25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

The prospect of backcountry phone service to serve a mine south of Aspen was in the news a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Mr. Goodale, of Boston, who is in charge of the Enterprise mine, arrived in the city yesterday and this morning went over to the mine.

It is understood that Mr. Goodale will be able to arrange with the telephone company and forest reserve for the construction of a telephone line between this city and the Enterprise mine.

There is at present a toll-line between Aspen and Crested Butte by way of Ashcroft over Pearl Pass, but the company seems disinclined to interfere with the toll service by doing local business. It is believed the company would have no objection to having wire strung on their poles from Ashcroft into the city. If this concession would be secured it would only be necessary to erect poles from Ashcroft to the mine.

Telephone communication between the Enterprise and Aspen is a business necessity as this city is the supply point and the shipping point for the Enterprise mine and the upper Taylor Park region.

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Glenwood Springs recently hosted its long-running Strawberry Days celebration. A century ago, Aspen firefighters shined in a now-defunct competition at the festival. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

The Aspen firemen’s team made good in the tournament at Glenwood Strawberry Day, notwithstanding the short time they had for practice.

The team left on the official Midland train Saturday morning accompanied by the Boys’ Band and a large delegation of Aspenites.

At the pistol shot Glenwood got away but failed to break hose before the water came. The boys made a splendid run but were down and out when they failed to break hose.

Palisade followed with a swinging gait and made a clean break and couplings.

Aspen’s team came on the ground with everything in its favor, Glenwood out of the game and Palisade’s time known. Our boys knew they could beat the time made and all they had to do was to keep themselves well in hand for the couplings. They jogged along for the first fifty feet then went like a shot of a gun to the finish, making a splendid plug connection, break and nozzle connection. Everybody knew there was nothing to it but Aspen and the official announcement was anxiously awaited.

Aspen was awarded the first prize, which was $100 in gold. They money was received by Fire Chief Billy Wack, who distributed it equally among the members of the Aspen team.

It’s hard to imagine the U.S. Forest Service issuing such a directive these days, but 50 years ago, The Aspen Times headline read: “Destroy porkies, forest official says.” The newspaper reported:

N.E. Rouillier of the White River National Forest staff last week called on all sportsmen to destroy porcupines.

The Forest Service official said that the porkies are abundant in this year – in fact, there are too many of the creatures – and that there is an urgent need to control them. Porcupines kill many thousands of small trees each year.

The former common belief in the West, that porcupines are protected by law as an emergency food for people lost in the wilds, has no basis in fact in this region, Rouillier said.

They may be killed at any season without a fish and game license. Use clubs or small-bore guns, Rouillier explained.

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Aspen’s Castle Creek bridge was frequently in the news 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The status of a new bridge over Castle Creek was still shrouded in mystery this week after an exchange of letters between the county attorney and the state highway engineer, Mark U. Watrous.

In fact, the engineer’s letter muddled the situation even more.

On a request of commissioners, attorney Robert Delaney wrote the state June 9. He questioned the safety of the present span and the detrimental effect of the low load limit on Aspen’s economy.

A bridge at the extension of Main Street is preferred, Delaney said, but a new bridge at any location is needed “as rapidly as possible.”

The attorney cited the growth of Aspen, the increasing volume of skiers in the winter and the possibility of improvement of the Independence Pass road, and the need for road planning before any other county land is put to use.

Bob Braudis, currently sheriff in Pitkin County, was stepping away from law enforcement 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The county’s gain will be the sheriff’s loss when Bob Braudis is sworn in as a county commissioner July 8.

Braudis was appointed to replace resigning Pitkin County Commissioner Michael Kinsley Tuesday following interviews with seven finalists for the job. Braudis told The Aspen Times Wednesday that he will resign from his position as Director of Operations for the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department.

Braudis, who has lived in Aspen for 15 years and currently resides in Kinsley’s District 2, has been the number two man in the sheriff’s department under Dick Kienast for the past three years.

He said the job change means a substantial cut in pay and a major career shift but that the prospect of serving as a commissioner presents new personal challenges.

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Aspen Mountain was undergoing some upgrades 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The whir of the helicopter and the sight of burning timber on Aspen Mountain appear ominous from the center of town.

From atop the mountain at the Sundeck Restaurant, the scene resembles a war zone: scarred by giant holes, smoky skies, maintenance trucks and men in hard hats scurrying about the area.

But the disturbances are only a part of the master plan of improvements being instituted by the Aspen Skiing Company on its flagship mountain.

Chairlifts numbers three and five are being completely renovated and realigned. … A brand new chair, the first lift addition since 1971, is also under construction and will service the previously out-of-bounds terrain on the east side of the mountain.

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