25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

The ball diamond was the place to be for the July 4 holiday a century ago, when teams representing the local Elks and Eagles lodges were set to square off. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Next Sunday and Monday will witness the greatest games of ball ever played on the local diamond. It will be a peach of a game each day and you should see each if you are a lover of true, unsophisticated, unadulterated sport.

From the line-up, it would be hard to predict the victorious team as each is composed of the best timber in its respective order. Anyway, the winning team will have to go some.

The dean of baseballdom, Frederick L. Leaver, will be the official umpire at both games and each individual player has promised to kill him if he doesn’t render fair decisions. …

The game on the Fourth will be about the only celebration of the glorious Fourth in Aspen and if you are patriotic, you should be on hand to root for your favorite team.

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A stage route between Aspen and Gunnison County, and serving the Enterprise mine in Taylor Park south of town, was in the offing a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

On July 1, a daily mail route will be established between this city and Dorchester, in Gunnison County. W.C. Tagert has secured the contract for the carrying of the mails and will also run a daily stage between the points named. The stage is scheduled to leave the Tagert barn at 8 o’clock each morning.

This will be a great convenience to the many Aspen people employed at the Enterprise and to be employed on the Star properties, as both points are within easy access of Dorchester.

The daily stage line will also be a great thing for tourists and others who may wish to take a little spin to Taylor Lake or Taylor River to fish for a day or two, as it will cut out the necessity for fitting up an outfit at some expense and considerable loss of time.

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Closer to home, it was slow going at Aspen’s Smuggler Mine:

The Smuggler people are not making very rapid progress toward the unwatering of the Free Silver shaft or the electrification of the plant.

A hoister has been put on the Silver shaft, which is designed to be operated by air. The company has had a streak of bad luck recently, having had two compressors put out of commission and a breakdown in the hoist at the Smuggler shaft. The hoist will soon again be in shape as the repairs are about completed.

As soon as possible, the Free Silver will be unwatered and then it is understood the pumps will be installed.

Treasure hunters were headed for Aspen Highlands 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

A promotion scheme introduced today by the Aspen Highlands will result in some person finding a $500 cash treasure sometime during the next few weeks.

Details of the novel publicity project were announced today in an advertisement in this issue of the Aspen Times.

According to Aspen Highlands officials, a medallion with the insignia of the resort embossed upon it has been hidden just below the surface of the ground somewhere on the upper slopes of the mountain.

The person finding the medallion will be given $500 in cash if he has a valid Highlands lift ticket.

Clues to the location of the treasure are listed in the ad in this paper. If the treasure is not found this week, additional clues will be given next week to lead hunters yet closer to the buried medallion.

The first clue, in rhyme like the rest, tells the cash seekers that “A ride on the world’s longest double chairlift clear to the end … this is the first step in finding that $500 that’s yours to spend.”

• • • •

Fifty years ago, Fourth of July fireworks were as eagerly anticipated in Aspen as they are today. The Aspen Times reported:

A special order of 24 rockets and a unique ground display constructed by local volunteer firemen will be included in the traditional Fourth of July fireworks presentation at Wagner Park Monday.

Aerial bombs and other pyrotechnic presentations will also be set off in what Fire Chief Clyde Clymer said will be the biggest show ever for the traditional event. Aspen firemen are sponsoring the displays as they have in the past.

Although the amount of money spent to procure the displays, $400, is about the same as last year, fireworks which have proven the most popular here in the past were purchased individually rather than in programs offered by manufacturers, Clymer explained.

The show will start between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Aerial displays will be set off from the Magnifico Cutoff on Aspen Mountain and the ground displays at the south end of Wagner Park.

Twenty-five years ago, the Sardy House was to become Aspen’s priciest hotel accommodation. The Aspen Times reported:

The Historic Preservation Committee on Tuesday cleared the way for additions and renovations to one of the city’s landmark Victorians, the Sardy House.

The clearance gave the owners, Daniel Delano and Frank Peters, license to complete the necessary renovations to make the Sardy House a luxurious bed and breakfast inn. Delano and Peters also own the Hotel Lenado. …

When completed, the inn will contain 21 rooms; nine in the original structure, and 12 in the addition.

But the new Sardy House won’t be an inexpensive dwelling on the order of the Copper Horse or Endeavor Lodge. Rates will range from $150 for a basic room to $350 for the “Presidential Suite.” The average room will rent for $200 a night, “But that includes breakfast and afternoon tea,” said Delano.

• • • •

Teens could learn to be ladies a quarter-century ago in Aspen. The Aspen Times reported:

Ah, to be 16 again. It’s a tender and delicate age. Possibly the best of times and the worst of times. Sometimes positively heavenly, sometimes the pits.

There is now a school in Aspen that helps young women ease gracefully into adulthood. L’Ecole des Ingenues was begun in 1976 by Anne Oliver, who this summer decided to relocate the summer sessions here.

With sessions held in Atlanta, Paris, London and now Aspen, the finishing school is designed to enhance personal beauty, visual poise, fashion finesse, self confidence, savoir-vivre, and social and cultural enlightenment.

Five 11-day sessions have been scheduled for this summer, with 25 to 30 students attending each. Oliver brings with her a resident staff of six, and supplements teaching with the talents of local Aspenites.

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