25-50-100 years ago
July 26, 2005
Copies of The Aspen Times from 1904 until 1909 are missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. To continue our journalistic history of Aspen, we include excerpts from The Aspen Democrat, the Times’ competitor 100 years ago.”About The City” column noted,The merry notes of “Sweep-o,” the chimney seep, who pays Aspen a visit at regular intervals and spends several weeks in the city plying his trade, were heard on the streets yesterday. “Sweeps,” as he is known, is a most familiar person here and always a source of amusement and fun for the boys and girls, who throng after him to hear his “Sweep-a-ho, clean-a-ho. Sweep ’em up, clean ’em up. Sweep ’em down.”Several items about Lenado, the little community located northeast of Aspen on Woody Creek, were in the newspaper the first week of August 1905.The people of Lenado are more than pleased that Road Overseer Callahan and a crew of men are now putting the road to Lenado in good shape as the people of that camp prefer Aspen as their trading point. Mr. Stevens, superintendent of the mill, is circulating a petition for a postoffice to be installed at Lenado [see photo] and there is no doubt that Uncle Sam will grant the request or at lest will furnish them a rural delivery which would be practically as good but not quite so convenient as a postoffice would be. Let all help in making it a postoffice.No work in Aspen? Maybe there’s something in Lenado …
George Hall left yesterday morning with a party of mining men for Lenado, where they go to look into the present prospects of the Varney tunnel and the mill which is being operated with much success.Stir-crazy in Aspen? Head for Lenado. The paper reported,The mining town of Lenado enjoyed an unusual and pleasant entertainment Wednesday evening when the crowd of Aspenites now picnicking there joined with the inhabitants in a social hop. There was plenty of fun and with those already in Lenado and the Aspen campers, the hop was a great success and much enjoyed.The paper wrote “This is a fish story all right, but the best part of it is that it’s true.”D.R.C. Brown, G.B. Brown and Jack Atkinson left bright and early Saturday morning for Snow Mass lake at the top of the Taylor range. They had good luck from the first and fished in one of the new canvas boats patented by our townsman Vincent Johnson.Between Saturday night and Monday morning these three disciples of Isaak Walton made the phenomenal catch of eleven trout, weighing fifty-seven pounds, not to mention about twenty-five pounds of medium sized trout besides.The largest of the Big Eleven weighed six pounds when caught and four and half dressed. D.R.C. Brown was the happy man who landed this one and he caught it with a four-ounce rod and a number 8 hook. …Shortly after the party arrived in town yesterday noon, the Big Eleven were placed on exhibition at the electric light office and over one hundred people collected in a very few minutes to see the speckled beauties.The lake in which the fish were caught is one that was stocked four years ago the 15th of July by Frank Hayes with young trout secured from the state hatchery. It might be well to suggest right now that in the vicinity of Aspen there are numerous lakes like Snow Mass … fish could be secured to stock them and after a very short time Pitkin county would be one of the leading fishing resorts in the state.
Fifty years ago initiated the sign-free corridor into Aspen. The paper proclaimed,The Pitkin County Zoning Resolution which is now in effect legally establishes control of highway signs [see photo] within the zoned areas. New signs on the highway are specifically ruled out. Repairs and alterations to existing signs are likewise discouraged.The Zoning Broad is extremely hopeful that those business firms presently owning signs along the highway will voluntarily remove them so that the stretch of highway between Basalt and Aspen will be free of all commercial advertising.Aspen has had a history of maintaining good health among its citizens, as the paper reported, A drive for funds for a new hospital building is planned by the Trustees of the Pitkin County Hospital.
