25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com
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25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton
There were numerous snowslides on Aspen Mountain in spring 1906. Many were in the vicinty of the Durant Mine. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)
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Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.As spring arrived in the Rockies, snow slid down the mountains. Every day in mid-March the paper reported new avalanches and new damage, from both slides and heavy, wet storms.A snowslide came down in the vicinity of the Durant mine [see photo] Tuesday night and carried away the house occupied by John Madison, who has resided there for a number of years. Mr. Madison was asleep at the time the slide came down, but escaped unharmed. He was obliged to come to town to remain for the remainder of the night.

There was a large snowslide at Coal Basin Thursday which almost swept the camp off the map. The company grocery store containing several thousand dollars’ worth of merchandise was carried away.A large snowslide came down yesterday morning up Castle creek near the bridge and filled the creek with snow, causing the water to run out in the road.The Smuggler and Hunter creek mills closed down yesterday as they had no power to run on account of the snowslides which filled the creeks and shut off the water.A large snowslide came down on the road Wednesday night between the Burns shaft and town, and the employees were unable to work yesterday. A number of men were busy yesterday shoveling [see photo] through the slide. The snow was twenty feet deep on the road.

The roof on the old Times office on Cooper avenue fell in yesterday morning owing to the heavy fall of snow.Dick Pierce arrived in the city yesterday from Ashcroft with his horses, being compelled to leave his wagons on account of the heavy snow. Mr. Pierce left the city the first of the week for Ashcroft with supplies.Snowslides are all the go these days. No less than ten came down West Aspen mountain yesterday. No damage was done, however. Plunging down from precipitous cliffs that line the Crystal River railroad between Carbondale and Redstone, a snowslide swept a freight train from the track near Janeway last night. The engine was completely buried. The caboose was rolled over and over, torn from the train and carried a hundred feet into a gulch. Notwithstanding there were twenty-five men, a woman and a child in it, none were hurt.The same slide swept out the lower floor of the Colorado Supply company’s store. An employee, in bed on the upper floor, slept through the fearful crash and only became aware of his danger when townsmen arrived. He escaped uninjured.

Fifty years ago springtime was ski-racing time in Aspen. The race for the Roch Cup (see photo) was front-page news.The annual Andre Roch Cup Race will be run here this weekend with more than 50 entered in the race at this writing.The Giant Slalom will be run Friday at 10:30 a.m. on Ruthie’s Run with Dick Durrance setting the course.The Slalom will be run Saturday at 10 on the FIS Slalom hill with the course being set by Friedl Pfeifer.The Downhill will be run Sunday at 10:30 and this course will be set by Leftie McDonald.The banquet will be on Sunday evening at the Red Onion to which all competitors are invite free, all others will pay $2.50.

“For a long while Aspen has been needing a regular civic entertainment feature,” wrote The Aspen Times, and went on to note,An organization, known as Aspen Community Productions Ltd., has been formed to present twice monthly a Variety Shown in the Opera House. The first performance will be Friday evening, co-starring Reginald Kell and Freddie Fisher.Mr. Kell has long been established as the world’s foremost clarinetist. … Mr. Kell is a permanent resident, only leaving here for special concerts and recording appointments. Freddie Fisher has for years been the idol of Dixieland fans everywhere. Fisher has refused a multitude of offers to resume his career in the entertainment field because he prefers living in Aspen. … Fisher is coaching a group of young Aspen musicians, who have called themselves “The Wolverines.” This youth movement will be featured on the program and will accompany Freddie in his Dixieland capers.

There were accolades for Aspen following World Cup week. In a letter to the editor, Tage Pedersen wrote in 1981 what could have been written in 2006 after X Games Ten.In magnitude this was the biggest World Cup race of the season. Normally a race consists of one or two events for either men or women. Aspen hosted five races in four days, for both men and women, only one event short of a world championship. The great enthusiasm expressed by the spectators, the triumph for American skiing, the media recognition of Aspen around the world, the business generated – all point toward encouraging the sponsors to push ahead in making a World Cup race an annual event as it is in many major European ski resorts.

No more trips to Washington by Aspen citizens advocating lower rates to ski National Forest Service land. The paper reported, Ski lift ticket price increases will no longer be reviewed by the federal government, it was announced yesterday by forest service officials in Denver.The forest service has been reviewing increases of lift ticket prices since 1977, when President Carter announced wage and price guidelines. …”We found that ski areas are setting prices which are reasonable and that there is no need for the federal government to get involved,” [John] Korb [a forest service spokesman] said. “If a ski area runs its price up, we feel the marketplace will take care of it.” The forest service owns about 90 percent of skiing terrain developed by commercial ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains and in California.


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