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

Compiled by Janet Urquhart

A “smoker” in Glenwood Springs a century ago was hardly worth the trip down from Aspen. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Saturday evening a large number of local Eagles, their sweethearts, wives and friends left on the Grande for Glenwood. The Eagles went down to enjoy a smoker to be given by the Glenwood aerie, which included a boxing contest, wrestling match and other features necessary to the success of an out-of-town smoker.

Just before the train left, it was announced in the edition of The Democrat-Times that an order had been issued by Major Drach prohibiting the boxing contests. Many did not believe the report, but alas and alack, on reaching the hot water town they learned that it was only too true and that the wrestling match had also been canceled.

The cause for this moral wavelet was the fact that the grand jury was in session and that it was time for all to be good.

• • • •

Lime, used in the smelting of ore and available in Aspen, was reportedly attracting interest a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Several days ago, this paper published a news item from Denver stating it was understood the Guggenheims were negotiating with the object of entering the Aspen mining field.

A number of “wise ones” po-poohed the idea, giving as an argument that no expert of the Guggenheims had been in the camp. Perhaps they expected the expert to come here accompanied by Sousa’s military band.

That such negotiations were pending is known. Whether they will materialize for the good of Aspen is not known at this time.

A paved road over Independence Pass, southeast of Aspen, was in the works 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The first stage in the development of an all-weather road over Independence Pass will be made this summer, county commissioners learned at a meeting with state and federal highway engineers in Grand Junction April 12.

According to a Bureau of Public Roads official, money is appropriated for an aerial survey and the project will be undertaken when the area is free of snow.

The survey will then be used by the state and federal authorities to plot the best route for a paved road over the pass. However, no date for starting construction or for requesting funds for the building program was given.

• • • •

Also slated for paving was the road between Carbondale and Redstone. The Aspen Times reported:

Scheduled for completion this fall is black-topping of the remainder of the dirt road from Carbondale to Redstone, the Times learned this week.

The state has already obtained the right-of-ways necessary for widening several areas of the road, county officials have been informed.

Cost of the project is said to be $600,000. Of this amount, $400,000 was originally provided for the work from the state, and presumably federal funds. The remaining $200,000 was transferred from the Castle Creek bridge project, the Times was told.

Last fall, the state offered to begin immediate construction of the Castle Creek bridge at the present site. When this offer was turned down by both the city and county in favor of a span at the west end of Main St., the state dropped consideration of the plan at that time.

• • • •

A new game in town was paying off for local bowlers. The Aspen Times reported:

Bowlers at the Aspen Lanes now have a new game to try while rolling for their regular scores. Called Red Pin, the new sport pays winners cash prizes for each strike.

The new game was inaugurated by Mr. and Mrs. William Tenney, managers of the Lanes, Tuesday evening, April 26. A red pin was inserted among the 10 in each lane and when the red pin comes up in the number one spot and the bowler makes a strike, he receives 50 cents.

First winner after the new colored pins were inserted was Richard Sturtevant. County Commissioner Tom Sardy was the second winner and had a total of three red pin strikes during the evening.

Twenty-five years ago, Aspenites were coming off yet another big snow year. The Aspen Times reported:

For the first time in recorded history, Aspen has experienced its fourth winter in a row of heavy snowfalls.

According to records kept by the Aspen Water Dept., a snow count registering over 200 inches is considered a heavy snow year. (Any snow count under 100 inches is considered a light snow year.)

The winter of 1984-85 passed the high mark last week with 204 inches (and there’s probably more to go because it usually snows in May and sometimes in June).

The winter of 1983-84 was the all-time big snowfall winter on record with 278 inches, the winter of 1982-83 was 216 inches, and the winter of 1981-82 was 206 inches.

• • • •

The expansion of Interstate 70 to four lanes through Glenwood Canyon made for slow going 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The Glenwood Canyon four-lane project is causing some traffic delays which could continue until mid-October, according to assistant district engineer Lewis Sturm.

Contractors are now working on three separate projects in the canyon’s west end, and one project on the east end. Because work is being done either next to or directly on existing stretches of the highway, Sturm said delays of up to 30 minutes are necessary.

Motorists traveling through the canyon from either direction can expect to be stopped for one 30-minute interval, and then escorted by a pilot car along a one-lane stretch to the point where two lanes are available.

Sturm said drivers should encounter no more than one delay during the canyon trip.


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