25-50-100 Years Ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 Years Ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly
Ferenc Berko/Aspen Historical SocietyThe Aspen Times crowed in 1960 that 10 heated swimming pools were available for visitors. The best-known was likely the pool at the historic Hotel Jerome, shown in this publicity photo from 1949.

Aspen’s heyday as a mining camp was over, but 100 years ago, the town remained optimistic about its future in that industry. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Each day brings an added improvement in our little camp, and as a consequence our people look to the future with more hope than for a number of years past.

At the Smuggler, all is activity. A force of men is busily engaged on the new cage for the Free Silver shaft. Measurements have been taken and plans are being perfected for a new shafthouse in which will be installed an up-to-date electric hoist. It is understood no change will be made in the gallows frame now over the shaft.

The air compressors of the Smuggler and Mollie Gibson now being operated by steam will shortly be reinforced by an electric air compressor.

As soon as arrangements can be made, the unwatering of the Free Silver shaft will begin and will be continued until all the water is raised.

• • • •

“Prominent resident of Glenwood kills himself,” read the June 1 headline in The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago. The newspaper reported:

While his wife struggled desperately with him to secure possession of a 44-caliber Winchester rifle, Jacob Heinermond wrenched the weapon from her grasp and placing the muzzle to his head, pulled the trigger and sent a bullet crashing through his brain. He died almost instantly, before his wife could summon medical aid.

The tragedy occurred at the home of the couple, 104 Tenth street, at 9 o’clock last evening. Before attempting his life, Heinermond had locked and barricaded all the doors and windows in the house. His actions for the past few days had led his wife to believe he contemplated self-destruction and she was on alert. She had retired last night when she saw him take the loaded rifle and it was then that the struggle began for the possession of the weapon.

Aspen visitors had various swimming pools from which to choose around town 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

This summer when the tourist season reaches its peak, Aspen visitors will have 10 heated swimming pools at their disposal.

One of the pools, the Aspen Pool, is public, the others are private installations belonging to individual lodges. Located at the corner of Galena and Durant, the public pool is slated to open for the season this weekend.-

Newest of the private pools is the one nearing completion at the Highlander Lodge, east of the city. Other lodges having pools are The Aspen Meadows, Villa Lamarr, The Smuggler, The Nugget, The Prospector, Ski-Vu, The Blue Spruce and the Hotel Jerome.

In addition to serving hotel guests, the Jerome pool is used as a swimming membership club for Aspen residents.

• • • •

The ashes of Walter P. Paepcke were laid to rest 50 years ago. He, with his wife, founded Aspen’s modern era as a recreational and cultural mecca. The Aspen Times reported:

The ashes of Walter P. Paepcke came to rest in his adopted home last Sunday when interment and private memorial service were held in Aspen Grove Cemetery.

The brief service was conducted with Reverend Keith Merriman, Aspen Community Church, at 2:30 p.m. before a small group composed of family and close friends.

Paepcke, credited with creating modern Aspen, died of cancer in a Chicago hospital last April 13.

It’s always big news when The Hotel Jerome changes hands. Such was the case 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The historic Hotel Jerome has been sold, and will close next week for a $7.5 million renovation.

Richard Butera is the only local partner in a group of investors who purchased the Jerome from John F. Gilmore.

Butera and his wife, Julie Anthony Butera, also own the Aspen Club, Aspen Club Management Co., and partnerships in the Woodstone Inn, Vacation Resorts Property Management Co. and Michael Fitzgerald Inc. realty.

Butera and James McManus of Westport, Connecticut, are 50-50 general partners in the business deal, which is financed by the Bank of New York.

McManus is owner and director of Marketing Corporation of American, based in Westport. He will be silent partner in the project.

• • • •

The future of the Aspen Music Festival and School was a matter for City Council discussion 25 years ago. Lack of student dormitories and low faculty wages were among the challenges facing the festival. The Aspen Times reported:

Will Aspen be able to retain its prestigious music festival and school, the single most important aspect of its summer tourist season? Not unless the city takes Draconian measures to help, the City Council was told Monday.

Although music officials had intimated that the festival would be forced to find a new home unless more help comes from the city and community in past years, their surprise statement Monday was the strongest yet voiced.

Not on the original agenda for the continued regular meeting, they were given time for the presentation after an MAA (Music Associates of Aspen) executive committee meeting earlier in the afternoon.

There was immediate quiet once Ford Schumann, chairman of the MAA board, began reading his four-page statement asking the city “to undertake an emergency study to decide whether the community can: a) afford to have the Music Associates of Aspen or b) afford not to have the Music Associates of Aspen.”

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