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

Vagneur collection/Aspen Historical SocietyIn 1909, merchants put up funds to get the road over Taylor Pass, south of Aspen, open to travel after winter's snows, and volunteers were sought to lend a hand with the effort. This photo shows the narrow road heading toward the pass in 1913.
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The Aspen Democrat-Times reported on various goings-on, and urged the pursuit of gold mining, during the second week of June, a century ago:

Taylor Park Road

Yesterday $200 was raised among the merchants for the opening of the road over Taylor Pass. Those having the matter in charge expect to be able to begin operations the first of the week and desire all firefighters and ore haulers and others who will co-operate to report for business Monday.

Lawn party

Mrs. Edgar Stallard will give a party on the magnificent Stallard lawn, corner of Bleeker and Fifth streets, about June 22 in honor of the Rev. Sherwood Elson, rector of the Christ (Episcopal) Church.

The Shield-O Farm

Messrs. Foutz and Carr are fixing up the Shield-O ranch in apple pie order and now have one of the best equipped ranches in this section of the state. They have just completed a large pig shed and it is sectioned off so that the pigs don’t have to associate with each other unless they wish to. … This ranch is not a very large affair, only about 2,000 acres, that’s all.

Take a Shovel and Pick

If you are going to enjoy a day’s outing today and expect to spend the day in the hills, take a prospector’s pick and a shovel along and, while you are resting, hunt for gold.

A trip up the Roaring Fork or up Maroon or up any of our numerous streams and canyons may mean that the biggest gold mine in the state is discovered. But we can’t find that gold mine if we simply fish and dream of the gold mine that lies hidden along the banks of the stream in which we are angling or in the hills that stoop to kiss the dashing waters which are sporting the trout.

This paper is firmly of the belief that by conservative and honest prospecting, the Aspen mining district will give to the world the biggest gold vein yet discovered.

These days, no one thinks twice about the two school districts in the Roaring Fork Valley, but it was big news 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

One of the most controversial issues to arise in Aspen for many years, the school district reorganization plan was again the subject of a vote Tuesday evening, June 9, in Glenwood Springs.

Approved Tuesday by members of the Garfield and Pitkin County Reorganization Committees was an amended plan which does not include Aspen, but which would unite the school districts of Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.

The plan as amended will now be presented to the public at three public meetings. Following the three public sessions, it will be sent to the State Superintendent of Education for his approval. If this is forthcoming, it will be brought before the electorate of the areas involved for approval at a plebiscite.

The original, highly controversial plan envisaged one large district incorporating Aspen as well as Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

This aroused much opposition in the Aspen area and at a special straw vote held here March 20 it was rejected by 340 votes to 24.

Twenty-five years ago, the threat of a slide off Aspen Mountain spurred the evacuation of several blocks of town at the base of the ski area. The Times reported:

A June snowstorm turned out to be the least of Aspen’s worries this morning when officials learned that fissures had developed on Aspen Mountain and the slope was threatening to slide.

Although the heavy rains and snow of the past two days certainly have contributed to the slide danger, geologists believe the real cause is the accumulated moisture of two very wet, snowy years. …

No one is giving odds on whether the hill really will slide, how far the slide could spread into Aspen – or when it will if it does. Said Undersheriff Don Davis: “I don’t know and nobody does.”

And although a team of geologists had come down from a preliminary investigation by early this afternoon, they were by press time making no official guesses on the potential for a serious slide. …

In the meantime, people within the evacuation zone were asked to stay out of their homes and to refrain from spending any time in the area at least through the night.

– compiled by Janet Urquhart


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