25-50-100 years ago
Copies of The Aspen Times from October 1903 until 1911 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.Today we are concerned about anthrax contamination; 100 years ago it was brightly colored mittens and gloves. The paper warned,Parents having children who wear brightly colored gloves and even the older folks should be very careful not to become poisoned from the coloring in the gloves, as it might cause serious trouble. Master Frank Gilbert is recovering from a very bad case of poisoning in both his hands, resulting from wearing red gloves. For some time his hands were very sore and badly broken out, necessitating special care.In celebration of our first president’s birthday, the paper noted in the Feb. 21 edition. Interesting and appropriate exercises were held in most of the schools yesterday. …At the Lincoln school [see photo] there were many visitors to listen to a program of twenty-eight numbers rendered by the third grade under the charge of Miss Higinbotham. Hatchets and cherry trees were very much in evidence and the day was most fittingly celebrated. George Washington will ever be the popular hero of the primary pupil. Tomorrow night, the anniversary of Washington’s birth, will be fittingly celebrated by the Pitkin Miners’ union No. 6 W.F.M. by a grand ball at the Armory [now City Hall].
The ladies of the Episcopal church will have charge of the refreshments and during the ball a sumptuous supper will be served in the dining room of the Armory. … If you want to be in the swim and show your patriotism, secure your tickets at once and dance with the men who wield the “single-jack” tomorrow night. Aspen has long been renown for fine dining. Local Epicureans were delighted to read,J.F. Purcell, a well known and highly recommended chef of Denver arrived in the city yesterday on the Grande and has taken charge of the culinary department of the Hotel Jerome. His wife, Mrs. Purcell, accompanied him and will have charge of the dining room work. Both are recommended and will no doubt give satisfaction to the patrons of the hotel. The dining room, which has been closed for months, has all been cleaned and neatly arranged again and will this morning be opened up for the first time since the new management took charge. There is no doubt of the success which will now attend the hotel as everything is to be managed to the best interest of all patrons.”The street commissioner is always active and ready,” noted the paper, preparing for the spring thaw.Anticipating the trouble which would have occurred if the ditches [see photo] were not open to allow the overflow of water which will now be in order owing to the present warm weather, a number of men have been put to work clearing out the snow and ice from the ditches, ready for an emergency.
It was Roch Cup race weekend! The paper reported, The Roch Cup race will be run minus its normal complement of international class racers due to the forthcoming Olympic Tryouts in the East, but competition will be no less than usual with a strong field of very promising young racers entered. … All that remains is the starter’s signal.Tonight the race meeting will held in the Bamboo Room of the Hotel Jerome at 8:30. … Friday at 10:30 a.m. the Giant Slalom will begin – it being set by Fred Iselin on Ruthie’s Run. Saturday the Slalom will be run at the F.I.S. slope at 10 a.m. The course is being set by the old master, Fiedl Pfeifer. Saturday at 4:30 a calcutta Pool for the winner of the Downhill will be run off at the Golden Horn by Steve Knowlton and Wes Thorpe. Free cocktails will be served courtesy of the Aspen Ski Club and all are invited to attend.Sunday, the Downhill will begin at 10:30 a.m. The course set by former F.I.S. racer, Peter Seibert, will be on the F.I.S. hill, down into the Dam and through Spar Gulch, ending at Collins Gulch.Sunday night the Racers’ Banquet [see photo] will begin at 6:30 in the Hotel Jerome’s Blue Room.A meeting of the 1955 Wintersköl Committee of the Aspen Chamber of Commerce was reported by the paper.[T]he Finance Committee were more than pleased to learn that Wintersköl ended with a balance something greater than the 37 cents with which they started the season.Constructive suggestions were heard for the improvement of Wintersköl 1956. Among the ideas offered were:• That Wintersköl be only one weekend rather than the nine days it has been for the past five years.• Events looked upon with favor were the Torchlight descent and fireworks display, hockey game, some skating event, parade, dog team races, play, variety show and oldtimers party.• To eliminate the Ski Queen Contest as it has been run and have in its place a contest for a Ski Queen, with entries only from Aspen.• To keep the bells on cars idea and the stocking caps and crazy hats ideas, to have stars for the window decorations made well in advance and sold to the householders.
• That window painting either be done completely, and in the same style as in previous seasons, or eliminated.Whew … that was a close call. We’re glad this vivacious couple is still with us.Mr. and Mrs. Art Pfister badly damaged their new Cessna 180 plane which had only 8 hours flying time logged when landing at the Aspen Airport last Monday morning.The Pfisters were coming home from a trip to Wichita, Kansas. They let down at the airport and their wheels sank into nearly 18 inches of snow which flipped their plane completely over, landing on its top side. Mr. and Mrs. Pfister were unhurt as they had their regular safety belts as well as shoulder straps securely fastened. The plane suffered considerable damage.
Mary Eshbaugh Hayes wrote dejectedly about the end of an institution on Aspen Mountain.Aspen Mountain will never be the same.Because Gretl’s restaurant won’t be there anymore.It’s been the place to have strudel, to have lunch and meet friends on the mountain for the past 13 years. It won’t be there anymore because Gretl Uhl, the proprietress has decided that the Aspen Skiing Corporation has given her a contract she can’t accept. And rather work in a situation where she feels she can’t win, she’d rather quit. …Gretl told me that she preferred not to comment on the specifics that bothered her in the contract, so later I asked Jerry Blann, vice president and general manger of the Ski Corp.And he answered, “We asked her to supply her own snowcat for transporting supplies to and from the restaurant. Up until now we had a double standard on the mountains. The other restaurants had to supply their own snowcats … we are trying to standardize our contracts with the restaurants.” More Aspen Mountain news was in the paper.An attempt by the Aspen Ski Club to acknowledge large contributions became a center of controversy this week.With the blessing of the Aspen Skiing Corp., the names of contributors were posted on lift towers near the top of Lift No. 3 on Aspen Mountain. Although some skiers did not object, others felt that the stickers placed on the towers, in gold, silver, or bronze for the amount of the contributions, are too flashy or tacky.Within minutes of their application, many were scratched and off the poles by indignant passing skiers.The changes on Aspen Mountain didn’t cease. The paper reported,Curt Chase, director of the Aspen Ski School for 16 years, this week announced a major change in the concept of ski school operation on Aspen Mountain.As of March 1, daily ski school classes for intermediate and advanced skiers will no longer be available on Aspen Mountain.
Instead, the ski school will offer two three-day programs a week, starting at 11 a.m. each Monday and Thursday at the ski school meeting place in Tourtelotte Park. The lessons will be called “Mountain Masters.”Groups will follow a clinic format, stressing skill development and continuity. …Top instructors will still be available for private lesson clients, and private classes will be scheduled on demand.In addition to changes on the slopes, there was a disagreement between the owner of Aspen Mountain mining claims and the operator of the ski runs on top of them.The Smuggler-Durant Mining Corp., owner of several mining claims on Aspen Mountain, has sued the Aspen Skiing Corp. in District Court in Denver in a dispute over rental of those claims.The Aspen Skiing Corp. has leases running through the year 2015 on Smuggler-Durant Mining Corp. claims totaling 170 acres.The mining company claims the Skiing Corp. underpaid them since 1966.The Skiing Corp. admits that eight claims were left out of the lease in 1966, but says it was inadvertent.The Skiing Corp. was paying Smuggler-Durant $100 a year for the use of its land before 1966, and has paid $20,00 a year since then.
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