story about the search for a missing 35-year-old Aspen man appeared in the paper. It has been a month and a half since Aspen solar energy expert Ron Shore and a friend, Barton Eisenberg, who worked for the US Energy Dept., disappeared while sailing a 14-foot Hobie Cat catamaran off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula.It has been a month and a half of fruitless searching by the Mexican and United States Coast Guards and a search by Shore’s wife, Jill Shore, and his longtime friend, Paul Rubin. …Rubin took up the story. “On the beach by the Cozumel-Caribbean Hotel, [Shore and Eisenberg] saw a man who rents snorkeling gear to tourists.”This man claims that Ron approached him and asked to rent the Hobie Cat. He claims he loaned the boat to Ron and Bart because it is not allowed to rent boats in the late afternoon.”Typically southeastern winds come up in the afternoon and along with the five-mile current in the water, it makes for dangerous sailing.”Rubin recounted that the men were sailing in front of the Cozumel-Carib Hotel when two Canadians, staying at a nearby hotel, came running and reported that they saw the boat capsize.

“The man who lent them the sailboat went out in his speedboat, but says he had to turn back because the boat was taking on water in the rough sea,” reported Rubin.”The rescue was started an hour later by a volunteer organization. They searched until dark and found nothing.” The US Coast Guard was called in by the State Department and along with the Mexican Coast Guard they searched for two or three more days with helicopters and boats.”Rubin said he also searched the reefs and coastline and found nothing. He finds this puzzling because, he says, the Hobie Cat is an unsinkable boat and if it broke up in the rough seas, pieces should have floated.Rubin said there are other puzzling about the disappearance.”All I can say is that the consulate was inept. It was rumored that the men were in a hospital somewhere, so they said nothing about it. It was rumored that the men had changed hotels.”Jill Shore didn’t learn that Ron was missing until nine days had gone by.” …Shore [was] one of the top consultants in solar research and development. Some of his projects include the Pitkin County Airport, the solar dorm at Colorado Rocky Mountain School, the new Colorado Mountain College in Glenwood, four solar duplexes in Rifle, and he did the solar consulting on many Aspen residences.He invented the Ron Shore curtain, a thermal curtain which helps solar buildings retain heat,The Shores have two sons, Noah, 6, and David, 4.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


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

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User