25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado
Aspen Times fileSamples for an acid rain study, under way in 1985, are collected near Lost Man Trail southeast of Aspen.

“A hard case” was the headline in The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago, when law enforcement turned its eye toward the townsfolk for serving an habitual drunk. The newspaper reported:

Gilbert Case, better known as “Casey,” was released from the city jail recently where he had been confined as an habitual drunkard. During his confinement, the authorities published a warning to all persons against furnishing intoxicating liquor to the unfortunate man.

This warning has been unheeded by some person, at present unknown, as “Casey” was drunk again yesterday.

Marshal Sanders is looking up the matter and if found, the guilty party will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

• • • •

A grouse hunter caught out in a storm sparked a search of nearby mountains by his friends a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times published a report about his failure to return home on the evening of his hunt, and this follow-up:

About 12 o’clock today, Cale Alexander returned to his home in an exhausted condition. After he had recovered somewhat, he said that during the afternoon he had lost his way during the storm and when evening approached, he looked down into a gulch and seeing some buildings, he believed he was gazing on the Bulloch ranch on Hunter Creek. Going down, he found two men at one of the houses who informed him he was at Lenado and he had been on the divide between Hunter and Woody Creek instead of on the side of Smuggler Mountain.

He remained at Lenado over night and left there this morning, arriving home at noon.

The many friends of Mr. Alexander will be pleased to learn that he suffered no accident.

Several searching parties are still in the hills looking for Alexander and are not expected to return until night overtakes them.

Silver mining in the Aspen area had long since waned, but the Pitkin Iron operation south of Aspen was in full swing 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

After a summer of relative inactivity, the Pitkin Iron Corp. this week began a daily schedule of shipments from the mine 4 miles above Ashcroft to the railroad loading station at Woody Creek.

Announcements made last winter when the business was incorporated indicated that full operations would start this summer. However, lack of facilities on the east slope of Star Peak, where the lode is located, as well as zoning negotiations concerning the Woody Creek crushing and screening plant may have been factors in the delay.

According to one observer, six huge ore carriers of the Morrison-Knudson Co., contract haulers for Pitkin Iron, began daily rounds Monday, Sept. 12. Loaded trucks, with trailers, coursed the route every five to seven minutes in four periods during the day. Morrison-Knudson has a total of eight big trucks at the mine.

• • • •

Municipal justice, or the lack thereof, was a topic of heated debate in the City Council chambers 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

A heated informal meeting of the Aspen City Council was held Monday at 5 p.m. with members of the Aspen Police Department, the Pitkin County Sheriff and the City Magistrate.

The meeting was called by Mayor Mike Garrish to discuss complaints brought to him by the police involving Guido Meyer, City Magistrate.

It was the feeling of the police, as indicated at the session by Chief Cris Kralicek, that Meyer was often too lenient with cases brought before him.

Specifically cited by Kralicek was a case involving Robert Sinclair, who was picked up Friday, Sept. 9, on a complaint made by the bartender at the Blue Noodle for being drunk and disorderly.

At a trial Saturday, Meyer threw the case out of court. According to Meyer, this was the only course open to him since the charges involved Sinclair’s actions at only one bar and since testimony indicated that he had only been served two beers at that establishment.

Aspen was among the locales chosen for federal study on acid rain 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Forest Service have chosen Aspen as one of five western U.S. base stations for a six-week, $5 million, 888-lake acid rain study.

The Congressionally mandated Western Lakes Survey will gather data from lakes in Colorado, California, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming to take what Regional EPA Administrator John Welles says is “a snapshot in time.”

The survey is intended to find out how many lakes may already be acidic, and how many are potentially sensitive to acid rain. …

Teams of EPA and USFS surveyors are reaching the lakes by foot, horseback, with llamas or by helicopter. The two agencies reached a compromise which allows helicopter access on only one of every eight wilderness lakes.

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