25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Aspen’s allure as a tourist destination is nothing new. It was on the minds of some folks a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

“Aspen has the present opportunity of securing a large body of tourists next summer,” declared Joseph B. Hosmer, a Denver newspaper man and magazine writer, today to a Democrat-Times representative.

“The winter scenery of Aspen and Pitkin County exceeds in grandeur and beauty anything I have seen elsewhere in Colorado,” Mr. Hosmer continued, “and when summer comes, I doubt if it could be surpassed by any.”

“The only thing that stands in the way of your securing a large share of the tens of thousands of Easterners who annually visit ‘Switzerland of America’ is the non-advertising of your scenic attractions to them. The spending of a little money in a boosting way would return dollars for cents to the business interests of your city.”

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Two deaths at the quarry in Marble, located south of Carbondale, were of international interest, according to a report in The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago. The newspaper reported:

International complications between the United States and Greece may result from the deaths last December at Marble of Sam Saltris and J. Paris, who were killed while in the employ of the Yule Marble Company, and whose deaths are alleged to have been due to criminal negligence.

Both of the dead men were subjects of Greece and the latter being a nephew of Samuel Cacerplis, secretary of finance of that country. It was through Secretary Cacerplis that the cause of the death of the two men was brought to the notice of the Colorado authorities and it is said that Cacerplis will commence suit to recover damages from the marble company.

Saltris and Paris were killed, it is supposed accidentally, in a cement vault at Marble several months ago. The vault had just been completed and the men had just entered it when a portion of the cement roof fell in, crushing them.

Top U.S. skiers were expected in Aspen 50 years ago for the Roch Cup races, which included downhill and slalom events for men and women. The Aspen Times reported:

Top U.S. skiers such as Bud Werner and Jim Heuga will compete in the Roch Cup races here Feb. 24-26 and there is a possibility that a portion of the competition will be covered on the radio program “Monitor,” the Aspen Ski Club, sponsor of the races, announced this week.

The annual racing classic for men and women will be even more important this year because it will be one of the five meets around the country used to select the U.S. alpine squad which will compete in the FIS world championships at Chamonix, France next winter.

As now scheduled, all events will take place on Aspen Mountain.

• • • •

A big plane at the airport was again in the news 50 years ago. The Aspen Times published a photo of the aircraft and this caption:

A few days after the Gruman company brought its Gulfstream to the Aspen Airport, a second Rolls Royce-powered turbo prop, made by Fairchild, used the local field. Also being demonstrated to the Gates Rubber Company, the Fairchild was the second jet-powered plane to land here and was by far the largest plane to use the runway.

• • • •

Traffic on Highway 82 was increasing 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Is Aspen becoming more popular each year as a tourist center? Figures recently released by the Colorado Department of Transportation indicate that it is.

Traffic on Colorado 82 between Aspen and Glenwood Springs increased 10.9 percent in 1960 over 1959. The maximum day for traffic during December was the 31st, when 3,534 [vehicles] were counted.

For the whole year, Colorado 82 ranked fourth in percentage increase of the 23 roads on which counter stations are maintained by the state.

Former Aspen Mayor Helen Klanderud also served a stint as a Pitkin County commissioner, but 25 years ago, she was in the news for political aspirations that went beyond any local office. The Aspen Times reported:

“The timing is perfect,” Helen Klanderud told The Aspen Times this week, making public her intention to run for state office. And it may be.

Klanderud will run for Colorado State Senate District 31, filling the void left by Tom Glass (D-Frisco), who announced at a press conference at the State Capitol Wednesday morning that he will not seek re-election in November.

Klanderud, now serving as chairperson of the Board of Pitkin County Commissioners and finishing a four-year term, was called two weeks ago by Glass and asked to run in his stead.

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Twenty-five years ago, the potential for a gondola on Aspen Mountain made news. The Aspen Times reported:

The Aspen Skiing Company will decide in early March whether it will install a gondola, tram or detachable chairlift at the base of Aspen Mountain.

Ski Co. President Jerry Blann has just returned from France where he viewed lifts at 10 different areas. Blann also toured the Poma Corporation headquarters and factory in Grenoble.

“We are in the process of narrowing it down…there is a lot of new engineering,” said Blann, who was impressed by the state-of-the-art lift systems at the European ski areas.

Among the lifts that Blann viewed were a 160-passenger tram in Courcheval, a 20-passenger stand-up gondola at St. Gervais, and six-, eight- and 10-person gondolas at the Poma factory.

He also spoke of an eight-man gondola that has been designed to allow occupants to keep their skis on. Poma is still in the process of developing this lift.


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