25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet UrquhartAspen Times Weekly
Aspen Times fileJust before ski season, Aspen was getting clobbered with snow 25 years ago. Tim Heuser, then of the Pitkin County maintenance crew, blows the white stuff out of the way.

A train wreck outside of Silt made headlines a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:Silt, Colo. – While running at a high rate of speed this morning, an east-bound Denver & Rio Grande freight train ran into a bunch of cattle at Davis Point, one mile east of here.The engine and seven cars left the track and were piled up in one great mass of wreckage.The killed:Conductor McLaughlin, of Grand Junction, whose body was recovered from the wreckage shortly before noon today.Fireman Slamp was badly bruised and severely scalded by escaping steam.The rest of the train crew escaped uninjured. …Ten cattle were killed.••••”The Elks Will Do Things Next Tuesday” was the headline in The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago. A good time was promised:Next Tuesday night will occur at the Elks Club Rooms, the annual turkey roll and potato bake and fun will run riot for a few hours when the social part of Elkdom will hold full sway and the more solemn rites of the order will be laid to one side for the time being.Elkdom is life, and its members believe in having a little fun as they journey through life. The one feature of Elkdom teaches charity, justice and brotherly love, the sort of brother love that writes one’s faults in the sand and his virtues on the tablets of love and memory.But next Tuesday night, it will be the social feature of the order that will be exemplified and to say the Elks will have a jolly good time is telling only half of it.

Aspen’s stray dogs were in for a new experience – incarceration – 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Aspen’s new dog catcher began his duties Monday, Nov. 14 and the city pound will be in operation next week, City Administrator Leon Wurl said.Cliff Canaday, the new city employee, began constructing pens for stray dogs this week in a room of the city electric plant under the Castle Creek bridge.Next week, he will start picking up untagged canines to occupy the pens.Wurl said Canaday has been instructed to catch dogs that do not have both a city tag and a tag indicating vaccination against rabies.••••An annual event had skiers making their way from Crested Butte to Aspen 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:Informally inaugurating the 1960-61 ski season here, 14 members of the eighth annual Crested Butte-to-Aspen cross-country tour will puff into town sometime Saturday, Nov. 19.The 28-mile trek will take the skiers, led by Western State College ski coach Sven Wiik and his assistant, Walter Jackson, over East Maroon Pass, down Conundrum Creek, then through East Maroon Creek and [to] their destination.Participants, except for Wiik and Jackson, are Nordic and cross-country specialists of the Mountaineer ski squad. Western State College is located at Gunnison.The fastest trip the Western State skiers have ever made over this route is 9 1/2 hours. It was performed under ideal weather and snow conditions. The longest trip consumed 17 1/2 hours.

The controversial expansion of the Snowmass Ski Area onto Burnt Mountain was back in the news 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:The Colorado Department of Natural Resources, the Division of Wildlife and the Dept. of Highways have agreed to stay an appeal filed against the ski area expansion known as Burnt Mountain.The State of Colorado offices brought the appeal last month, following an August decision by the White River National Forest to approve the expansion of the Snowmass Ski Area by 1,250 acres.The appeal claimed the decision is destructive to wildlife, and would have severe impacts on traffic and air pollution.During the next six months, interested parties will attempt to work out a feasible mitigation plan for herds of 1,200 deer and 400 elk, whose wintering ranges and migration routes mingle with the expansion area.••••The newest owners of Aspen’s Hotel Jerome are currently renovating employee housing at what was once the Cortina Lodge on Main Street. Twenty-five years ago, the hotel didn’t yet have possession of the housing. The Aspen Times reported:Both the Hotel Jerome and Woodstone Lodge will be able to satisfy some of their employee housing needs at the Cortina Lodge if the city council accepts recommendations approved by the planning and zoning commission Tuesday.During its regular meeting, the commission voted to recommend a change in use from lodge to residential for the Cortina, 320 East Main, next to Conner’s Chevron, if certain conditions are met. …The applicants, Hotel Jerome Ltd. Partnership and the Woodstone Associates, asked that six of the Cortina units be used to house 15 employees of the Jerome, while three of the units be used for five Woodstone employees, in dormitory configuration.The remaining six units should be retained as free-market, long-term residential, the applicant requested.