25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet UrquhartAspen Times Weekly
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

Aspen had a new postmaster a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:Last January, President Taft sent the name of George E. Rohrbough to the United States Senate for confirmation as postmaster at Aspen, Colorado, but Congress adjourned before action was taken on the nomination.On Sunday, Mr. Rohrbough received official notification of his appointment as postmaster at Aspen on June 27, 1910. Yesterday, the official bond was prepared and forwarded to Washington for approval. On the approval of the bond, Mr. Rohrbough will assume his duties as postmaster and will give the business of the office his personal attention.••••Aspen celebrated the Fourth of July in an orderly manner a century ago, according to a wrap-up of the events in The Aspen Democrat-Times. The newspaper reported:The Fourth of July was observed in Aspen in a very orderly and quiet manner by our people and quite a number of people from outside points.The threatening weather conditions of the early morning prevented many parties going into the country, but had no deterrent effect upon the small boys with the festive firecracker.All the social and amusement events scheduled were successfully carried out. The morning was devoted to fireworks and to witnessing several runs on Hyman Avenue by the juvenile hose team.The Epworth League lawn party was largely attended and an enjoyable affair notwithstanding a little shower in the afternoon, and one in the evening drove the merrymakers to shelter for the time being.The baseball game at the fairgrounds between the teams of the local lodges of Elks and Eagles attracted a larger crowd than did the game on Sunday. The Eagles had the Elks “buffaloed” after the first, winning the game by a score of 9 to 2. The attendance would have been much larger but for the fact that everybody was interested in the Jeffries-Johnson fight and hundreds waited at this office until the arrival of the news from Reno.••••These days, Difficult is known as a campground, and a creek, east of Aspen. A century ago, it was a mining district, and it was in the news. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:Quite a large party of propsectors will leave in the morning for Difficult. A number of new claims have been staked recently and it seems to be the intention of the new locators to do some work.It is known that for some years, parties have held large groups of claims on which they have not done their annual assessment labor. With an influx of prospectors into the Difficult district, it will be impossible for anyone to hold a bunch of about fifty claims without doing the assessment work and, as in many cases the work has not been done, there is no doubt but that much of this ground will be re-located.

Aspen was overrun with sports cars 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Over 200 sleek and colorful Porsche sports cars decorated the streets of Aspen today, July 8, as the fifth annual Porsche Parade moved into its second day.Sponsored by the Porsche Club of America, the annual convention of owners of slinky German cars started yesterday with a concourse d’elegance in the City Park.Drivers from both coasts and most states in between have brought their cars to Aspen for the five-day session. According to club officials, this is the best-attended parade ever held.••••A young angler boasted quite a catch 50 years ago, earning a mention in the July 8, 1960 edition of The Aspen Times. But, we wonder, is the fish still hanging on his wall?Proving that experience is not always the most essential in fishing, eight-year-old Willard Clapper Jr. snagged one of the largest trout taken in this region this season.The fish, a 3 1/2-pound German brown, was caught by young Clapper, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willard Clapper of Aspen, Saturday, July 2 at 5:30 in the afternoon. It was taken on the Roaring Fork just behind the Clapper’s home at the Riverside Trailer Court.According to Mrs. Clapper, the feat was the climax of 20 minutes of angling by her son. He used a Nov. 14 hook and salmon eggs as bait.This is Willard Jr.’s first year of fishing, Mrs. Clapper said. The fish will be mounted, not eaten, she added.

Twenty-five years ago, a local penned a climbing guide to Aspen’s classic routes, titled “Rock Climbers Guide to Aspen.” His book earned mention in The Aspen Times:Whether solo climbers or social climbers, a new rock climbing guide published and written by Larry Bruce of Aspen should open new vistas for local and visiting rock junkies.Bruce, a climber who has been on the rocks for some time now, decided to chronicle some of this year’s most classic rock climbs. Most are just a stone’s throw away from Aspen.Located on or near Hwy. 82 toward Independence Pass are the climbing routes Bruce has documented with general route descriptions and information on how to get there.While the book is geared mostly to out-of-town climbers, locals may also be interested in perusing its pages. There may be some routes Bruce knows of that aren’t all that familiar, even if you live here.••••Aspen’s venerable Popcorn Wagon, now at the corner of Mill and Hyman, was soon to be on the move 25 years ago. It was leaving the corner that is now home to Paradise Bakery. The Aspen Times reported:Aspen’s landmark Popcorn Wagon will be forced to hit the trail by next spring, and the central meeting place at Cooper and Galena will disappear along with it.A commercial building with retail and office space is planned for the corner site, where the wagon, Cookie Munchers Cafe & Bakery, Aspen Tee-Shirt Station and Sinclair gas station are presently located.Property owners Roger Volk Trust, with partners in Denver and Wichita, have planned a building at this location for a number of years, but have had to wait for the 25-year lease on the Sinclair station to expire.All of the leases on the site come due April 1, 1986.••••A proposed tax to fund the local nordic system ultimately failed at the polls, but was headed to a ballot 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:It is ironic that consolidation has been a major issue on the county level for the past year or so, at least in rhetoric, and yet the formation of a special tax district to fund the Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council has received the county’s nod.This is one of those issues where right and wrong, good and bad, form into one solid gray mass with advocates on both sides trying to mold it in their favor….The Aspen/Nordic Council received a nod of approval from the Pitkin County Commissioners at their regular meeting Monday to go ahead and at least get the matter to a public vote. As in many cases of controversial decisions, it is expedient to pass the buck to voters. In the case of a special tax district, that is the law.

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