25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

A turn-of-the-century Aspen pooch was as beloved as our dogs are today. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Microfilms of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 are missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1905 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.Aspen has always loved its animals (see photo). A long article with the simple headline “Veterinary” was written by a reporter who enjoyed hanging out on the streets of town, the main source of news in Aspen 100 years ago. As in 2006, the line between science and religion was often blurred. The Aspen public has little knowledge of the science of the treatment of domestic animals in its midst. It may be surprising to the public here to learn that this science has reached a high standard recognized all over the Western slope. … On the streets yesterday a little knot of horsemen were discussing the science of cure among animals. The question came up to the veterinary: “What proportion is the cures among animals, that is, do those of the split hoof recover more easily than the horse?” The veterinary was Sherm Smelling of the Hart stables. He replied:”The ruminant animal we seldom lose. The horse, subject to labor and abuse, is much like a human being, subject to the same diseases.” …The reporter, having no horses, and remembering what the scientists were discussing, whether or no the animal was immortal, asked the question.Of course there was for a moment confusion, but Mr. Smelling replied: “I don’t know much about that; I hardly believe they have souls, never having seen one. But animals have instinct and intelligence.”One of the crowd happened to be a Harvard man and graduating in the divinity school at Andover. He caught the subject and said:”Well, sir, if animals are endowed primarily with instinct by their creator and then gain intelligence during this life, then it follows that they must continue to go onward to life everlasting.”The succinctness of the answer seemed to end this phase of the subject because the reporter knew little of theology and biology.

Aspen’s spiritual life thrived with many churches in the community, and a big part of its social life was the church.Evangelist Dr. Martin Armstrong of Baldwin, Kansas, and J.D. McClosky, a noted singer of Boaz, Alabama, are holding revival services at the Methodist church every night. The services will probably last for several weeks, and so far the attendance has been very good and much interest manifested by those present. Everybody is urged to come out and participate in the services. You will enjoy the singing as you do the sermon.There were several column briefs concerning work at the Smuggler Mine, as the paper never ceased boosting a return to the boomtown era.When the Smuggler mine ceased work last year to retimber the shaft, it is stated that three hundred men were on the rolls of the company. On the 15th the mine will start up with a much larger force.The Smuggler mine management has about completed the new ore bins. Many have asked what the imposing framework meant, and it develops that the Smuggler is preparing for an immense output for this year.The thirty thousand dollar dividend paid in the expiring month of 1905 by the Smuggler mine has simply whetted the shareholders’ appetite, and the management has pledged itself for a continuance of the same. This mine always paid a half million in dividends each year, and there is no reason why it should not resume the old dividend order.

Aspen’s renaissance was noted by a trusted reference for businesses and credit ratings, Dun & Bradstreet. The paper reported,When people talk about Pitkin County growth, they are usually thinking about population growth – but the number of business firms is rapidly growing too.This was indicated in a nose count of commercial firms in Pitkin County from the November Reference Book of Dun & Bradstreet, Inc.”There are 23 more business concerns in Pitkin County today than there were six years ago,” says F.B. Harrison, District Manager of the Denver office of Dun & Bradstreet. Basing his facts upon the figures in the November Reference Book, Harrison points out that in 1950, 55 businesses were listed by Dun & Bradstreet; today there are 78 enterprises – a 51.8 per cent increase.”The Reference Book lists commercial enterprise – manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and other businesses, generally those buying regularly on credit. It does not, however, include some service and professional establishments, such as real estate brokers, barber and beauty shops, stockbrokers and similar persons and firms. Including these, the business population would be much higher. There was an update on fundraising for the “Gilhooie,” a contraption to scrape snow from the popular outdoor ice-skating rink.The Gilhooie Fund, swelled by the very generous donations of Aspen residents, reached its goal last weekend a little bit over.Individual contributions amounted to $199.90 and the Thrift Shop graciously gave $150 plus $28.14 collected from the boxes this week making a total of $378.14. The Gilhooie cost is $350, leaving a balance of $28.04. The boxes will be left around town and any future donations will be greatly appreciated for the purchase of a new recording machine looms as the next big item needed at the rink. A twenty-five foot length of hose has been ordered, and don’t be misled by the spring weather, for the skating is fine and the rink running full time every night. Even before Colorado Mountain College, adult education was wanted in the community. The paper reported,Several people have expressed the desire for an evening (adult) class in typewriting or Spanish. An organizational meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the school.Since there is a limited number of typewriters, the class will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You should also have access to a typewriter for practice at home. Anyone interested should please call Mrs. Henry Stein, phone 2461.

Records were set for this 2005 holiday season, and The Aspen Times reported high numbers for the 1985 holidays.The snow may be thin and business this week may be a little slow, but crowds in Aspen for the Christmas-New Year’s holiday reached near-record proportions, according to figures released by the Aspen Skiing Corporation.Skier days for the week after Christmas (Dec. 28 to Jan. 3 to be exact) were up 4.5 percent over last year, with 84,358 skiers hitting the slopes in those seven days this year, compared to 80,895 last year, according to Jack Brendlinger of the Ski Corp. This was, however, down from a high of 92,807 skier days over Christmas week in 1979. …Brendlinger admitted that the skier totals for the entire month of December are down about 18 percent from last year, which he blames on the late openings and snow shortage.The Christmas week, however, did include two record-setting days for the Aspen Ski School, which handled a total of 11,478 students, up 31 percent from 8,779 last year. …

Brendlinger said he is working to counteract reports of poor skiing in Colorado which have been given out by the national news media. He noted that many TV reports are referring to Steamboat and Breckenridge (which closed down last week) as the typical Colorado areas, although skiing here is much better than at other Colorado resorts.Today he sends The Aspen Times dispatches from Spain, but 25 years ago Moorage Smith cautioned readers about oil shale extraction in Colorado.Colorado residents have good reason to be apprehensive about oil shale development, former Aspenite Morgan Smith, now Colorado Commisssioner of Agriculture, stated recently.In a recent article sent to area newspapers, Smith praised Mexico for having decided to exploit its new oil and gas discoveries “prudently rather than with wild abandon.””Many Coloradoans would like to see a similar policy in regard to oil shale development here and fear the disruptiveness of a crash program,” Smith wrote. … “The Western Slope’s population is now about 168,000 … it would increase to 554,000 by the year 2,000. In addition, four new megawatt equivalent power plants would be required and 60,000 new houses. Water consumption would be increased by 185,000 acre feet per year. One of the biggest unknowns is the future labor supply. How many workers will be required, where will they be trained and what impact will this have on other sectors of the economy, like agriculture? …”We need to assert ourselves soon – through a strengthening of the severance tax this session, for example. Otherwise, Colorado’s opportunity to control its destiny and future will begin to slip away from us,” Smith stated.Anderson Ranch Arts Center, founded in 1966, was flourishing (see photo) in 1986. Mary Eshbaugh Hayes wrote,With snow covering the rustic log cabins, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass looks like a serene Christmas card.

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