25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Could copper become king in Aspen? The Aspen Democrat-Times suggested as much a century ago:

Leadville is again coming to the front this time on account of the large copper deposits being developed on Sugar Loaf Mountain, across the valley from the Carbonate camp, at the foot of Mount Massive. This territory has been mined since the early days of Leadville and large sums of money have been expended in prospecting.

If Aspen people had the “push” and the capital of the people of our sister camp, we could open up a copper field that would rival any in the West and not any farther away from town than is Sugar Loaf from Leadville.

That there must be an enormous deposit of copper at the head of Snow Mass is thoroughly believed by all who have been in that section.

• • • •

Rooms for rent were in demand in Aspen a century ago. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

Since Aspen has been enjoying the influx of a considerable number of outside visitors, it might be offered as a suggestion that anyone having furnished rooms to rent, withour without board, could leave their names either at this office or some other well-known place.

A number of inquiries have been made at this office recently for such rooms, and if a list were available of those who have rooms to rent, it would be a great accommodation to the strangers who have come to Aspen to escape the hot weather.

There was a new place to hang out in Aspen 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Amateurs of soda fountains had another location to try this week when Walt Matthew, owner of Matthew Drug on Main Street, opened his new Sportsman’s Lunch.

The snack bar is located in a new addition added to the west side of the drug store. According to Matthew, it will permit customers to have refreshment in a more relaxed atmosphere than is available at the store’s normal lunch counter.

To celebrate the opening of his new room, Matthew has announced reduced prices on several fountain delicacies.

• • • •

Aspen was ready to experiment with a downtown mall 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Visitors to Aspen during the second week of August will find one downtown street closed to vehicular traffic, landscaped with shrubs and trees, dotted with benches and works of art, and bordered by two side-walk cafes.

The street, East Cooper between Mill and Galena, has been designated the site of an experimental City Center Mall. It will be closed to all but foot traffic from Aug. 11 through 20. If successful, the project will continue until after Labor Day.

Permission to close the street for the project was given a special committee by the City Council at tis postponed regular meeting Monday, July 10. It was made contingent on approval by adjacent property owners and by the Fire Department.

• • • •

Aspen lost a former mayor 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

One of Aspen’s best known public figures, former Mayor A. E. “Gene” Robison, died in the Pitkin County Hospital Wednesday, July 12, at 1:25 p.m.

Death was attributed to the results of a heart attack, which hospitalized Robison at 2 a.m. Saturday morning, July 8. Born in 1898, he would have been 63 on August 7.

Services will be conducted tomorrow in the Community Church. Burial will follow at the Red Butte Cemetery.

During the past 20 years, Robison served in high community government posts. During the 1930s, he served on the City Council and was appointed Mayor of Aspen in 1943 at the death of Mayor F. D. Willoughby.

He served in Aspen’s top elective post for 17 years until Jan. 1, 1960.

Aspen had a new city manager 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Now manager of Travis City, Michigan, Robert S. Anderson has been selected as Aspen’s new city manager to replace Hal Schilling, whose resignation was effective May 1.

A lengthy selection process, launched in March, soon after Schilling submitted his resignation, was concluded by the city council last Thursday, but the results were announced Monday.

Mayor Bill Stirling explained that 173 applicants for the Aspen position were narrowed down to 23 after each was asked to answer a series of questions, and six were asked to Aspen for interviews.

Monday, at an executive session, following a continued meeting, the council asked Acting City Manager Ron Mitchell to remain in his position until Anderson takes over in September.


See more