25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Winter proved harsh – and fatal – for a man living in Coal Basin, outside of Redstone, a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Coroner Blakemore has returned from Coal Basin, where he was called to inquire into the death of a man found in a cabin at Coal Basin.

The coal camp was abandoned more than a year ago, but notwithstanding this, a man known in Redstone as D.P. McCarthy last November went to the camp with the intention of staying all winter. He took no supplies with him, depending on what he could find in the abandoned stores and cellars of the houses.

Nothing having been heard of the man, about six weeks ago T.M. Gibb loaded some grub and a stretcher on a push-car, to which he attached a horse, and with two men, worked his way over twelve miles of railroad track covered with landslides to the Basin with the purpose of succoring the man, if alive, or bringing in the body, if dead.

McCarthy was found alive but refused to leave the Basin, where he had subsisted during the winter principally on frozen turnips, which he found in a cellar. Mr. Gibb left a supply of food with him and returned to Redstone.

Last Thursday, a man went to the Basin and found the dead body of McCarthy just inside the door of one of the cabins.

The future of Aspen’s rodeo was in question 50 years ago. These days, Aspen has no rodeo, but there is a weekly event in Snowmass Village. In 1960, The Aspen Times reported:

Aspen may lose its traditional summer rodeo if more interest is not shown by local businessmen and residents. This was the gist of a decision made last week by officers of the Silver Stampede Association, rodeo sponsors, at a special rodeo meeting.

Subject of the meeting was the advisability of continuing the annual western spectacle in the face of the seeming lack of interest shown by local residents.

According to Had Deane, Rodeo Committee chairman, it has become increasingly difficult over the past few years to get people to help organize the affair and to participate in the pre-rodeo parade.

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Fifty years ago, Aspen’s top students were in the spotlight, as always, at spring commencement exercises. The Aspen Times reported:

Valedictorian of this year’s senior class at Aspen High School is Miss Roine Rowland and salutatorian is Miss Susan Kellogg, it was announced at graduation exercises Wednesday evening, May 25.

The $100 PTA award for top scholarship was made to Miss Rowland the same evening.

She also received the school’s Red Mountain Cup, as did John Barbee, for being selected by teachers as the top all-around girl and boy students.

Teachers selected Miss Rowland and Dan Glidden for Babe Ruth medals for their participation and sportsmanship in athletics.

Aspen was preparing to take up a far-reaching smoking ban a quarter-century ago. It was to cover all public places, including retail establishments and restaurants, but would exempt bars. In recent years, an even-stricter version that bans smoking in bars was imposed statewide. The Aspen Times reported:

Aspen’s proposed smoking ban ordinance will be considered by the new city council on June 24, and interest has been expressed in fighting or supporting it by several organizations.

According to City Manager Hal Schilling, he has notified both opponents and proponents of the proposed smoking law consideration date.

Although several cities and states have partial smoking bans, “as far as I know, no other total bans have been adopted,” Schilling said, referring to the proposed Aspen law.

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The Aspen Skiing Co. was poised for a change in ownership 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

If the proposed refinancing of the Aspen Skiing Company to the Crown family of Chicago is completed, the new owners would make no changes in management, the probable new owner revealed recently.

Lester Crown, a Chicago industrialist and executive vice president of General Dynamics, the nation’s third largest defense contractor, is in agreement with the direction and the policy application by the Aspen Skiing Company.

“We have full confidence in the people who are presently running the Ski Company,” said Crown on Tuesday in an interview from his Chicago office.

However, he stressed that “the transaction is not yet complete.”

Last week the refinancing of the Ski Co. was leaked when a letter from ASC President Jerry Blann to the Town of Snowmass Village was made public. The letter detailed negotiations on the transfer of operating assets to the proposed new owners.


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