25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Compiled by Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Weekly

Courtesy Aspen Historical Society

The local newspaper lobbied Aspen to host a camping trip by members of “the fourth estate” a century ago. Wrote The Aspen Democrat-Times offered this suggestion:

On the opposite side of this page you will find a “corn-fed trout story” by a member of the Denver Press Club and it is the forerunner of what may be expected from the newspaper boys when speaking or writing of their first summer camp on the Gunnison River.

What’s the matter with sending in an invitation for the Press Club to come to Aspen next summer.

We have the fish and the other attractions to engage and entertain the pencil pushers.

To be sure, our fish are not “corn fed,” but they have been known to live on “Melwood” for weeks at a time and this diet makes them unusually frisky and ready to meet any old sport that belongs to the Denver Press Club.

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There was also this item in the Democrat-Times:

It is reported the Smuggler Leasing company is about to put up a sawmill at the mouth of the Cowenhoven tunnel and will push the bore as fast as possible in the direction of Lenado and will also work several properties along the line, among them the Bushwacker and Homestead.

It is also understood the company will put an electric pump in the Mollie Gibson and unwater that property, when development work will begin.

This is surely a noise like going some and it is to be hoped the reports are true.

Aspen is not dead yet by several thrills.

The Aspen airport was expected to see increased use, according to a report issued 50 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

Sardy Field, sometimes known as Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, will have a mild growth from now until 1966, a five-year forecast of airports in the state by the Federal Aviation Agency shows.

The report, revealed by Senator John Carroll, D-Colo., in Senate testimony in favor of the amendment of the Federal Airport Act, was conservative for most airports individually, but showed a considerable increase in the use of airports for the state as a whole.

Eleven aircraft were based at Sardy Field last year, the report said. Thirteen planes are predicted for 1966.

The field served 7,000 passengers in 1960. An estimate of the 1966 traffic was not given.

Last year, the runway was 5,200 feet long. FAA said the length will be 7,200 feet in 1966.

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Aspen was chosen to host world championship ski racing in the winter of 1961-’62. The Aspen Times reported:

Aspen, the birthplace of professional ski racing last winter, will be the site of the world championship in February, 1962, the International Professional Ski Racing Assn., announced recently.

Slalom championships are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 9 and the giant slalom event is set for the following Sunday. There will be no downhill, IPSRA said, “as this is not considered a good spectator event.”

Both races will come down the lower slopes of Aspen Mountain and finish on the FIS slalom slope and the Willoughby Jump.

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The Aspen Skiing Corp. reported record profits 50 years ago. According to The Aspen Times:

The highest gross income ever recorded for a year of operation, net earnings up $17,168 from the previous year and a hint of future lift construction were revealed in the 1960-61 annual report of the Aspen Skiing Corp., published in mid-August.

Boosted by higher lift rates last winter, total income amounted to $647,913 – $81,267 more than the previous year’s $566,646. [A total of] $613,124 was derived from ski-lift ticket sales at Aspen Mountain, compared to $545,169 the year before.

Other income came from commissions and rentals from the Aspen Ski School, operations at Buttermilk Mountain and the Sundeck, sale of fixed assets and miscellaneous sources.

Revenue from lift tickets has increased over 17 times the $34,903 sales for the first year of business in 1947 during the 15 years the skiing corporation has been in existence, the report showed.

Twenty-five years ago, mountain bikers were headed from Crested Butte to Aspen. The Aspen Times reported:

This Saturday there will be a subtle invasion in Aspen.

Streaming across Pearl Pass like the hordes of ancient Mongols will come the Crested Butteicians and Californians on their fat tire bikes. And with them will come an annual event, the Pearl Pass Fat Tire Bike Tour.

Mothers, keep your daughters indoors. The Pearl Pass Tour has been known to bring some seedy characters to town, bedecked in mud-splattered riding shorts and odd-looking outfits, mostly accumulated from third-rate thrift shops.

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The work of a master was on exhibit in Aspen 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported:

The Aspen Art Museum will present a collection of 67 of Rembrandt van Rijn’s etchings from the Kunstlerhaus Society of Austrian Visual Artists in Vienna, Austria.

This collection, which will be open for a special public viewing today, Thursday, Sept. 18, from 6-8 p.m., will be on display through October 26. It was assembled initially by the Viennese Biedermeier painter Johann Mathias Ranftl (1805-1854). …

This exhibition is important because it displays the virtuoso talent of Rembrandt as an etcher, and is a glimpse into the psychology of a nineteenth century artist-collector.