25-50-100 years ago
August 4, 2010
A new Highway 82 bridge spanning Maroon Creek on the outskirts of Aspen opened to traffic in late 2008 and the old bridge, a 120-acre former railroad trestle, was taken out of service. A century ago, there were also plans for a new bridge over the creek. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:
Six pages of blue print, giving the details of the proposed state bridge over Maroon Creek, have just been received by County Clerk Hetherly.
The bridge proper will be of two trusses of sixteen panels with a total length of 273 feet 4 inches, independent of approaches. The material is to be of soft steel with floor joists, floor, guard and hub-plank of red spruce, long leaf yellow pine, Douglas fir or white oak.
Details of approaches, abutments and piers are shown but there is nothing to indicate the nature of the material to be used in their construction.
Action on the bridge has been deferred several times owing mainly to the fact that the ranchmen could not agree on a site for the bridge.
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A fatal lightning strike in Spring Valley outside of Glenwood Springs made the news in Aspen a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:
Last evening a telephone message was received from Glenwood stating that Mr. and Mrs. Henry Hubbard, while out buggy riding, had been struck by lightning and the lady killed. It was stated that Mr. Hubbard could not be found and that a party was out searching for him.
Two theories are advanced to account for the disappearance of Mr. Hubbard.
One was that he had been so badly injured by the lightning that he had wandered away and fallen dead in some out of the way place, and the other that he had been so confused by the shock that he had lost his way while in search of help. …
Not finding Mr. Hubbard in the vicinity, a party started out in search of him and after a time he ws found wandering aimlessly about in a dazed condition and was at once taken to [Chapman] ranch where physicians attended him during the night.
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The Aspen Democrat-Times also reported on mining activity on Italian Mountain:
A short time ago the owners of the lead proposition on Italian Mountain, just west of Taylor Lake, the discovery of which last summer made quite a sensation, sent a trial shipment of their ore to a local sampler and it is understood they are so well satisfied with the result that they will immediately put a force of men to work getting out ore, considerable quantities of which have been blocked out in the mine. They have somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 tons of ore now out and ready for shipment.
The regular shipment of ore will begin as soon as a jack train can be secured. For the past two weeks, efforts have been made in three counties to get a pack train, but so far without success.
In the meantime, a jack trail from the mine to the top of Taylor pass will be put in first class shape. It is the intention to pack to the top of the range and there load the ore into wagons to be brought to the city.
Polo, of the legitimate variety, returned to the valley 50 years ago, according to a report in The Aspen Times. The newspaper reported:
Legitimate polo returned to the Roaring Fork Valley last Sunday after an absence of over 60 years when two teams of local riders met on the turf of St. Finnbarr Farm at Woody Creek.
Although local players have frequently played broom polo and palametto polo with rubber balls, this was the first known game using standard sticks and balls since Aspen’s boom days.
Leading the two teams Sunday were two part-time Aspenites from Chicago, Don Brothers and Pat Connors, both members of Chicago’s Shamrock squad, 1960 winter champions.
Also playing were Wilton Jaffee, Roy Reid, Bert Simons, Art Pfister and Henry Pedersen. In addition to local mounts, the players used Brothers’ string of polo ponies, shipped to Aspen at the close of last winter’s Chicago tournament.
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Aspenites didn’t let a lack of snow prevent slalom racing 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
Ski buffs suffering through a long and pleasantly warm summer season will have an opportunity to test their slalom coordination this Sunday, Aug. 7, but on bicycles, not skis.
From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, the Aspen Ski Club will hold a bicycle slalom, the first ever staged here. The event will take place on the east side of the hanger.
Forest Service approval of expansion of the Snowmass Ski Area onto Burnt Mountain was the big news 25 years ago this week. The Aspen Times reported:
Burnt Mountain Ski Area expansion received approval by the White River National Forest this week.
The Aspen Skiing Company’s proposal to expand the Snowmass Ski Area eastward onto Burnt Mountain calls for seven new lifts, three on-mountain restaurants, and an increased capacity of 6,600 skiers at one time.
Burnt Mountain acreage of 1,250 would bring the total acreage of Snowmass and Burnt Mountain together to 2,810. Total acres at Vail are presently 1,763. With plans for an additional 870 acres coming on line in the next five years, total acres at Vail will then be 2,633.
Total capacity on Snowmass and Burnt Mountain would be raised to 16,600 skiers at one time.
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A mudslide that caused damage at Snowmass continued to make news 25 years ago. According to The Aspen Times, its cause remained undetermined. The newspaper reported:
Mudslide damage to the Campground Ski Lift has been estimated at $48,000 by the Aspen Skiing Co. as it huddles with other parties involved to repair the area.
The cause of the July 13-14 mudslides has not been determined, and a Denver attorney for the owner of a ditch running through the mudslide area says there are no indications that the ditch caused the slide.