25-50-100 years ago
A century ago, The Aspen Democrat-Times exposed a scam involving not only Aspenites, but reportedly residents of Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, as well. The newspaper reported:There seems to be much trouble in store for the itinerant photographer now within our corporate limits.Loud and long have been the complaints of those who claim they have been “easy marks” for this man Miller, whose wily tongue impressed them he was traveling about from place to place for the good of his country and the people therein.Yesterday, some eight or ten ladies called at the office of Police Magistrate Ross and laid before him the plan of this photographer with endless chain proclivities. His plan is to call at a house and after exhibiting specimens of his art, solicits an order for pictures of the home and as many members of the family as cared to pose. The price per dozen pictures was on a sliding scale from $1.00 to $1.50, seemingly depending upon how the artist sized up his prospective patron. But in all cases, a deposit of not less than 50 cents was required with each order.It is fair to presume that at least 200 of these orders have been secured in this city.Now the complaint is this:The order has been given, the deposit made and presumably a negative taken (at least his motions indicate something of the sort), but no pictures are delivered.••••The road up Lincoln Creek, east of Aspen, is mostly used to access recreational opportunities these days. That wasn’t the case a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:As is well known, Aspen depends much upon the outlying districts for business and the employment of a large number of its men, and anything tending to improve those conditions and shortening the distance and opening direct communication between those points and the city should receive the careful consideration of our people.It is suggested that these aims would be in part attained by the opening of Lincoln gulch road from the Ruby mine over the hill to the Enterprise, a distance of about three miles. The road [is] to be built across the gulch from the Ruby to the Jensen property and from there over the divide up to the Enterprise. It is said the grade would not be excessive for a mountain road.
Bigwigs in Aspen is nothing new, but the event made news 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Dressed in hiking clothes, several top executives from the United States Steel Corporation, including Leslie B. Worthington, president, had lunch in Aspen Wednesday, Aug. 10.Reservations for the group were made by County Attorney Robert Delaney, who is also an officer of the Pitkin Iron Corp., a firm conducting the mining activity above Ashcroft. L.S. Wood, Chicago, president of the local mining firm as well as of the Mid-Continent Coke and Coal Co., which operates at Redstone, acted as host.The group is reported to have visited the iron mine near Ashcroft and the ore processing installations near Woody Creek, as well as mines above Redstone.••••A local ski instructor won the inaugural bike slalom in Aspen 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Posting the fastest total time for two bicycle runs through a slalom course Sunday, August 7, was Aspen ski instructor Sepp Uhl.Uhl’s time in the unique race, sponsored by the Aspen Ski Club at the Aspen Airport, was 62.3 seconds. About 30 racers and spectators attended the event, the first to be held here.Ralph Jackson sped through the 22-gate course in a total of 76 seconds to take second-place honors. Third was Jacques Berger in 77.5 and fourth, Swede Larson, in 81.3.Fifth through ninth places were taken by Otto Steiner, Martin Imm, Waddy Catchings, Dean Billings and Stan Johnson.Betty Moore paced the women competitors with a 80.1 total. Second was Ruth Whyte in 83.3 and third went to Gretl Uhl in 115.0.
Aspen Music Festival and School President and CEO Alan Fletcher remains at the organization’s helm this season after coming under fire, but turmoil within the festival’s ranks is nothing new. A headline 25 years ago in The Aspen Times read: “Power struggle gives musicians festival control.” The newspaper reported:A corporate power play by musicians of the Aspen [Music] Festival Tuesday resulted in adoption of new bylaws opposed by the Board of Trustees and resignation of several board members.Included among those who had resigned by yesterday afternoon were Board Chairman Ford Schumann, Treasurer Marty Flug, Secretary Carol Ann Kopf, Vice-president JD Mueller and Chairwoman of the National Board Joan Harris.They and other board members objected to new bylaws requested by musician corporate members, which would make the MAA (Music Associates of Aspen) president, now Gordon Hardy, the chief executive officer with the power to staff and operate the organization.••••Development plans at Aspen Highlands would change significantly, and what became Aspen Highlands Village wouldn’t see construction for more than decade, but a new resort at the base of the ski area was on the radar 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:The dream of building a world-class resort at the base of Aspen Highlands may still come to fruition, as executives for the Highlands Ski Corporation are making a bid to the county commissioners for a re-evaluation of their proposed $60 million project.Last month, the Pitkin County Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously denied approval of the proposal, citing a “fundamental problem that necessitated a total rejection” as its rationale for refusal.But the Highlands has decided to appeal the P&Z decision and will present its side of the story to the commissioners on Aug. 26.”We had to appeal, we had no other choice,” said Wes Light, attorney for the Highlands.
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