25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

courtesy Aspen Historical SocietyThis pack train on Richmond Hill (see 1905) was probably heading to the smelter in Aspen loaded with ore from the Little Annie Mine.

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.Before today’s Rural and Remote zoning regulations, there was a boarding house on the backside of Aspen Mountain. The paper announced new caretakers for the miners,Tom Robbins and his wife leave today for the Little Annie mine on Richmond hill [see photo], where they go to take up their permanent residence, Mr. Robbins and wife having decided to take charge of the Little Annie boarding house. The opening up of the mine on a larger scale and the resumption of the mill work, together with the number of extra men working their claims on the hill makes the boarding house a necessity, and Mr. and Mrs. Robbins are congratulated on securing the place.An Aspen sportsman secured a cozy new rug for the coming winter as the paper reported, Word has been received from Ed Hanna, who is now enjoying country life on the White river, that he is enjoying the time of his life hunting and fishing. One very interesting experience he has enjoyed since being there happened last week while out hunting. He had tracked a fine cinnamon bear for some distance and finally came upon his game and landed Mr. Bear. The animal was a beautiful specimen and weighed about 900 pounds and to prove to his Aspen friends his success as a hunter, he will have the hide dressed and brought home.Even more Aspen sportsmen would dream during the winter of catching a big one next summer, as the paper noted,

This morning the Commercial club will receive 200,000 trout from the United State hatchery at Leadville. A team will be donated by each of the livery stables [to transport the fish] … the trout will be placed in the streams today.This will be a big lift for the streams contiguous to Aspen and in a year or two, fishing will be better than ever. The Commercial club deserves much credit for this and all should assist the club to make our streams the best fishing in the state by obeying strictly the fishing laws.Jenny Adair, the spunky woman who owned a sawmill and had prior run-ins with the law, was facing the magistrate again. And again, Jenny was excused. The case of the people, against Jennie Adair on the charge of larceny, she being accused of stealing windows, came up for hearing in Justice Sanders’ court yesterday afternoon. … After having the evidence the jury were out for almost an hour and returned a verdict of not guilty, the defendant being discharged.Boys will be boys …A number of people who were passing along Hyman avenue yesterday morning were startled to see three small boys about 8 or 9 years enjoying a very perilous sport, which consisted of their running along the point of the roof of one of the buildings. The roof is very steep and the least misstep would have precipitated the lads to the stone sidewalk below. The parents of these youths should stop this method of having fun. The newspaper took every opportunity to shout out a cheer for the community.

Another switch engine and crew for Aspen. …The fact that the samplers and mills are running night and day, the mines are working large shifts of men, tons upon tons of ore and concentrates being shipped, the railroad companies have found they cannot handle the increased business with one switch engine.Whoop ‘er up for dear old Aspen for she is all right.Her mine owners are all right.Her mines are all right.Her mills are all right.Her people are all right.ASPEN IS ALL RIGHT!

Another component of the Aspen Idea: Mind, Body and Spirit was about to be realized,Ground was broken last Monday for the new $250,000 Aspen Health Center Building located on the high point overlooking the junction of the Roaring Fork River and Castle Creek. …Mr. Walter Paepcke, president of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies, which organization will operate the Health Center as a part of the Institute program, turned the first shovel of earth signaling that start of construction that is expected to be complete and in operation by or before June 1. Mr. Paepcke explained that the Health Center is a non-profit organization that would deal only with basically well business officials who are run down and are in need of physical rehabilitation. Corrective measures concerning diet, exercise with rest combined with therapeutic baths, massage, bathing and outdoor activities will be stressed. Officials can take with them a plan for a physical fitness program that they can practice every day of the year.The Aspen Times learned about the possibility of more additions to the Meadows campus through a story in a Front Range newspaper. The Times reported,Aspen’s edition of the Rocky Mountain News received Thursday morning boldly stated in the front page headlines that Aspen was to have a University.The story on Page 8 revolved around the statement by Mr. Walter P. Paepcke that plans were still in the making and that probably within 3 or 4 years the dream would be a fact.The beginning of the housing crunch may have started 50 years ago, as the paper reported,The representatives of the Music Associates of Aspen, Inc., were informed that the following resolution had been adopted by the Board of Directors of the Aspen Co.”Resolved that the Directors of the Aspen Co. have concluded not to enter into a new agreement with the Music Associates of Aspen for the summer of 1956.”The agreement in question involved the rental of properties owned by the Aspen Co., including the Roaring Fork, the Prince Albert, the Brand Building and the Wheeler Opera House. The representatives of Music Associates of Aspen expressed their regret at this decision and indicated they were prepared to make other arrangements.

