25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly
Courtesy Aspen Historical Society/Keyzers Collection

A proposed bridge over Maroon Creek in the vicinity of Red Butte, west of Aspen, was under consideration a century ago. Blasting rock of the Butte to help fill in the gulch, leaving enough room for the water to pass through, was suggested. The Aspen Democrat-Times reported:

The Maroon Creek bridge proposal is interesting the people of the city and county and the opinion is universal that a definite statement should be gotten from the state highway commission by our county commissioners as to whether enough money will be appropriated by the commission to complete the sum of $12,000 necessary to build the bridge according to the plans now on file in the state engineer’s office.

Bridge plans were made, bids advertised for and a contract let for the construction of this bridge, to cost something over $12,000, but there was only a trifle over $9,000 available for the purpose and our county commissioners could not see their way clear to make up the full amount, so nothing could be done in the matter. …

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“Here’s a booster that is doing the business!” read the headline in The Aspen Democrat-Times a century ago. The newspaper reported:

W.C. Tagert, the farming implement man, is doing a humming business these nice rainy days.

The first of the week he received two carloads of farming machinery and implements, including potato diggers, potato planters, hay rakes, hay bailers, mowers, binders, hay tedders, hay stackers, planters and everything else that goes to modernize a farm and make it easier and more profitable for the farmer.

Today, Mrs. Tagert has only a few of the implements left, and for the past three days, a steady stream of farmers have been leaving his establishment with new machines of one kind or another and now they are down on the farm where they do the most good.

Billy Tagert is a booster and always keeps his eyes open for business – and he gets it!

Speeding roadsters were to return to Aspen streets 50 years ago, the City Council agreed. Such races had been banned by the governor, ending Aspen’s annual road race, but an event held in conjunction with the fully insured Colorado Region of the Sports Car Club of America was apparently OK. The Aspen Times reported:

The thunder of open exhausts and the squeal of tortured tires on sports cars fighting for position in a road race will again be head in Aspen, it was decided last evening, Thursday, July 27, at a special session of the City Council.

Meeting with members of the Aspen Sports Car Club and representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, the Restaurant and the Lodging Association, the Aldermen agreed to allow the groups to sponsor a road race on the city’s streets during the weekend of September 16 and 17.

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Local officials did not endorse coyote eradication this summer after a dog was killed by coyotes on Smuggler Mountain. A half-century ago, an effort in predator control nearly killed a dog. The Aspen Times reported:

Skipper, a nine-year-old English shepard pet of the William Anderson family is alive and healthy this week – no thanks to a predator-control cyanide charge which blasted his muzzle a week ago.

The fact that the dog survived was called a miracle by a veterinarian who cared for him. Skipper’s bloodshot eyes still show the effects of the poison but, outwardly, he is in good condition.

The dog was hit Friday, July 21, by a charge located a few feet off the Smuggler Mt. Jeep road which leads to Warren Lakes.

A well-known local died in a climbing accident 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

What began as a day of fun and mountain orientation with friends ended in tragedy for an entire community when longtime local Greg Mace died in a July 26 climbing accident on the Maroon Bells.

Mace, 42, was buried on Tuesday in a private ceremony for the family and his co-members on the Mountain Rescue Aspen team.

There will be a memorial service Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Pine Creek Cookhouse, to which the public is invited.

Mace, coordinator and 12-year member of Mountain Rescue, went up the Maroon Bells Saturday in an effort to “get reacquainted with the mountain,” recalled Mountain Rescue director Dick Arnold this week.

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Vehicle access in the Conundrum Creek Valley was at issue 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

U.S. Forest Service officials have decided to require a full Environmental Impact Statement, rather than a less exhaustive Environmental Analysis, before allowing any motorized access to a 472-acre marble mining claim in Conundrum Creek Valley.

The decision came late Wednesday after a daylong meeting at the regional forester’s office in Denver, which included representatives of the Aspen USFS office, and the offices for recreation, wilderness, land acquisition, minerals management and planning.

The question of motorized access is the sole tool the Forest Service has, under Colorado’s mining law, for regulating mining interests on legitimate claims on Forest Service lands.

Two local miners, Ed Smart and Stefan Albouy, have announced plans to open a quarrying operation above the valley floor on lands that were last mined at the beginning of the last century.