25-50-100 years ago
October 8, 2010
A gruesome death at the Smuggler mine was in the news a century ago. A day later, the coroner convened a jury to investigate the death; it was ruled an accident. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:An awful accident occurred about 8:30 o’clock this morning in the Mollie Gibson section of the Smuggler power plant.Shortly after going on shift this morning, “Dick” Pearce, the head compressor man of the Smuggler Mining company, in inspecting the compressors, found a set nut near a valve on an eccentric loose and, summoning his assistant, Joseph Bradley, had the compressor shut down. Pearce then began to tighten the nut, putting his head and shoulders between the spokes of a five-foot fly wheel for the purpose of doing so.Bradley, who was on the opposite side and at the other end of the compressor, after waiting a few minutes and not seeing Pearce straighten up, went around the machine and found the body of Pearce, the breast resting against the driving wheel, the severed neck standing up and the decapitated head crushed to pieces, resting on the bed-plate of the compressor on the opposite side of the wheel.••••A century ago, as now, the town followed its football team. The Aspen-Democrat Times reported:The football fans of Aspen will be given a first-class treat next Saturday afternoon, when the Grand Junction High School eleven lines up “forninst” the Aspen High School aggregation on the local gridiron.It will be football all the time from call of time to the toot of the whistle at the close.The Aspen eleven is composed of the huskiest lads going to the high school and they promise that the visitors will go down when the “rush” is made.Last year, Grand Junction was the rival of Aspen for the western slope championship and so it will be seen that Saturday’s game, the first of the season, will be a hot one.
A protest of children’s ski pass prices 50 years ago was apparently to no avail. The Aspen Times reported:Aspen mothers lost the first round in their struggle to achieve lower ski lift rates for resident children.Although one of the Aspen Skiing Corporation directors offered a tentative reduction for their consideration last Sunday, Oct. 2, a meeting between a four-mother committee and four directors ended in bitterness Monday when no concessions were offered by the corporation.Tuesday, a protest march and picketing demonstration was carried off as scheduled by a hundred mothers and children. During the demonstration, a dummy labeled D.R.C. Hodges, representing officials of the lift-owning firm, was hung up from a lamp post in front of the corporation office.President of the corporation is William Hodges, a Denver attorney. D.R.C. Brown, scion of an old Aspen mine-owning family, is executive vice president and director of all local operations.According to the four-mother committee that met with the directors Monday afternoon, Brown conducted negotiations and “literally laughed at our demands.”••••Mining above Lenado was in the news 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Prospects for a substantial uranium strike above Lenado brightened this week with the second shipment of ore to a processing plant since the mine began operations three years ago.James S. Dodge, an area resident and president of Aspen Mines, Inc., said three truckloads, totaling 50 tons of ore, were brought to the Aspen loading dock of the D&RGW Railroad Monday, Oct. 3, by Fulbright Co., a hauling outfit from Glenwood Springs.The ore will be shipped to the Vitro Chemical Co. in Salt Lake City, a firm which is particularly interested in the type of uranium being mined by Dodge. It will use the ore for processing chemicals.The tunnel mine is located on Porphyry Mountain, sometimes called Lookout Mountain, approximately 15 road miles above the Flogaus Lumber Mill at Lenado.
Hydropower at the Ruedi Dam above Basalt was about to make its debut 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Years of effort by city and county officials will culminate this Saturday, Oct. 12, when the Aspen/Pitkin County hydropower plant at the Ruedi Dam is officially opened.Buses have been scheduled to take Aspen residents to the ceremonies, complete with a ribbon cutting and speeches, to leave the Rio Grande parking lot at 11 a.m.Scheduled to speak at the ceremonies are 4th District Congressman Mike Strang, a Missouri Heights rancher, Board of County Commissioners Chairman Tom Blake and Aspen Mayor Pro Tem Charlotte Walls.The ceremonies will complete a process launched in 1981 when local officials decided to apply for a federal permit after a private firm submitted an application to the Federal Regulatory Commission.••••A former Aspen resident was at work on yet another Colorado ski area 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:When 10th Mountain Division man Peter Seibert left Aspen in the 1950s to design a proposed area called Vail, the Aspen Skiing Corporation gave him a “Sneaky Pete” award.Seibert will return to the Vail valley next week to begin work on yet another area – Arrowhead.Arrowhead will cater primarily to intermediate skiers and sit adjacent to Beaver Creek, 12 miles west of Vail.”Arrowhead is best compared to parts of Snowmass and Buttermilk,” said Seibert.