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

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society
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Three men received medical attention but weren’t seriously injured in an Aspen mining mishap a century ago. The headline in The Aspen Democrat-Times – “Three Men Blown Up In Smuggler” – suggested otherwise. The newspaper reported:

Shortly after 4 o’clock this morning, three men were blown up in the Smuggler mine, an Austrian named John Verhovec and two Italians, named Louis Madelene and Santa Cundari.

The three men went out on “grave yard” shift last night and, as is the custom, at about 4 o’clock a.m., went out to the station to eat lunch.

After eating lunch, Verhovec, who is a machine man, began preparing fuses to fire the holes when they came off shift at 8 o’clock this morning. After opening the box of caps, it is said that in order to ascertain the quality of the fuse, he cut off a piece about two inches long and “spit” it. In some manner, the sparks from the burning fuse fell into the box of caps, exploding them.

Men working in the vicinity, hearing a shot at such an unusual hour, suspected an accident and rushed to the scene of the explosion and found the three men covered with blood and grimy with dirt.

• • • •

Plans for a Roaring Fork Reservoir were for real, The Aspen Democrat-Times assured its readers in 1910, reporting:

When, on February 23, 1910, this paper published the filing of the map of the Roaring Fork Reservoir, many of our people were skeptical and thought it would go the way of many similar reservoir filings in the past – simply a matter of record on the books in the county clerk’s office – but such is not the case, this time.

Sheriff Everett returned yesterday from a business trip to Pueblo, where he had a long talk with Harry A. House who, it will be remembered, filed the map of the Roaring Fork Reservoir. Mr. House assured the sheriff that he still retained a warm feeling in his heart for Aspen and that he and his people contemplated nothing but good for the old town.

Mr. House stated the work of completing the preliminary survey for the reservoir would begin just as soon as the snow would permit, and while that was being done a force of men would be constructing buildings for the accommodation of the large number of men who will be employed in putting up the dam to hold the water.

The U.S. versus the Soviets on the slopes of Aspen? That was the suggestion 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

If the proposed ski meet between the U.S. and Russia is held next year in this country, Aspen may play host for Alpine events, the National Ski Assn. announced this week.

According to NSA President Alton C. Melville, his organization is investigating possible assistance from the U.S. State Dept. for a dual U.S.-Russian competition and will make a final decision on the matter at its annual convention in Glacier Park, Mont., June 15-18.

Melville said there was a possibility the U.S.S.R. ski team would come to this country next year and the U.S. squad go to Russia in 1962 for a dual meet prior to the World Ski Championships in Chamonix, France.

Besides Aspen, Steamboat Springs has offered to host a part of the meet in this country.

• • • •

A new art school was in the works in Aspen a half-century ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Contemporary Art Associates, Inc., a non-profit corporation organized last summer in Aspen to maintain the Aspen School of Art and the Aspen Art Gallery, will open its School to the public this summer, 1960, with a 10-week session beginning June 24 to September 1.

The group plans to offer painting, drawing and sculpture courses by several artists-in-residence, including Mr. John Ferren, painter and teacher at Queens College, N.Y., and Mr. Larry Day, painter and teacher from the Philadelphia Museum College of Art, it was announced this week by Geraldine Price, CAA activities director.

Guest artists from throughout the United States, including Aspen, will participate in the Forum Series and art appreciation lectures to be presented by Contemporary Art Associates during the summer in Aspen.

Two local ski area operators were set to do battle in court 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

In what will be the final clash of their five-year, $7.5 million court battle, the Aspen Skiing Company and the Aspen Highlands Skiing Corporation next week will take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday, attorneys for the two companies will each have a half-hour to present their oral arguments before the court. Whatever the outcome, the case will certainly add new shape to the interpretation of this nation’s antitrust laws.

At issue is Aspen Highlands’ contention that the ASC attempted to monopolize the local ski-area market by squelching the four-mountain lift pass between 1977 and 1981. After a jury trial and an appeal, both of which ruled in favor of the Highlands, the Supreme Court is the ASC’s last resort.

• • • •

The first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe, died when the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after it launched, in 1986. A year earlier, a local teacher was vying to become the first teacher in outer space through the NASA program that ultimately chose McAuliffe. The Aspen Times reported:

Aspen High School science teacher Mike Flynn wants to be the first teacher in space.

And he may already be on his way.

He is one of 13 finalists in the State of Colorado for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Teacher in Space project.

Two teachers from Colorado will be selected and they will join 118 other teachers from across the nation at a workshop in Washington. From that group, a winner and a backup will be selected this fall.

In 1986, the lucky teacher will go up in the space shuttle.

• • • •

The Entrance to Aspen has been the focus of never-built solutions for decades. Twenty-five years ago, The Aspen Times reported:

After several meetings, including a public hearing last Thursday, Aspen’s Planning and Zoning Commission bit the bullet Tuesday and voted to recommend a highway alignment for the entrance to Aspen to the city council.

The commission chose the same one recommended by the Traffic Committee, Plan D, calling for a curved four-lane highway leading into a new bridge at the end of Main Street, with abandonment of the highway west of the former alignment of Cemetery Lane.

In addition, the resolution approved by the commission recommended having residents choose between two highway entrance alternatives at the May election.

– compiled by Janet Urquhart/Aspen Times Weekly


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