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25-50-100 Years ago

Sara Garton
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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.The paper reported an interruption in Aspen’s telephone service (see photo).

Joe Rodda, the popular telephone man, was kept busy yesterday repairing telephones, about four being burnt out yesterday morning. John Thorn’s phone was one of them, and while Mr. Thorn was using the phone he received quite a shock and said he thought for a minute that it was the Fourth of July as everything was in a blaze at the office, but everything was soon repaired and no damage was suffered.A wire story with a Washington, April 10, dateline announced a new national park in Colorado. The article suggests another incident of Indian giving was in the works.The senate has passed the bill creating the Verde national park in Colorado. Under its provision, that part of the southwestern part of the state, which includes the most important of the Cliff Dwellers ruins, is placed under the control of the government. The house will not pass upon the measure until it shall have received the report of Professor Hewitt, ethnologist, who is now on the ground making surveys to determine what the proposed park will include in the way of Cliff Dwellers.It is known that many more or less important Cliff dwellings lie within the boundaries of the contemplated park, but there are others of even more value and size, which lie very close to the supposed boundary line between the park and the property of the Indians.

As soon as the ski season ended 50 years ago, the Aspen community was already looking forward to improvements on Aspen Mountain for the next winter.Mr. William V. Hodges Jr., President of the Aspen Skiing Corporation, announced Monday evening after a meeting of the board of directors, that bids were being asked on a new lift for Aspen and other improvements to the Corporation’s equipment and facilities. The new lift, according to Mr. Hodges, will replace the present T-bar lift on Little Nell and extend on to the top of Bell Mountain, opening up an entirely new territory to the skiing public. …Bids are also being requested on the changes necessary to increase the capacity of the lift No. 1 (sometimes called the Big Lift). Requests have also gone out on a proposed remodeling of the Sundeck to increase the capacity of that building. When Aspen has had capacity crowds this winter, the Sundeck has been severely taxed to accommodate those who wished to rest and buy lunches there. And last but not the least of the proposed improvements will be a substantial trail improvement program that will open up the new Bell mountain area and greatly improve present trails. …Mr. Hodges stated that the business of the Skiing Corporation was about 25 percent ahead of last winter, and there was some waiting at the lifts in spite of the addition of the double chair lift finished in the fall of 1954.

Editor Bil Dunaway was in a spring-cleaning frenzy every offseason. His annual clean-up editorial in 1981 was entitled “After Years of Waiting, Buses are Washed.” For the past several years members of the city council, the public and this newspaper have complained about Aspen’s dirty shuttle buses [see photo]. The complaints became so intense that last year about this time the city and the county began discussing purchase of a $100,00 automatic washing facility. However, because of plans to construct a new bus barn and the losses which would occur if the installation had to be moved, plans for the expensive installation were shelved. …

But, as always, good things come to those who wait, and in the face of constant city council pressure, inexpensive washing equipment was ordered during the winter. … Bus washing began on March 12.It is satisfying to report that during the first month of operation 126 buses were completely washed. residents and tourists who ride them were pleased, as were those who only watch them lumber by.A longtime resident, Florence Glidden (see photo), wife of Western writer Luke Short, died. Carolyn Moore wrote in a letter to the editor,On behalf of the ladies of the Thrift Shop, I would like to express our deep sorrow over the death of our founder and dear friend, Florence “Butch” Glidden.Butch was instrumental in forming the Thrift Shop in 1949 along with three other women for the original purpose of hiring another nurse at the Aspen Valley Hospital. … We will miss her energy, her sense of humor, and her tireless effort.

Under the headline, “The Winter That Refused to Die,” the paper noted,It’s been a long, strange winter. A winter that was slow in starting and now seems determined to be equally slow in ending.A winter that began with people wistfully dreaming of a White Christmas is ending with everyone dreading the nightmare of a White Easter.It was a winter that saw virtually twice as much snow on the ski slopes as the end of March as was there at the end of January. …No final figures are in yet, but Ski Corp spokesman Jack Brendlinger estimated that the lack of snow reduced skier visits on the Corps three mountains by 23 to 25 percent and, with higher lift ticket prices in effect, reduced revenues by about 14 to 15 percent.


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