25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Ski racer Toni Spiss on Thunderbowl at Aspen Highlands. He was to race in the Roch Cup events on Aspen Mountain in 1960.

“An Aspen boy coming right to the front” read the headline in The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago. The newspaper reported:Yesterday the Colorado Midland had on board Frank Shields, a former well known and popular Aspen boy, but now a prominent businessman of Olathe, Colorado.Some few years ago, Frank was a clerk in the Tomkins Hardware company and by his attention to business, perfected himself in the hardware branch of the commercial life.About three years ago, he was offered charge of a hardware store at Olathe, which store was owned by Aspen men, and he accepted the opportunity and left for that town with his estimable wife. By diligent effort and hustling, he has gradually builded up the store at Olathe until today Mr. Shields is at the head of the largest hardware concern in that section of the state. Recently, a banking company was organized at Olathe and our former townsman is one of the directors of the financial institution.Mr. Shields expects to remain in Aspen several days renewing old acquaintances and visiting friends.

Upcoming FIS races – what would today be considered World Cup ski racing – made headlines in The Aspen Times a half-century ago. The newspaper reported:The biggest international field since the 1950 FIS will race on Aspen slopes this weekend in the annual Roch Cup giant slalom and slalom.Skiers from 13 nations will contest the two events, the last major international Alpine ski meet before the 1960 Winter Olympic Games begin in Squaw Valley, Calif. on Feb. 18.Although [most] European racers are flying directly to the Games and will not compete in the Roch Cup, former FIS silver medal winner, Austrian Toni Spiss, one of the world’s top slalom stars, has entered.Pushing Spiss in the slalom will be Japan’s Chick Igaya, winner of a silver medal in the 1956 Games in Cortina, Italy. Igaya is now making a racing comeback at the request of his countrymen after retiring last year.Fewer in number, the women will also have tight competition with Arlberg-Kandahar winning Anne Heggtveit from Canada out to show the U.S. girl Olympians that they don’t have a corner on the gold medal market.The Aspen High School football program was poised to make the leap from an eight-man squad to a full-sized squad of 11 players in 1960. The Aspen Times reported:Aspen High School athletes may play the same style of football next year as the professional and college teams seen on TV if a proposal being considered by nearby schools comes to fruition.Eleven-man squads are now being considered by several schools in the Lower Colorado River Valley League, of which Aspen is a member.Reported interested in the scheme are Plateau Valley, Eagle Valley and Battle Mountain. Other schools are also considering the plan.Advantages of the 11-man football idea, as presented to the board of education Wednesday, Feb. 3, are that three more players would be able to participate at a small additional cost and that there would be more local interest because of the Saturday and Sunday afternoon TV contests.A folk troupe that formed at the original Limelite in Aspen was back at their old stomping grounds 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Now back at the Limelite after TV and club engagements in California are the Limeliters featuring Lou Gottlieb, Glenn Yarbrough and Alex Hassilev.The management of the Aspen bistro announced that the trio began their winter appearance on Monday, February 1. Earlier this winter, they performed at the hungry i club in San Francisco on the same bill with comedy pianist Tom Lehrer.In the interim, they journeyed to New York City to make a series of television films.Their latest TV appearance was on the Dinah Shore “Chevy Show” which was seen in most parts of the country Saturday, Jan. 23.

Plans to expand onto Burnt Mountain at Snowmass were frequently in the news 25 years ago. The ski area expansion ultimately won approval, though it has never been developed, but the review process hit a bump in early 1985. The Aspen Times reported:A proposal to develop seven new ski lifts with a capacity of 6,600 skiers on Burnt Mountain received a recommendation of denial from the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission at its regular meeting Tuesday.The decision was not a unanimous one. But by a vote of 3-2, P&Z members responded to a Forest Service Environmental Assessment report by saying the proposed development, in a preferred ski company alternative, would create too many negative impacts on Pitkin County.Though planning commission members agreed they are not opposed to all future ski expansion in the valley, the vote indicated a general attitude of caution.Cold weather was the hot topic 24 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:The air is bright and blue and icy.The cars, the trees, the telephone lines, the windows … everything is covered with frost.Aspenites are plagued with frozen water pipes.And the skiers are spending more time warming up in the mountain restaurants than zooming down the slopes.With a reading of 27 degrees below zero on Friday, Feb. 1, Aspen’s winter of 1985 is approaching the record low of 37 degrees below zero in January 1956.And with a measurement of 116 inches of snow so far this winter, it’s looking like another record snowfall year.- compiled by Janet Urquhart

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