25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Chris Cassatt/Aspen Times fileThe floodplains east of Aspen (now the Northstar Nature Preserve) functioned as, well, floodplains, in the spring of 1984, thanks to winter snows that were the heaviest on record.

A century ago, Aspenites picked up a newly merged newspaper – The Aspen Democrat-Times. Under the headline, “One Daily Paper For City Of Aspen,” the newly combined publication reported:

Having purchased the Aspen Times paper and newspaper plant and its good will outright, without string or attachment of any kind, this morning The Aspen Democrat and The Aspen Daily Times comes to you under the caption “The Aspen Democrat-Times,” with the assurance that it will be a faithful and conscientious worker for the interests of the people of this community.

So far as we are concerned, Aspen is the only place on the map and the Aspen people are the only people on earth. We love you all and each of you, and your patronage and favors in the past are heartily and sincerely appreciated, and we state with pleasure that it is the backing of the people of this community in the past that permits us to come before you in this new guise and pen this “little piece.”

No better evidence of our faith in Aspen and its future can be given than the purchase of the Aspen Times plant at this time. We have passed through our greatest period of financial depression and business conditions are everywhere more favorable as the year advances.

Hot dog! There was a new snack bar in Aspen in early summer of ’59. The Times reported:

Now there is a dog house next to the Aspen swimming pool. Fran’s Dog House, it’s called – a new sidewalk snack bar operated by Fran Brady.

This latest burger heaven opened Friday, May 29. Besides charcoal-broiled ham, cheese, steak and pizza burgers, it features hot dogs and soft drinks of all types.

Owner of the stand on the corner of Galena and Durant streets, facing the Aspen Mt. ski area, is Fran Brady, a New Yorker who came to Aspen early this winter.

He will be assisted by Phil Clark, a former resident of Rochester, N.Y., who began his stay here in late fall.

Spring runoff’s “bark was worse than its bite,” The Aspen Times reported 25 years ago:

The heaviest snow season on record literally went down the drain this past weekend.

As had been predicted, the Roaring Fork crested Friday and Saturday and then subsided, although a National Weather Service hydrologist says the area can expect another, smaller bout of flooding this coming weekend.

Larry Tunnell is forecasting warm temperatures and scattered showers for the next few days, which should raise river levels by one to one and a half feet over current levels.

But after that, he says, the high country snowpack should be diminished enough so that any flooding danger will be past.

A more efficient government or just a bigger bureaucracy? That might have been the question on the minds of Pitkin County residents in 1984, when talk of combining local governments gathered steam. The Aspen Times reported:

The idea of consolidating the area’s three governmental entities – Pitkin County, Aspen and Snowmass [Village] – has been kicking around for years, but a report issued yesterday may inspire elected officials to bring it about.

The report, compiled during the past year by County Financial Planner John Eldert and outgoing County Manager Curt Stewart, asserts that such a consolidation could save local taxpayers about $1 million a year.

Eldert told the board of county commissioners yesterday that the savings would come from the net elimination of 29 positions from the three governments’ work forces.

He said the $1 million figure is based on the assumption that each employee earns an average of $25,000 a year and accounts for another $10,000 or so in overhead, although he cautioned that his figures could be off by as much as 20 percent.

He also was quick to point out that no one would be fired, but rather that staff reductions would be made only by attrition.

“I mean, you’ve got to do this in a humane fashion,” he remarked.

– compiled by Janet Urquhart

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