25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

A century ago, the celebrated case of Aspen’s “famous mac” came to a close when a Pitkin County jury found Ed Crellen guilty of being a “macereaux,” in violation of a new state law that prohibited living “off the monies of a woman of the half world” (whatever that means). The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

After being out but ten minutes, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of “guilty” and Judge Shumate at once discharged the jurors.

Such a prompt verdict goes to show the conclusive testimony which was offered as to the defendant living off the proceeds of a woman of ill repute and speaks well for the intelligence of the jury which heard the case, and their sentiments as to all such degrading practices.

Two days later, the Democrat-Times followed up on the story:

Sheriff Everett will escort Ed Crellen to the penitentiary this evening.

Crellen insulted the dignity of the law … in by living with the Falvey woman in open violation of decency and the statutes of this state.

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It is true Crellen injured no one, robbed no one, took nothing from no man, and apparently the Falvey woman was willing to give him what money he received from her, but Crellen violated the law and it is right that he should be punished.

This paper highly honors each and every official having a part in the conviction of Crellen simply because he is and was a lawbreaker.

‘Tis well!

The flu has been making the rounds of Aspen schools of late. Fifty years ago, a “school anti-contagion plan” was under consideration. The Aspen Times reported:

Action on a proposed program to help check contagion in the Aspen school system has been tabled again by virtue of a two for, two against vote by the school board.

The plan advocated by the Citizen’s Council was presented Wednesday, October 7. The measure had been tabled before because board members did not feel they had a clear understanding of the proposal.

Spokesman for the Council at the meeting was Dr. Charles Houston. He explained that the heart of the plan was to have a physician in attendance a few hours a day at the school who would have the authority to send home suspected disease carriers.

The objective, Houston said, was to try to arrest the epidemics which plagued the school during the past two years. Superintendent Ralston noted that there were times last winter when over 35 percent of the student body was absent due to sickness, and that the figure had reached 47 percent the year before.

These days, Aspenites hankerin’ to bowl a game or two must head to El Jebel, but the town had its own bowling alley – Aspen Lanes – 50 years ago, and the place was modernizing in a big way. On the front page, The Aspen Times reported:

Within two months, local bowlers will have practically new facilities at which to practice their avocation.

According to Mr. and Mrs. Bill Tenney, six new AMF automatic pinsetters will be installed on or before December 1. In addition, alleys were refinished late this summer and new pins are now being used at the lanes.

Installation of the automatic equipment will be done by a team from the factory which built the pinsetters. The work is expected to take about 10 days.

Twenty-five years ago, a new ski hut was nearing completion in the mountains south of Aspen. The Friends’ Hut was built in memory of 10 people, from Aspen and Crested Butte, who were killed in a mid-air plane crash over East Maroon Pass in June 1980. Friends of the crash victims came together to build the hut just over Pearl Pass, on the Crested Butte side. The Aspen Times reported:

In memory.

A six-week period of construction has ended, and volunteer builders from Aspen and Crested Butte have returned to their respective communities, knowing that a four-year mission is almost completed.

The Friends’ Hut is built – not by any means finished – but snug and secure enough for winter, enclosed against the winter blizzards already buffeting its log walls.

Those who have visited it must admit that its location is truly spectacular. Nestled in a stand of tall spruces on the edge of timberline at 11,500 feet, the hut sits at the foot of starkly beautiful Star Peak, and lesser mountains complete the ring about it.

Because of its remote location, however, it’s not going to be on the beaten path of recreational ski tourists.

And that’s a good thing – because avalanche terrain must be crossed to reach it, it will probably remain the domain of the experienced and self-responsible cross-country skier who has map and compass and survival gear – and who knows how to use them.

– compiled by Janet Urquhart