25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Chris Cassatt/Aspen Times fileBob Helm put a temporary support on one of the two custom-ordered beams that provided support for a new bridge across Hunter Creek in 1984. The old bridge had been washed out in June, cutting off access to the Hunter Creek Valley via the trail that follows the creek up from town.

Aspen’s historic Hotel Jerome was recently in the news after it entered foreclosure proceedings. A century ago, the hotel was getting ready to reopen. The Aspen-Democrat Times reported:

The Hotel Jerome will be opened to the public on November 1, under the able management of Mrs. M.B. Brown, who has successfully conducted the New England Boarding house for the past number of years.

The hotel will undergo a complete renovation from cellar to garret and all its equipment will be of the best. Such reports as are necessary are now under way and it is understood a new cement walk will be put down.

On the 20th of this month, Mrs. Brown will close the New England and the large number of patrons of that house will take up their abode in the Jerome.

The bar and billiard and pool room will be conducted by Mansor Elisha, who has had years of experience in such matters, and this is a guarantee that it will be a gentleman’s resort.

With the Hotel Jerome in such capable hands, it cannot but be a success in all respects.

This paper is pleased to announce the opening of this hostelry and it is what the city needs and should not have been so long without. Since the closing down of the hotel there has been no place in the city where tourists or sojourning business men and probably investors could meet our people on a common plane or where our own people could gather to discuss matters of importance to the welfare of our community.

A mill accident in Lenado, in the upper Woody Creek Valley, claimed a woman’s life. The Aspen Times-Democrat reported:

Last evening at 4 o’clock, Mrs. William Long was instantly killed in the concentrating mill on the Bi-Metallic property at Lenado while helping her husband adjust the elevator belt, which carries the ore from the dump to the crusher.

Mr. Long has had a lease on the Bi-Metallic property for a number of years and has been operating the concentrating mill that is situated on the property.

The elevator belt, by which the woman was killed, extends to the height of about 35 feet perpendicular from the floor. At regular intervals of about a foot apart, there are strong iron cups attached for the purpose of carrying ore from the dump to the crusher, and it was by one of these cups that Mrs. Long was caught and dragged under the big wheel and killed.

The news from the Aspen Chamber of Commerce 50 years ago was that the organization would continue to exist. The Aspen Times reported:

Aspen’s Chamber of Commerce was not dissolved last night.

The largest attendance on record for the past five years at the general meeting Wednesday evening, Oct. 7, nullified a resolution made the preceding day by chamber directors.

At their Tuesday noon meeting, the directors voted to disband the organization if a quorum was not realized at the annual general meeting Wednesday.

During the past three years, elections were held in violation of the bylaws without the prescribed quorum. Fifty-four members were present at Wednesday’s meeting, several more than required by the bylaws.

Members at the session gave last year’s directors an unvoiced vote of confidence by re-electing 10 of them to serve for another term.

Twenty-five years ago, some ski resorts left the snow up to Mother Nature, while others tried to manipulate the weather. The Aspen Times reported:

Vail-Beaver Creek is employing a professional cloud-seeder again this winter, while Aspen will trust in Mother Nature.

Vail has hired the services of Western Weather Consultants of Durango for the fifth year in a row. For $55,000, Vail will get three months of cloud-seeding (during certain meteorological conditions).

The Aspen Skiing Company and Aspen Highlands employed the company during the winters of 1977-78 and ’78-79, and the Highlands alone in ’79-80.

Since then, neither company has done any weather modification, but then again, with the weather of the last four winters, they haven’t needed it.

Larry Hjermstad, owner of WWC, says he’s lost several other customers during the past few snowy winters, and that’s to be expected.

High water wiped out a bridge in the Hunter Creek Valley 25 years ago. By fall, a new, sturdier structure was in place. The Aspen Times reported:

With the Hunter Creek Bridge open and under budget, director Dick Fenton can call the project a success with only one caveat.

“I thought it worked fine, pretty well, according to the book as long as it’s there next year,” he said. A total of 45 individuals and groups contributed $6,500 for the cause and Fenton believes the project will end up with surplus after all the bills are paid.

Barring a flood of Biblical proportions, the bridge will remain intact across Hunter Creek for many years, thanks to the efforts of a work crew of 15 who worked most of the day for the past three Sundays to provide the replacement for a bridge washed out in June.

Designed by Fritz Benedict, Tom Duesterberg and Bob Helm, the bridge has an important advantage over the old structure in that the spans rest on supports at the edge of the bank rather than in the middle.

– compiled by Janet Urquhart

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