25-50-100 years ago … | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago …

Devon Meyers/Aspen Times fileSwitzerland's Peter Mueller led the pack in America's Downhill on Aspen Mountain, breaking the old course record, which Mueller set in 1982.

“Our state boiler inspector charmed,” read the headline in the March 7 Aspen Democrat-Times. The newspaper reported:On Saturday evening State Boiler Inspector George V. Cosseboom was surprised at his home, 918 East Cooper Avenue, by twenty of the mechanical department of the Smuggler and Mollie Gibson mines, headed by State Senator W. H. Twining.After the greetings, Senator Twining, on behalf of the friends present, made a nice little speech congratulating Mr. Cosseboom on his appointment as state boiler inspector and presented him with a handsome watch charm.In accepting the beautiful present, Mr. Cosseboom, in a feeling manner, thanked his friends for the kind remembrance.••••Goings-on at the Ruby Mine, up Independence Pass, were often in the news 100 years ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:William J. Barnes, manager of the Ruby mine in Lincoln gulch, and his brother, C.E. Barnes, are in the city today. The gentlemen state a force of men is being worked on the mine and that steady shipments of ore and concentrates will begin within the next four months.An up-to-date, 60-ton concentrating mill and air compressor plant has been installed at a cost of $50,000. The plant is run by a producer gas engine, which furnishes 35 to 40 horsepower. Gas from 600 pounds of coal will run the plant 24 hours.The Ruby mine no doubt is one of the richest in the district.

At least one visitor to Aspen was probably left with an unfavorable impression 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported his plight:Within 24 hours of his arrival in Aspen, a Chicago visitor was robbed of $145 in cash and two pair of trousers this week.John Briddle, who checked in at The Garret on W. Main St. Monday, reported that the cash and clothing was taken either Monday evening, March 7, or sometime Tuesday. Travelers checks and other clothing belonging to Briddle and his two roommates were not touched.Briddle is a free-lance writer. He was here on assignment for Ski-faring Magazine. Loss of the money requires him to find a job while he is in Aspen.City police are investigating the theft.••••A train derailment was in the news 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:An episode which could have been taken from an old Western drama unfolded last week when a locomotive of the D&RGW derailed on the outskirts of Aspen.Residents of Woody Creek paid little attention when the train passed through that community Monday afternoon, Feb. 29, on its twice-a-week run. However, some concern was expressed when it failed to return.Much later that evening, a member of the train crew, weary from battling through drifts left by the weekend’s snowstorm, appeared at the Woody Creek Store.He informed proprietors of the establishment, Mr. and Mrs. Lee Jones, that the engine had gone off the tracks at the Blue Cut near McLain Flats.In attempting to get the diesel back on the rails, he added, another crewman had overexerted himself and was in need of a doctor. It was thought he was suffering from a heart attack.

“Swiss blitz America’s Downhill,” read the headline in The Aspen Times a quarter-century ago, after World Cup racing on Aspen Mountain. The newspaper reported:Peter Mueller, the genial farm boy from Aldiswell, Switzerland, broke his own previous course record and led a Swiss blitz of America’s Downhill on Aspen Mountain Saturday.Five of the top 10 spots were taken by Swiss racers: Mueller in first, Karl Alpiger second, Bruno Kernan and Franz Heinzer tied for fifth, and Silvano Meli eighth. Sepp Wildgruber of West Germany was third, while Austria’s Helmut Hoeflehner clinched the World Cup downhill title with his fourth-place finish.Pirmin Zurbriggen of Switzerland – the only man who had even a mathematical chance of catching Hoeflehner in the downhill overall standings – finished a disappointing 22nd. In fact, Zurbriggen’s poor performance was as much a factor in Hoeflehner’s capturing of the title as the Austrian’s fourth-place race.••••A teen caught in an avalanche near Ashcroft 25 years ago emerged almost unscathed. The Aspen Times reported:A 17-year-old Colorado Rocky Mountain School student suffered minor injuries Wednesday when he was carried some 400 feet by an avalanche at the Ashcroft ski area near Taylor Pass.John McAvoy of Carbondale suffered an ankle injury in the slide while another student, Ivan DeWolf of Aspen, and instructor Carrie Bowman, were carried short distances before grabbing onto trees to avoid injuries.The three were among eight skiers from the Rocky Mountain School skiing the north face of Green Mountain when the avalanche was triggered.••••A local nonprofit stood to benefit from an infusion of cash via unusual circumstances in 1985. The Aspen Times reported:A newspaper article, a lawyer’s oversight and the needs and sympathy of Aspen’s reputed number one bad boy may rescue the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf from dire financial straits that threaten this summer’s program.Steven H. Grabow, the reputed leader of a cocaine network that allegedly did a multi-million dollar business in Aspen, is ready to relinquish his claims to $60,000 of his cash now in the custody of U.S. Attorney John O. Martin if the government will turn over that money to the Deaf Camp.And even if the government declines to accept the suggestion, Grabow says he’s willing to fight in court to regain the money and have it turned over to the Deaf Camp.The $60,000 in cash came into government hands last November when a grand jury that later indicted Grabow and seven other former and present Aspen residents subpoenaed the cash from Florida resident Donald Kaufman.- compiled by Janet Urquhart

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