A statement from the Trustees points out that the State Board of Health has advised them that in many respects the present hospital (built in 1890) falls short of physical standards set by state law.”While we have a hospital staff and medical staff of which a much larger community could well be proud,” the statement says, “we cannot continue indefinitely to provide the hospital service Pitkin County must have in an old and substandard structure.”There was more good medical news regarding the beginning of the end of a dreaded disease.Dr. J. Sterling Baxter has announced that the second Salk Vaccine polio shot will be given to all those children who received the first shot last May … Parents are urged to see that their child is at the gym next Tuesday afternoon to complete this polio prevention program.Today we enjoy fat-tire bicycle excursions and nordic ski racing between Gunnison County and Aspen. In 1955 it was on horseback. The Aspen Society column noted,Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Pfister entertained Friday evening at their home on Maroon creek in honor of the Gunnison Trail Riders. Cocktails and dinner were served to around 80 guests, including some 20 Gunnison Trail Riders who traveled to Aspen via horse over the high road, the Taylor pass trail. Aspen’s oldest existing insurance agency changed hands and names in 1955. The paper announced “Stapleton Buys Neihardt Insurance.” M.M. Neihardt, resident of Aspen since 1911, County Clerk and recorder from 1930 to 1950, and deputy for three years, has announced the sale of his insurance business effective September. …Mr. Stapleton, presently County Clerk and Recorder, has tendered his resignation to the County Commissioners and the Commissioners have accepted the same with regret effective September 1.
France may have its “Tour,” but Colorado had its own tour, the Coors International Bicycle Classic (see photo), which sped through the Roaring Fork Valley during the last week in July 1980.It is the ability to endure mass quantities of pain that separate the International bicycle racers from the ordinary being. …In winning the 20-lap, 35-mile circuit race Wednesday, [Bob] Cook took advantage of a small miscue by his nearest rival, professional racer Jacques Boyer. …With approximately eight laps left, Cook and Boyer approached the steepest section of Suicide Hill, the electrically heated concrete ramp that rises from the Snowmass Village mall alongside the lower parking lots.Cook saw that Boyer had already dropped to his lowest gear for the climb. Cook hadn’t and took off at a furious sprint that opened up a lead Boyer never overcame.It seemed everyone wanted a piece of the Rio Grande property pie. The paper reported on a meeting of the Rio Grande Task Force,
Among the proposals were a riverfront restaurant, an $8 million theater, and renovation of the Roaring Fork River itself.The task force was appointed by the Aspen City Council to study possible uses for the property, 11 acres between the courthouse and the Roaring Fork River. It is the last significant parcel of development land left within the city limits. In previous weeks, the task force has heard from groups including the Council on Aging and county officials who want to build a law enforcement facility on some of the land.Tom Ward, representing the Roaring Fork Valley Foundation for the performing Arts, said a theater with 800 to 1,200 seats is needed. … “Our untapped second economy is the arts,” Ward said. …Jim Reents, city housing director, said he would like any plans for the property to include some [employee] housing. … Land cost is the major problem in building such housing, he added, and the Rio Grande property has a central location. One task force member suggested … a parking structure might be built as part of a performing arts center. …Kirk Baker, representing kayakers, presented a proposal to renovate the Roaring Fork River through the center of town. … A series of jetties could make it a flowing stream again, he said, one that fish and kayakers could use. An editorial supported the need for one building being discussed for the Rio Grande neighborhood.Pitkin County badly needs a new jail. Called the oldest and worst in the state, the existing jail in the courthouse basement is substandard in every respect and cannot be used for female or juvenile prisoners. Housing anyone there is cruel and unjust punishment. Although it has been planning a new jail and criminal justice building for several years, the county has met with a succession of delays, one of which is obtaining zoning approval from the city. Since it must house its prisoners in the jail, the city should also have a vital interest in improving conditions.
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This week, when the subject of a zoning change was once again discussed by the city council, it was suggested that a regional jail in Glenwoood Springs might mitigate the need for a new jail in Aspen.As County Manager Curt Stewart and County Sheriff Dick Kienast quickly pointed out, this is nonsense. …We don’t care to join the controversy of the jail’s exact location. That is for the Rio Grande Task Force and city council to decide. But we do stress the necessity of a new building and urge prompt action.