Down but not out, the Music Associates forged ahead with its reorganization, separate from the Aspen Institute.At a meeting of the Board of Trustees and the Administrative Board of the Music Associates of Aspen held last week, it was decided to concentrate the full administrative activities of both the school and festival into one office. In this connection, Mr. Norman Singer was asked to be principal administrator as Executive Director and Dean of School for 1956.

The controversy over the renovation of the Wheeler Opera House inspired an Aspen Times’ editorial to remark,Architectural plans for the restoration of the Wheeler Opera House [see drawing], presented last week by William Kessler and Associates of Detroit to the Wheeler Renovation Commission and Aspen City Council, are not in keeping with the historic character of the 1889 building.Granted, the plans for the theater do well in keeping the original sweep of the balcony.However, the two massive cylindrical columns on either side of the stage (replacing the original boxes and columns) are not true to the spirit of the fragile Victorian theater. They would be more appropriate in a 1930s art deco design.Nor are plans for the exterior with the warped plane curving away from the existing facade in keeping with the rectangular character of the building. …City council members should heed the report commissioned by the city last summer from the Harry Weese Architectural firm of Chicago.The report stated, “Every reasonable effort should be made to provide compatible use which require minimal alteration to the building. … Aspen has a real gem in the Wheeler Opera House. Its restoration needs to be carried out sensitively.”The Roaring Fork Dog Show and Obedience Trials (see photos) was a late-summer event for more than 10 years. It was held on the Aspen Middle School track in 1980. The paper reported,Strutting through their show paces last Saturday were dogs of all shapes and sizes, breeds and nationalities.Nearly 1,000 dogs representing 108 breeds competed in the fourth annual Roaring Fork Dog Show and Obedience Trials.The Best in Show category was won by Champion Big Drum Close Call vs Westphal, a smooth coated dachshund owned by the Sidney Sims of Houston, Texas.Scoring highest in the obedience trial was Goldentoes Just Ducky, a golden retriever owned by Ann Coutett of Georgetown, Colo. The dog, a puppy, scored 198 points out of a possible 200. …Because of a Roaring Fork Kennel Club decision that members running the show would not enter their own dogs, the number of local entries was down.Locals who won ribbons included Nancy Miller for Samoyeds, Mary and Bryce Biddlecome for German shepherds, and Ann Marie Callahan for Junior Showmanship.Entries came from most of the western and southern states and as far away as Alaska, Canada and New England.Western Slope residents have long been concerned about water diversion from their rivers. Desperate times may call for desperate measures, as the paper reported, It would be economically feasible to purchase the Ruedi dam and reservoir, but there are doubts about the political or legal feasibility of such an action.

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This was reported to the city council and board of county commissioners Monday by its water consultant John Musick, who also presented a revised copy of a memorandum of understanding sent to the state water conservation board concerning Ruedi water sales. Musick had been requested at the last council meeting to look into the economic feasibility of purchasing the dam and reservoir from the federal government for an estimated $9.7 million.He told the council that a bond issue to pay the government for the facility could be amortized from sale of water without jeopardizing the minimum pool needed for recreation. …However, he questioned the political feasibility of the purchase, adding that government restrictions might preclude an owner from making a profit on the water sales, thus placing the legal feasibility in doubt as well.Our present district attorney is under fire, but at least The Aspen Times’ cartoon lizard didn’t toss his tail in the fray, as he did in 1980. District Attorney Charles Leidner, who is thus far unopposed in his bid for re-election, may face stiff opposition from independent candidate Sal A Mander, a veteran of three prior campaigns. …Contacted at the Times, the lizard said it would be “un-American to let Chuck run unopposed.””A lot of people, including me, are unhappy with his performance and want to protest,” Mander said.Mander will be the nominee of the recently formed Party to Unelect Chuck Leidner. …Mander has run for sheriff of Pitkin County, mayor of Aspen, and governor of Colorado. …”One of the lizard’s slogans is, “Our candidate may be a cartoon character, but he’s no joke. Our opponent is a joke, but he’s not funny.”