25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen Times fileAn aerial photograph showed the results of a mudslide in the Campground area at Snowmass 25 years ago.

An article in The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago smacked of a tall tale. The newspaper reported:

This morning as a wagon load of Montezuma ore was being driven along Durant street, a phenomena was developed. As the wagon came opposite Smulling’s livery corral, the earth opened and the load of ore with the horses sank out of sight. The driver retained his presence of mind and jumped just as the top of the wagon was passing the edge of the crevice.

In a few seconds there was noticed an agitation accompanied by a gurgling sound in the depths and the wagon and horses appeared upborne upon the crest of a subterranean stream of water that had apparently been seeking an outlet at that point for an indefinite time.

Strangely enough the load of ore and horses floating about as a cork bobs about in a bowl of water. As luck would have it, the Midland wrecking car was on the track but a short distance away, equipped with a long-armed derrick. This was immediately put in operation and the outfit raised when the engine moved along for a short distance and the ore hauling outfit was deposited on terra firma.

• • • •

The Aspen Democrat-Times called for a Boosters’ Club a century ago to deal with “knockers” – those who would disparage the town. Said the newspaper:

What’s the matter with organizing a Boosters’ club in Aspen, with the obligation compelling each member to kill at least one knocker every twenty-four hours.

It is believed that such an organization would soon rid Aspen of all sore-heads, disgruntled beings and despised knockers.

Anyway, it won’t hurt to organize.

Aspen’s terra firma, in the news 100 years ago this week, was suspect again 50 years later. The July 14, 1960 Aspen Times reported:

A world traveler, Hungarian Quartet member Michael Kultner had to come to Aspen to get caught in sinking quick-mud.

Kultner had his brush with the car-trapping mud Monday evening, July 11, at the corner of South Monarch and East Hyman near the witching hour of midnight.

Rolling slowly down the street, his car softly stopped and began to sink in the mud over a newly installed water main.

The surprised musician rushed into the nearby Crystal Palace to phone the police, repeating “my car she sink” to the startled guests.

Several people went out to witness the phenomenon, and one, Josh Edgerley, joined the car in the mud when he stepped too close and sank to his waist.

Kultner’s car was towed out of the mud within a few minutes by a wrecker.

• • • •

There was mud at Snowmass, as well, according to The Aspen Times:

Snowmass Village Town Marshal Gary Haynes has requested a meeting with the Communications Users Board to determine whether there was a breakdown in communication during two mudslides last weekend in Snowmass Village.

Haynes refused to define his concern, saying he would defer comment until after the meeting. Haynes acknowledged that he had listened to tape recordings of two telephone calls reporting the mudslides to the Communications Center.

The first report was called in late Saturday night, more than seven hours before the area was searched for possible victims after water from a ditch that may have triggered the slides was turned off.

The mudslides, the second of which was one of the biggest in recent Snowmass history, occurred in the Campground ski area southwest of town. As many as four Aspen Skiing Co. lift towers were damaged.

• • • •

A Hollywood actress and the owner of a local lodge were married 50 years ago in Aspen. The Aspen Times reported:

Movie actress Gene Tierney, 38, and Houston oilman Howard Lee, 51, owner of the Villa Lamarr, where married here Monday, July 11, at 4:30 p.m. at the Community Church by Reverend Keith Merriman in a single-ring ceremony.

Three friends from Texas, several employees from the Villa, Mrs. Bruno Geba, Aspen, and Donna, Lee’s daughter, were the only guests at the unannounced ceremony. No members of Miss Tierney’s family were on hand. Tony Delmas, Villa Lamarr manager, gave her in marriage.

• • • •

A couple of local institutions that, today, remain separate organizations were talking about a merger 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Two major local institutions, Music Associates of Aspen and the Aspen Institute, which started as one but disassociated in 1954, may again consolidate if negotiations now under way are successful.

In a joint statement issued this week, Robert O. Anderson, president of the Institute, and MAA Board Chairman Courtland D. Barnes Jr., announced that “the possibility of a consolidation is being explored.”

Object of such a merger, according to the statement, was to bring the two mutually interdependent organizations into closer collaboration for their mutual benefit.

The Crown family became a part-owner of the Aspen Skiing Co. 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

It’s official. One-half of the Aspen Skiing Company has been sold to the Crown family of Chicago.

The sale was finalized on Monday of this week, but the purchase price has not been disclosed.

Joint-owners Miller-Klutznick-Davis-Gray and Twentieth Century-Fox each sold one-half of their interests to the powerful Crown family of industrialists, giving the Crowns ownership of 50 percent of the Aspen Skiing Company.

The Aspen Skiing Company owns and operates Aspen Mountain, Breckenridge, Buttermilk and Snowmass ski areas.

• • • •

One man survived an area plane crash while another was killed, 25 years ago. The survivor managed to free himself from the wreckage and activate the plane’s Emergency Locator Transmitter. The Aspen Times reported:

The survivor of a fatal crash six miles northeast of Lenado may have been saved by a Soviet Union-United States satellite that alerted local officials to the downed aircraft.

Marvin Steward, 41, of Pueblo, was discovered in the wreckage at 7:17 p.m. Friday, five hours after he and flight instructor Gerald Lee Albo, also of Pueblo, crashed into the mountain terrain.

Steward remains in Aspen Valley Hospital suffering a broken ankle and head cuts and bruises. He was reported in good condition and may be released this week.

Albo, a flight instructor for Flower Aviation of Pueblo, died before rescue workers arrived at the scene.

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