25-50-100 years ago
November 5, 2010
A local firefighter was seeking election as sheriff a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:
Sim McNeill is getting there with both feet and is running like he used to back in the 80s – at a 10-second gait.
Sim McNeill has belonged to the Aspen fire department for twenty-three years, and has been the treasurer of the Cowenhoven Hose company for fourteen years.
In 1887, Sim was the hose-puller on the Aspen hose team that went to Leadville and lost the championship by a second or so. In 1888 in Aspen, Sim occupied the same place and the Aspen team made the record. In 1898 at Denver, the dose was repeated and a third victory was recorded in Grand Junction in 1890, the three victories giving the Aspen team the championship of the world.
And Sim can run yet, as will be proven on election day, in his race for sheriff of this county on the Democratic ticket.
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Under the headline “Forest Service Destroys Mining,” The Aspen Democrat-Times had this to report:
Mr. A. E. Reynolds has spent a million dollars in the Pitkin mining district, but notwithstanding the fact in part [that] his property is producing pay ore, the forest service is preventing the patenting of some of his claims on the ground there is not sufficient mineral in sight to warrant a prudent man in spending any more money on the property.
Which would you rather have, Mr. Reynolds’ judgment with his vast experience backed up by a million dollars’ worth of faith, or the opinion of some incapable forest officer interested mainly in maintaining the boundaries of his principality?
A local motel was changing hands 50 years ago. The Nov. 4, 1960 Aspen Times reported:
The sale of what is believed to be Aspen’s oldest motel, the Agate, formerly called Waterman’s, was announced recently.
Purchaser of the westside hostelry is R. A. Schory, District Sales Manager of the Bowman Products Co. of Boulder. Schory’s firm distributes service parts for the industrial and auto trade. He will take possession Dec. 1. Purchase price was not announced.
Sale of the property, listed by Roy Reid, was made by James Moore. Former owners are Hal and Lyle Beattie, also owners of Aspen Gas, who have an office in the main building.
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Also in the business news:
Aspen’s newest restaurant, the soon-to-open Mother Lode, was granted a wine and beer license Monday, Oct. 24 by the City Council.
The new restaurant will be located on East Hyman [Avenue] in the middle of the block between the Opera House and the Crystal Palace. It will occupy the old Crystal Palace building.
Owners of the Mother Lode are Ivan Abrams, Bruce Polich and Jonathan Visel. They announced that inexpensive spaghetti dishes would be featured.
In addition to the restaurant, the building also houses Abrams’ Quadrant Books, a store specializing in paperbacks. An art gallery is operated in the same premises in conjunction to the bookstore.
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A local couple could claim something of a travel feat 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
When the first scheduled airliner landed at Tahiti Oct. 16, after a nonstop flight from Honolulu, two Aspenites, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Iselin, were among the passengers.
The Iselins, with 40-odd other passengers, made the historic flight in a TAI DC7. Flying time was 9 1/2 hours. The flight inaugurated a new weekly air service from Hawaii to Tahiti.
To celebrate the occasion, the plane was greeted on its arrival by flower-decked dancing girls and native drummers. “In the excitement of landing, we were all kissed many times by the welcoming Tahitians,” Mrs. Iselin said.
Prior to Oct. 16, transportation to the island was provided by ship or by a nonscheduled seaplane from Bora-Bora.
Some Aspen Skiing Co. starting wages were expected to be lowered 25 years ago, after the company restructured its pay system. The Aspen Times reported:
The Aspen Skiing Company has restructured its wage system for the first time in 15 years to promote “pay for performance.”
Skico executives said the restructuring was deemed necessary because the existing pay scale and benefit package was much more generous than what was offered by similar areas and was considered “inflexible.”
After surveying the wage and benefit packages of seven in-state and out-of-state areas, including Vail and Deer Valley, Utah, the Skico, which also operates Breckenridge in Summit County, concluded that their wages were up to 27 percent higher than those at competing resorts.