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

Courtesy the Aspen Historical SocietyThis probably is how the Colorado Midland Railroad station in Aspen looked in 1909, when a group of railroad executives and officials showed up to inspect the facilities, which had recently been sold, according to an account in The Aspen Democrat. The station was at the base of Aspen Mountain, and the profile of what later became known as Shadow Mountain can be seen in the background.
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The rivalry between Charles Dailey, editor of The Aspen Democrat, and B. Clark Wheeler, proprietor of The Aspen Times, moved to a new level when Wheeler was found to be in contempt of the Colorado Supreme Court over an item he published in the Times. Specifically, a story in the Times claimed that the justices had decided in favor of the Times and against Dailey in a lawsuit by which Wheeler was trying to take control of the Democrat. Dailey fired back that no such ruling had been made.Just what B.C. based his decision on is beyond our comprehension. We were present during the entire argument and we failed utterly to see or hear anything to cause the belief or the statement that Chief Justice Steele, and Justices Musser and White had yet decided the case in question. As a matter of fact [Dailey] was given ten days in which to file an amended brief … some time after this is done the final decree will be handed down.Under the headline, Whats The Use? the highly partisan Editor Charles Cap Dailey poked fun at the city clerk for seeking to have the upcoming municipal ballot published as a legal advertisement, even though there were only Democratic candidates listed, and chastised an unnamed trio of Republicans for efforts to mount write-in campaigns.Notwithstanding this fact [nothing but Democrats on the ballot] there are a few, a very few, only three in fact, who are talking another ticket and who are turning heaven and earth so far as they can to kick up a disturbance and dissatisfaction Judging from the almost unanimous satisfaction of the people in the regular Democratic ticket, however, it is not believed that the little Three will secure a bakers dozen for their kick candidate.A gathering of nine prominent railroad executives and officials arrived in Aspen to inspect the Colorado Midland system, which had recently been bought by an investment consortium represented by the men riding the train. The editor used this visit as a launching pad for appeals to the business community to turn Aspen from a ghost of a mining town into a tourist Mecca.It is understood that while in this city the above gentlemen marveled that Aspen had long ago been advertised as a resort, as they had not been in town over two hours before they recognized our very great advantages. The trouble with us fellows who live in Aspen is, that we have become so accustomed to our natural resources that moss has grown on our backs and our only salvation is for some easterners to come in and scrape off the moss and gobble up all that we could have had for years Aspen has more attractions to the square inch for tourists than any other spot in Colorado and yet here we are, passing summer after summer without doing a thing to bring in even one tourist.At the top of the front page on March 31, the paper ran a story about a local field sent up for 90 days, relating the tale of one Mickey Reed who borrowed money from his mother to leave town on the train, but instead spent it all on booze and then went back home to beat up his mother and threaten to burn her house down, presumably in retaliation for her refusal to give him any more money.The court sentenced him to ninety days in the county jail at hard labor, and Judge Sanders would have given the inhuman fiend ninety years had it been within his powers and its too bad the judge didnt have the power. This Mickey bears an unsavory reputation in this community and the best that can be said for him is that it is a pity that Aspen has ever been his home.(Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Societys archives. These excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.)

The Aspen Times reported that the local chamber was mulling over a proposal from the University of Colorado Bureau of Business Research to make a detailed study of Aspens economy. The survey would look at the inventory of hotels, motels, service establishments, retail stores and other businesses that, today, directly serve visitors to predict a forecast of what growth might be realized in the towns future.An important part of such a survey would be information solicited from tourists about why they came to Aspen, what they had heard about the area before coming, where they came from and similar information. Cost of the survey would not exceed $1,000. It was decided that [the proposal] would be studied by the individual chamber officials for a decision at a future date.Aspen School District voters firmly rejected a proposal to reorganize the schools from Aspen to Glenwood Springs into one large district, as recommended by the state Department of Education.A total of 364 people voted in the unofficial Citizens Council for Better Schools plebiscite with 340 votes cast against the plan and a mere 24 voting in favor of it. Only 299 people voted in the $391,000 school bond issue election in December of 1958, 277 voted to acquire the water system in November of 1957, 218 cast ballots in the Sanitation Districts sewer bond election and 117 people voted to approve purchase of the electric system in the city. The extraordinarily large turnout was a definite indication of the concern the controversial [reorganization] scheme has aroused in this area.

County animal control officials were prosecuting local Darlene Vare over reports that her dog, Bozo, was the leader of a pack of domestic dogs that attacked a tame deer at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Officials had announced plans to exhume Bozos carcass the dog had been shot dead by ACES director Tom Cardamone in the wake of the attack from what was described as a mass grave above the Pitkin County dump, to obtain evidence in the case.Vare will be arraigned on five alleged violations of Pitkin County animal control ordinances those charges include allowing Bozo to run at large [and] failing to acquire a license, vaccination and tags for the dog. [Bozo] had been accused on other occasions of harassing wildlife and had killed a beaver at Hallam Lake earlier this year. That case went to court, too. Vare was fined and reprimanded. Dear Deer, the subject of the brutal attack reportedly is responding to medical treatment.After more than a decade of rumors and accusations, local attorney Jeffrey Pease was arrested and charged with sexual assault on young boys, along with the possession and use of cocaine. If convicted, he was facing up to 16 years in prison.According to an arrest warrant Pease has admitted that he engaged in sex acts and shared cocaine with a juvenile at his Snowmass home and that he had sex with this same juvenile on several previous occasions.A 547-room hotel and conference center, the biggest Aspen had ever contemplated, on land at the base of Aspen Mountain known as the failed development empire of Hans Cantrup, won a critical approval from the city council.After considering the application at nine previous sessions, Aspens city council approved conceptual PUD and subdivision plans for the Aspen Mountain Lodge the action was by a three-to-two margin and subject to 19 conditions. Added to the conditions was one by [council member Al] Blomquist making ultimate approval of the hotel contingent on satisfactory consideration of the entire 11-plus-acre site, which has three residential projects in addition to the hotel. compiled by John Colson


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