25-50-100 years ago
Aspen Times Weekly
A century ago, The Aspen Democrat-Times published a petition urging a move in Congress to shore up demand for silver, which Aspenites continued to mine though its price had plummeted. Sen. W. H. Twining of Aspen introduced a resolution to boost silver’s worth by requiring payment of interest on U.S. postal savings bank earnings with silver coinage. The petition, which local residents were urged to sign and return to the newspaper’s office, read:
The Senate and House of the United States:
We. the undersigned, citizens of the United States and of the state of Colorado, irrespective of party, believing that there is not legal tender money enough in the country to supply the enormous demand; that there is now a scarcity of silver coin and especially silver dollars in Colorado and the West; that the demonetization of silver has almost ruined the great industry of this country and that it has been detrimental to the best interests of the people, respectfully petition your honorable body.
First – To provide for the remonetization of silver.
Second – To provide for the remonetization of silver upon a fair and reasonable ratio to gold.
• • • •
Mischief had the news in The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago. The newspaper reported:
Last night some bad boys turned a switch at the Union depot, causing the late Midland engine to crash into two freight cars standing on a side track. Some day these boys will cause an accident that will result in the death or permanent injury of one or more persons.
Persons with such proclivities richly deserve a position on a rock pile where they would have an excellent opportunity to work off their superfluous energy. But that would seem cruel to them, being too much like work.
Pitkin County’s plan to tackle more of its dusty roads hit a roadblock 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
County residents who do not consider dusty roads an asset to rural living almost received a bonus from Pitkin County Commissioners this spring.
Monday, May 1, the county board agreed to expand the road oiling program – perhaps more than double the work that was performed last year.
The decision was made after commissioners heard City Administrator Leon Wurl say that waste motor oil at 5 cents a gallon was available from a Denver company. Last year, the city and county paid 13 cents a gallon for asphalt oil to perform the same function.
Wurl said waste oil had excellent penetration qualities and that it had proved successful in other communities.
Commissioners agreed to purchase $1,000 worth of the waste oil and said they would buy more if it proved satisfactory.
Thursday, the bubble burst. Wurl said a railroad had purchased the oil available to the firm and that none could be bought for road use here. He added that the city would buy more expensive product for its requirements.
It is assumed that the county will have to reduce its expansion plans for oil dusting because of budget limitations.
Today it’s known as the Paradise Bakery corner, but 25 years ago, a group of citizens was fighting the property’s redevelopment, and construction of the building that now houses the bakery. The Aspen Times reported:
A citizens’ group is requesting a restraining order from district court today to halt construction of a building on the Volk Property, better known as Independence Square.
A spokesman for Save Independence Square, Jon Busch, said the group is “pursuing all avenues to keep Independence Square as it is now until the election.”
One of the questions on the ballot of a June 3 city election will ask voters whether they want the city to purchase the 4,000-square-foot parcel of property, valued at $800,000, located in the heart of the commercial core at Cooper and Galena streets. The square would likely be turned into a park.
Demolition of the current structures on the Volk Property is scheduled to begin next Monday, May 12, although preliminary earthmoving for the purpose of obtaining soil samples began on Wednesday of this week.
The remaining businesses on the site, Cookie Munchers Paradise and the Popcorn Wagon, have been given a five-day notice to vacate the premises. Cookie Munchers closed its doors yesterday.
• • • •
It would be more than a decade before the vision for the Aspen Recreation Center became a reality, but the idea was in the making 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:
A major recreation center at Iselin Park, with an indoor ice rink, an indoor/outdoor pool and youth area could take the place of the existing Moore Pool should a citizen’s committee proposal be accepted.
A second recommendation is to create an artificial outdoor ice surface in the Wagner Park area.
Estimated cost would be $4 million to $5 million.
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The new ownership of the Aspen Club & Spa property and redevelopment project has eyed the winter of 2023-24 for its reopening.