25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Chris Cassatt/Aspen Times fileAs if Aspenites hadn't had enough snow already in the record-breaking winter of 1983-84, they awoke on Sunday, May 6 to yet another heavy snowfall.

Pitkin County no longer hosts a county fair, but the local fairgrounds were under new control a century ago. The Aspen Democrat reported:

At the meeting of the city council last evening an appropriation was passed to pay off the outstanding indebtedness of the Roaring Fork and Crystal River Fair association, the indebtedness being contracted in connection with the fair held last fall.

It was stated that an arrangement had been effected whereby the county and city, through a board of control, would in the future have exclusive control of the fairgrounds and the buildings and the Hallam Lake resort.

This action practically retires the Roaring Fork and Crystal River Fair association, which was not an incorporated body but held its existence solely to the will of the people.

The officers of the association have successfully conducted three fairs, improved the grounds and race track, constructed good, commodious fair buildings, hospital, etc., in fact made a record second to that made by no other fair association in the state.

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

In 1958, Buttermilk was under construction as a ski area. The planned construction of its first lift made headlines in The Aspen Times in May 1958.

Aspen’s second new ski development, Buttermilk Mountain, Inc., has ordered a lift and will install it this summer, it was announced this week by Friedl Pfeifer, president of the corporation.

First of a proposed series of three lifts for the area, the one to be installed this summer is a Dopplemayer T-Bar from Austria.

It will have 12 steel towers, two terminals and approximately 86 hangers, which run on a one inch steel cable. 4,000 feet long, it will have a vertical rise of 1,000 skiers per hour.

Designed primarily as a beginners area, Buttermilk will have its first four trails cut this summer while the lift is being installed.

A new highway alignment into Aspen was under consideration 50 years ago. It still is. Reported The Aspen Times in 1958:

A possible new highway to and through Aspen was the subject of discussion at a public meeting in the Hotel Jerome last Saturday afternoon. Purpose of the meeting, attended by representatives from civic, fraternal and business organizations in the area, was to decide on the highway route most acceptable to the majority of residents.

According to information presented at the meeting, three alternate new routes had been surveyed by the State Highway Department.

One approaches the city from the west on a straight line with Main Street and follows Main Street through town, swinging south on the outskirts of town to join the present highway near the Aspen Grove Cemetery intersection.

The second route swings further south across the Marolt Ranch on the West side of the city and crosses Castle Creek at a lower level. This joins Main Street between 6th and 7th and follows the same route through town as alternative number one.

The third proposal, according to information presented Saturday, also swings south across the Marolt Ranch, crosses the river in approximately the same location as alternative two, but comes in on Hopkins Street and follows Hopkins through town.

The winter of 1983-84 was a memorable one, at least from a skier’s perspective. On May 10, 1984, The Aspen Times followed up on the snowfall through April:

It’s still crocuses in the snow for Aspen.

During the month of April, 28.5 inches of snow fell, bringing the total number of inches of snowfall to 249.5 for this winter of 1983-84.

It’s the biggest snow year on record.

The previous record for snowfall in Aspen was 219 inches for the winter of 1964-65.

It’s liable to be a really big snow year because May is still to come and last May recorded 41 more inches of snow.

Big snows mean big runoffs and flood danger in the spring (if spring will ever come).

– compiled by Janet Urquhart

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