25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Aspen Times fileIn 1986, the new year began with snow that contributed to slick roads and two fatal accidents. In addition, two women from Arkansas were injured when their van, pictured here, slid off Highway 82 and down the steep embankment at Shale Bluffs. Aspen Valley Hospital treated dozens of people who were hurt in accidents or slipped on ice, The Aspen Times reported.

The Aspen Democrat-Times had this to report regarding the Smuggler Mine during the final week of 1910:

The dewatering of the Free Silver Shaft last Friday was hailed as a harbinger of the good times to come to our little camp and our people generally expressed their gratification at the progress made in the work.

Preparations were at once begun by the management to place other pumps in commission in case of an accident to the station pump on the twelfth level. The work went along satisfactorily until the cleaning out of the sump began Sunday evening when it was noticed the big pump was not throwing its usual quantity of water. Investigation showed the suction pipe in the sump to be clogged and heroic efforts were made to remove the obstruction but before this could be accomplished, the men were driven out by the inflow of water.

When the news of this reverse became known on Monday, it caused a feeling of gloom to pervade the community.

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Doings in Hotchkiss also made the front page of the Democrat-Times a century ago. The newspaper reported:

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Hotchkiss, Colo. – Five young men, all cowboys, are in the county jail here charged with assault and attempt to kill Town Marshal William Truesdale, following a Christmas Day carousal.

After imbibing freely, the youngsters began racing their horses which were hitched to a sleigh, up and down the main street of the town. The marshal attempted to put an end to their amusement when the five of them turned upon him and beat him severely.

Truesdale was beaten over the head and about the body until he fell to the ground in an unconscious condition. It is believed that his skull is fractured and he is not expected to live through the night.

Notable faces appearing during the holidays in Aspen is nothing new. Fifty years ago, the visitors were political celebs. The Aspen Times reported:

Several recently appointed top officials in the administration of President-elect John Kennedy, and relatives of the incoming president, are in Aspen this week, but the purpose of their visit is skiing, not policy-making.

The dignitaries include Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Assistant Secretary of Defense Paul Nitze, Assistant Attorney General Byron “Whizzer” White and Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Smith.

Mrs. Smith is John Kennedy’s sister, Jean. She and her husband are staying at the Aspen Meadows.

McNamara has been here since Christmas and will leave at New Year’s. He and his wife and children, teenage daughters Cathy and Margie, and 10-year-old son Craig, are on their fifth Aspen winter vacation and are again staying at the Mountain Chalet.

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Television reception, at least for those Aspenites who owned a TV, was a matter of concern 50 years ago. On Dec. 30, The Aspen Times reported:

In an effort to continue television reception here, the Aspen TV committee is immediately launching a drive for funds to comply with federal regulations before Feb. 1, an official of the video group said this week.

An application for a permit to revamp existing facilities in accordance with a recent ruling of the Federal Communications Commission must be presented to that agency before the deadline. Money for new equipment and the installation and maintenance of it has to be on hand, or guaranteed when the application is made.

The TV organization, headed by Lawrence Elisha, engaged Mrs. Robert Noble of Aspen Reservations and Employment to call known set owners and ask them to contribute $12 apiece.

“Relief, tragedy come with snow,” reported a headline in The Aspen Times on Jan. 2, 1986. The newspaper reported:

For the resorts, Monday’s snowstorm, which followed two weeks of spring-like weather, was welcomed by open arms and slamming cash registers.

But the storm also left behind the footprint of tragedy as two people were killed in separate traffic accidents – one on Brush Creek Road less than three hours into the new year, the other Wednesday night just south of Carbondale as Monday’s snowfall left behind icy highway surfaces.

Local road crews, law enforcement officers, radio dispatchers and towing businesses were buried Monday, when 5 1/2 inches of snow fell on the area after a two-week draught.

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A ski patrolman had a close call on Aspen Mountain 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

A snow slide broke loose Tuesday morning in the permanently closed Bonne Bell area on Aspen Mountain, injuring one ski patrolman. Another patrolman was injured in a separate incident in the same area.

According to Aspen Skiing Co. spokesperson Marie Hux, patrol members John Armstrong and Ed Cross were performing routine avalanche control work Dec. 31 at approximately 9:15 a.m. in the steep out-of-bounds Bonne Bell area , when a small slide broke loose.

Both Armstrong and Cross were “sorrowing” the hill, traversing it to check for loose snow, when the slide occurred.

The slide caught Cross off-guard and buried him up to his nose. Armstrong was able to escape the rush of snow and dig his companion out immediately. …

In a separate incident in the Bonne Bell area, patrolman Tim Howe caught a tip and fell over the top of his skis, seriously injuring his Achilles tendon.