25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com
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25-50-100 Years Ago

Courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyThis motley bunch of early skiers, believed to have been photographed some time around 1914, were working on the Fibby Ditch in the Blue River basin near Breckenridge, in Summit County. The group were working on land known as the Lund Ranch, and presumably were skiing to work. There was no explanation available for the fact that there are five women in the photo (seated at right).
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Although The Aspen Democrat was a partisan publication ” hence the name ” and one dedicated to all kinds of political news, Editor Charles “Cap” Dailey worked hard to give front-page exposure to the adventures, trials and tribulations of the people of Aspen. As an example, under the headline, “Jolly Tally-Ho Party”:

Messrs. Tagert, Teuscher, Rose, Flynn, Williams, Folsom, Wells, Ward, Jenkinson, Perkins, Graham, Hicks, Hedman and Dudley formed a jolly tally-ho party that went to the Williams’ ranch on Snow Mass on Sunday. Now, wasn’t that a jolly bunch to turn loose on any one ranch, and on a Sabbath! My, but they had a time. They romped, rolled and wrestled in the snow all day ” except, of course, when they were eating.

The editor also kept track of former Aspenites whenever he could.

Word was received in the city yesterday that Harry Stafford, a former, popular young man of this city, was married at Cripple Creek on Lincoln’s birthday to a most charming young lady in the gold camp. The young gentleman was a brother-in-law of Mayor Cain’s …

Dailey continued to blast B. Clark Wheeler, proprietor of the rival Aspen Times, whenever he could, including taking an opportunity to reprint a Times editorial clearly meant to ridicule and threaten Dailey and the Democrat. Noting Dailey’s victory in court against Wheeler’s efforts to take control of the Democrat, the Times called Dailey “that little tin horn” whom Wheeler “would have put in the pen, if it had not been for the cute practice of his attorneys.” Dailey’s reply:

The above is a jammer, isn’t it? The “father” [his nickname for Wheeler] must have been in an awful condition when he wrote it ” the poor old Greaser. Let us hope the “father” will not be arraigned on the charge of lunacy, as that would be awful!

Aspen’s voters were being asked to decide whether liquor could be served within the city limits, or the town should become “dry.”

The Democrat has been asked the following question: In case the petitions to the city clerk are correct and according to law … at the city election in April next … will the result be decided by the votes cast in the precincts, or will the whole city be governed by the result of the entire vote cast? As we understand it … if a majority of the voters in the entire city say “wet,” the town will remain as it is. If a majority say “dry,” there won’t be a saloon in the city limits at the expiration of the present licenses.

An old controversy apparently was settled beyond dispute when a state official of the Department of Public Printing confirmed the Democrat’s accusation that two former county commissioners conspired with The Aspen Times to overcharge the public in the publication of the Pitkin County delinquent tax lists for 1907.

The Times was paid for publishing the tax list, $2,488.84; The State Commissioner of Printing allowed $1,651.40; The Aspen Times was overpaid $837.44. The Democrat’s figures showed that the Times had been overpaid $1,039.76 [and] we still maintain we are correct … However, the steal as shown by the state printer is bad enough and Commissioners Platt, Stockman and Atkinson have given notice of suit to recover the amount fraudulently paid out by ex-commissioners Powell and Smulling. Let the good work go on.

(Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.)

Aspen’s status as a ski racing hub got a boost when the state of Colorado named a pair of local events to the list known as “the Rush of the Rockies Centennial Events,” part of the state’s 100th anniversary.

For the first time in history, the Roch Cup-Alpine Nationals ski events will be part of the state’s centennial celebration … nearly 100 racers from all parts of the country and several from Europe have entered the three-day event, which is simultaneously one of five tryout events for berths on the 1960 Olympic squad.

As the town grew, so did the importance people attached to their own opinions ” or at least that’s the way it seemed when Editor Bil Dunaway had to limit the length of letters to the editor.

Unless the information contained is of a factual nature which might be of interest to Times readers, letters received after this day should be restricted to 250 words. The editors regret the necessity of stemming the thoughts of its writing readers, but there is not room in the Times for news and all of the long letters recently received.

The local police force entered the modern age with the acquisition of two-way radios to send out calls to night-duty officers.

Police now are called at night by the use of a searchlight on the Hotel Jerome roof which is shined on Aspen Mountain. When they see the light the night police go to the hotel and receive their call.

Aspenite Craig Ward came close to getting onto the U.S. Olympic nordic ski team, but was thwarted by illness.

An enervating and mysterious illness that doctors couldn’t diagnose put Aspen native Craig Ward out of Olympic nordic competition this year ” by one berth. But, his strength returning, that didn’t stop Ward from putting in the best time of any American skier in the 50K Birkebeiner race in Telemark, Wis. Besides, Ward says, he had planned this season as his last in professional competition anyway.

Aspen was shocked when a trio of local pet dogs, including one notorious troublemaker named Bozo, got into the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies grounds and mauled a tame mule deer known as Dear Deer, one of the many examples of wildlife that live on the grounds.

Tom Cardamone, director of ACES … hesitated not for a moment in shooting two of the dogs with a .22-caliber rifle … Bozo, the ringleader of the pack, fled when help arrived. But Cardamone had seen him, knew the dog well from previous encounters, had warned [Bozo’s owner, Darlene] Vare that he would shoot if Bozo caused trouble in the sanctuary again. Following Bozo home … Cardamone dragged him back to the sanctuary where he obtained permission from [Pitkin County] Animal Control ” and fired one last shot.

Some locals proposed an unusual war memorial for somewhere in valley, setting up a fund to pay for the project and enlisting involvement from up and down the valley.

A group of Viet Nam veterans is proposing that a “war memorial dedicated to the living be established in the Roaring Fork Valley. Two organizers of the memorial, Chuck Cole and Dan Glidden, who are both Viet Nam veterans, explain … “Some Viet Nam vets have had many psychological problems with their return. A gesture to them is important.”

– compiled by John Colson


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