25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

Jesse Joy of Aspen, Steve Bogue of Basalt and Robert Rohne of Grand Junction finished in the top three spots in a local bicycle race a century ago. Pete Zuspancis and George A. Richie, both of Aspen, finished fourth and fifth, respectively. The winning time, by the way, was 1:05:20. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported on the race:

Yesterday the thirteenth annual road race was run over the course between Basalt and Glenwood and, as had been fully expected, all previous records for time were broken and by five of the riders.

Aspen sent out an unusually large crowd of people to witness the race. The coach and baggage car of the regular early morning Midland train were packed by those who wished to avoid the crush of the special train.

The special train of three coaches and caboose left the city at 9 o’clock a.m., all available space being occupied by a jolly crowd whom the morning’s rain failed to keep at home. The Aspen Boys Band was with this train and played several selections on the way to Basalt, adding much to the pleasure of the trip.

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News from Montezuma Basin, south of Aspen, was also in the news a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

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Something is doing at the Montezuma these days. The mine is looking better than at any time in its history.

Drifts are now being run on a 4-foot vein carrying 30 percent lead and 60 ounces in silver. This ore will be shipped as it is taken from the mine, or it may be stored until the tramway to the mill is in operation.

A large force of men is engaged in the construction of the tramway between the mine and mill. Work on the tramway was begun last season and it is expected to have it completed by October 1. The capacity of this tramway will be 450 tons each twenty-four hours.

The mill will be shut down until the completion of the tram.

Meanwhile, at the Smuggler Mine in Aspen, the newspaper reported this:

The best piece of news given the people of Aspen in some time was the announcement this morning that the pump at the 12th level of the Free Silver shaft was in operation.

The pump started up under 120 feet of water and its action at first was slow and the volume of water lifted did not compare favorably with its capacity. But as the hours passed, the flow increased perceptibly and at this hour is pounding away with its old-time vigor.

The Aug. 19, 1960 issue of The Aspen Times offered a snow report for Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. The details:

Weather at time of report: cloudy.

New snow at top of Aspen Mountain: 1 inch, skiing poor.

Trace of snow on Bell Mountain, Smuggler and Red Mountain.

Bottom of Aspen Mountain and in town: flowers and green grass.

In-town temperature at noon: 60 degrees.

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Fifty years ago, quick action by local firefighters kept a fire in check. The Aspen Times reported:

The sound of the fire alarm at 1:10 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17 called 24 volunteer firemen and a large group of onlookers to a spectacular blaze in an unused dwelling just east of Roaring Fork bridge in East Aspen.

Well under way when the volunteers were alerted, the conflagration completely consumed a two-story dwelling said to be owned by Martin Mishmash. Fire Chief Clyde Clymer estimated the loss of the ancient building at $200.

Through fast action, firemen were able to save the residence of Ruby and Roy Bandy next door, several vehicles parked between the Bandy house and the burning building, and some sheds and a telephone line.

• • • •

A local folk singer was headed for the lights of Broadway 50 years ago, according to a report in The Aspen Times. Said the newspaper:

A favorite with the Aspen audiences, folksinger Marilyn Child will open in an as-yet-unnamed Broadway musical sometime next winter, it was learned recently by The Aspen Times.

Miss Child, who has appeared frequently at the Limelite in Aspen, recently auditioned for producer David Merrick and director-author Garson Kanin.

Although the musical as written had no part for Miss Child, the two men are reported to have liked her performance so well that they decided to create a part for her.

Solar-power installations at backcountry ski huts aren’t that unusual these days, but the placement of solar panels at a hut outside of Aspen 25 years ago made headlines. The Aspen Times reported:

Backcountry skiers touring to the Friends’ Hut between Crested Butte and Aspen this winter may participate in a rare experiment.

The rustic log cabin built at timberline last summer in a remote basin near Pearl Pass was equipped last week with state of the art electricity in the form of photovoltaic cells. Hut visitors will be able to turn on electric lights with standard pull cords.

The installation of solar electricity is part of a larger experiment in providing remote areas of the world with electric power. It is part of a program offered by Colorado Rocky Mountain College in Glenwood Springs.

• • • •

A nordic tax was headed for the ballot 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council has jumped through all the hoops but one, and that is the most critical hoop of all.

For the council to form a special tax district, voters within the school district boundaries will have to approve it by simple majority. That election is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1985.

If the district succeeds in garnering enough votes, it will begin taxing residents on their property. The proceeds will fund the Nordic Council’s cross-country ski trail system.