25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Mining news was a regular feature of The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago. In late February 1911, the newspaper offered updates on several mining concerns:

The Smuggler company has released the divers, Fred Johnson and George Paterson, who left for New York last evening. That these expert divers have been permitted to leave Aspen shows that the mine management is confident the water situation is well in hand and that their services will not again be required in the unwatering of the Free Silver shaft.

The old compound pump, which was the first to be installed on the completion of the shaft to the 1,200-foot level, has been blown up with powder and brought to the surface and consigned to the junk heap. The station occupied by the pump is now being enlarged for the reception of an electric pump. …

The power company has about completed stringing wires and when the pumps are in position will be ready to turn on the “juice.” It is expected it will be three months before the electrics will be throwing water.

• • • •

There was also this:

As is usual during the winter months, but a few men have been working in Lincoln gulch with the exception of those employed at Ruby, which has had a larger force than in previous seasons, the management being anxious to push the lower tunnel to the mineral.

Superintendent Barnes contemplates starting up the mine and mill soon, as the season has been an open one, which will permit of work being resumed at an earlier date than is usual.

Top skiers were in Aspen 50 years ago to compete for the Roch Cup. The Aspen Times reported:

One world champion and three former Roch Cup winners were among the 50 men and 17 women to go through the starting gate in the downhill today of the 15th annual Roch Cup Championship.

The world champion, Roger Staub, Arosa, Switzerland, winner of the giant slalom gold medal in the Squaw Valley Winter Games last winter, arrived in Aspen Wednesday, Feb. 22. His last-minute entry added a new dimension to the three-day series of races.

Competing against Staub and the remainder of the star-studded field of class A men will be Bud Werner, 1959 Roch winner, former National Champion and winner of innumerable American and European races.

Two former women Roch champs headed the list of female entrants. They are Linda Meyers, 1959 winner, and Bev Anderson, 1958 champ. Both represented the U.S. at the Squaw Valley Olympics last year.

Their teammate, Joan Hannah and two former junior aces, Barbara Ferries and Smiley Tschopp, are expected to give them a battle for 1961 cup laurels.

In addition to Staub and Werner, the presence of Max Marolt, Chuck Ferries and Dave Gorsuch, as well as National Champion Jim Heuga and two junior champs, Bill Marolt and Bill Kidd, made predictions of this year’s men’s races difficult.

Aspen Mountain was to get its now-familiar Silver Queen Gondola, the Aspen Skiing Co. announced 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

A six-passenger gondola with the world’s greatest vertical rise, 3,250 feet, is planned for Aspen Mountain next season.

Barring any construction or approval delays, the 165-car Poma of America-manufactured enclosed lift, the “Silver Queen,” with the ability to transport 2,000 skiers per hour, will be in operation by December 1986, coinciding with Aspen’s Mountain’s 40th anniversary.

The 13-minute base-to-summit trip on the Silver Queen will shorten lift-riding time by up to 35 minutes from the present three lifts to the top system.

• • • •

Avalanches roared 25 years ago after a huge snowfall, shutting down Utah ski resorts and creating danger around Aspen as well. The Aspen Times offered a run-down, including this update about local conditions:

Last Friday, Highlands Bowl broke loose and rumbled down with a fury not seen here in 25 years. The massive avalanche went 3,600 feet into Castle Creek, twice as far as most major slides recorded in the deadly bowl.

At Snowmass, the ski patrol recorded 150 avalanches within its operating boundaries. One took out the entire headwall above Hanging Valley, leaving Volkswagen-size boulders of hardpacked snow and other debris littering the ski route.

On Aspen Mountain, conditions warranted closing the area to skiers for almost 24 hours. Numerous slides and the potential for many others had patrollers busier than ants at a picnic.

When it was all over and done with, one Aspen patrolman had been buried with only his hand exposed, another was caught in a slide and dragged through thick trees, breaking five of his ribs and bruising a lung.


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