25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com
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25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

A local liquor business changed hands in Aspen a century ago, gaining this mention in The Aspen Democrat-Times:

On the first of February, E. M. Hawkins and Eugene Bascom will take over the large wholesale and retail liquor stock of Henry Beck’s.

For several years, Mr. Beck has been trying to sell his business, that he might be enabled to move to a lower altitude on account of the health of his family. Four years ago, he had practically closed a deal whereby a Mr. Kline was to take charge, but at the last moment the deal was called off.

Henry Beck has been in Aspen nineteen years, during which time he has done no man wrong. In 1896, he purchased his present business from the Baer brothers and since that time has conducted a wholesale and retail liquor business, supplying the local dealers and dealers down the valley.

With the wholesale dealers and with every man who knows Henry, his word is as good as his bond and both are as good as gold.

• • • •

“A fine exhibit,” read the headline a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

The show window of F. S. McKee is well worth seeing. He has one of the finest exhibits of ore, gold nuggets, agates, crystals and petrified wood ever shown in Aspen.

In addition, there is a fine showing of ore from the Columbia Gulch Mining and Milling company’s claims on Difficult Creek.

Take a look the next time you are passing.

• • • •

The newspaper also made mention of the big game, a Saturday night highlight a century ago, but didn’t mention how long it was likely to take the visiting teams to arrive, or by what route they would come. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Next Saturday night, the Leadville High School basketball teams will meet the Aspen High School teams at Fraternal hall and it will be nip and tuck to see who will be the champions.

The Leadville boys are coming to Aspen confident of victory and our boys are just as confident that there will be nothing to it but Aspen.

Both teams are up to snuff in the game and next Saturday will witness a battle royal when the boys face each other.

And the girls’ game will be just as interesting, as the girls from the Cloud City come with a splendid reputation. Our girls’ team is a little dandy, and unless we miss our guess, will give the visitors a few pointers in the rough-and-ready game of basketball.

Buy your tickets and go to see the games next Saturday night. You will enjoy it. After the games, everybody will be invited to dance and have a good time.

Be a booster and be there.

Local ski instructors and patrollers were ready to face off in an unusual race 50 years ago on Aspen Mountain. It involved three different course routes, all starting at the Sundeck. The Aspen Times reported:

The question of which organization has the fastest skiers – Aspen Ski School or Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol – will be resolved Saturday, Jan. 21 in a unique three-section relay race from the top of Aspen Mountain to the bottom.

Unofficially called the Pro Team Belt Race, the event will start at noon, when the starting gun will sound atop the mountain. A representative of each nine-man team, poised at the starting gate in front of the Sundeck, will jump on his skis and race down the One Leaf trail to the upper portion of Copper Bowl, the first leg of the course.

At the ski patrol phone on Copper, competitors must touch the phone box and pass on the patrol belt, which they put on at the Sundeck, to the next racers. …

Sponsors said the race would be an exercise in controlled downhill skiing, but added that there will be no control gates on any part of the course. It is estimated that the race will consist of a total of 10 miles of skiing.

• • • •

It’s hard to believe the newspaper needed to clarify the situation, but 50 years ago, the headline read: “Fires in the street not Indian campfires, A. Times learns.” The report:

Fires found burning on certain city streets are not Indian campfires, the Times learned this week, but attempts to thaw frozen ground to permit the Water Department to dig down to its mains.

Lack of snow cover has resulted in more than normal freezing in the city’s water pipes. Many of the frozen pipes can be thawed by the use of the electricity without digging.

Some of the new mains installed last summer, however, were put in without proper conductor joints and do not permit the passage of the current. To thaw these pipes, it is necessary to dig down to them and apply external heat.

One Aspen ski instructor’s beef with starting pay at the Aspen Skiing Co. has been in the news of late. Twenty-five years ago, patrollers made headlines when they looked to unionize. The Aspen Times reported:

Members of the Aspen Skiing Co. Ski Patrol have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board in an attempt to unionize following an announcement at the beginning of the season concerning changes in ASC employee benefit packages.

The petition was filed with the board last Thursday with the signatures of more than the required 30 percent of the ASC Ski Patrol members. The Aspen Skiing Co. will be given an opportunity to challenge the legality of the association in a public hearing.

Known as the Aspen Professional Ski Patrol Association, the group hired Aspen attorney Ashley Anderson late last year for legal advice in establishing the association.

• • • •

Carol Channing withdrew from the bill of an Aspen gala 25 years ago, to be replaced by another legendary performer. The Aspen Times reported:

Legendary singer Pearl Bailey will be replacing Carol Channing as star performer at La Grande Affaire, the big party held by the Aspen Foundation during World Cup Week in March.

Channing had to cancel her appearance in Aspen because she is cast in the new Broadway show “The Legends” with that other Broadway legend, Mary Martin.

• • • •

A local woman took an unusual approach to taking on fur wearers 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Locals know her well, whether because of her marathon bicycling, her hybrid French-German accent and unmistakably European appearance and demeanor, or the work that is close to her heart – saving animals from pain.

About the latter, some express admiration and encouragement, some disdain and criticism, but wherever she goes in Aspen, her approach invariably provokes response.

Georgie Leighton is a slight woman of 61 who has taken it upon herself to act as Aspen’s conscience concerning cruelty to animals and animal rights issues. …

Her latest gambit is to walk around with hand puppets, one depicting a wolf cub and the other a raccoon, and address herself through them to anyone and everyone wearing furs.


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