25-50-100 Years Ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly
Aspen, CO Colorado

The Aspen Democrat-Times offered its take on the outcome of the 1910 election, when, as now, Democrats struggled at the polls. The newspaper reported:

For the first time in years, the Democratic party in this county yesterday lost a majority of its county candidates.

And why?

Is it because the Democratic party has grown too confident that it had old Pitkin County by the umbilical just as long as it desired, and because it was too well satisfied with its own past prowess?

The Democrats have forgotten the ladies in the conduct of their conventions this year and also apparently they forgot the farming members down the valley. At the first convention, a farmer wasn’t even mentioned as a delegate to the state convention and that state delegation was composed largely of officeholders.

Of course, these are small things, but the cut the ice, apparently!

Glider planes are a common sight at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport these days. Fifty years ago, “soaring” was a new idea at the airport. The Aspen Times reported:

Soaring, one of the country’s fastest growing sports, and the possibility of bringing it to Aspen, will be discussed at a public meeting next Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Called by Bob Sommers and Mel Hoaglund, co-owners of Aero-Tec, the firm responsible for the management of the Aspen Air Port, the session will be held in the Bamboo room of the Hotel Jerome. It will start at 8 p.m.

During the meeting, Sommers and Hoaglund will explain their plans to purchase a training sailplane. It is their intention to start a soaring school and camp in this area next year, the two flyers announced. …

According to Sommers, the Aspen area should prove ideal for soaring. “It has a great many wind currents, which if utilized correctly, will provide lots of sport,” he explained.

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Many local voters headed for the polls for the November election 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Pitkin County followed the state’s Republican trend in the Nov. 8 elections, as a whopping 85 percent of registered voters – 1,167 of 1,379 registered – flocked to the polls.

The number of votes cast was the county’s highest since the area was crowded with silver miners at the turn of the century.

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Hunters were asked to step up for a Pitkin County Public Hospital benefit event 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Faced with a greater need for game and only a few donations, the organizing committee for the Hospital Benefit Dinner urged hunters this week to contribute meat to the traditional Aspen activity scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19 this year.

Last fall, 250 pounds of ready-to-be-cooked venison and elk meat were provided by local hunters. It is estimated by Mrs. James Adams, chairman of the affair, that 310 pounds will be needed this year.

With the dinner only a week and a half away at mid-week, only one elk had been donated and several deer promised, Albert Bishop of the Beck and Bishop Locker Plant said. The elk was contributed by Bill Mason.

Upwards of 20 hunters have furnished game for the dinner in the past.

Aspen’s Hotel Jerome has seen a number of facelifts in its lifetime. One major refurbishment was nearing completion 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Dick Butera expects the Hotel Jerome to be partially open by Dec. 16. Reservations for what will be Aspen’s most expensive rooms are now being taken by Aspen Management Company for February.

“Some” of the hotel’s 26 period-decorated rooms on the third and second floors will definitely be ready by Christmas, Butera said last week.

At a rate of $170 or $180 nightly, they will cost $30 to $40 more than Aspen’s current most expensive hotel rooms. But Butera said they will be worth it.

The bedrooms are about 500 square feet, 40 percent larger than most of Aspen’s hotel units, according to Butera. Decorated with authentic antiques or reproductions of the Eastlake Victorian era, the bedrooms will each contain two-line phones, his-and-her closets, fireplaces (non-functional), down comforters on poster beds, and bathrooms of imported marble from Italy.

The Jerome Bar, the Jerome Tea Room and the lobby will definitely open on schedule, but Butera’s not so sure about the informal dining room or the number of bedrooms that will be ready.

A labor crew of 105 is rushing to open the historic Jerome for the approaching season. Original plans called for only 60 men.


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