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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 Aspen Democrat announced a house move for its competitor, The Aspen Times.Our esteemed contemporary will soon change its quarters to the Morthland building [see photo] on Main street. Brother [Aspen Times editor W.S.] Copeland says he will have a nice warm office and a nice cool sanctum in the new room and will be ready to farm the farmers or to buzz the buzz saw at all times after May 1.Another house move was reported. This time, the building was picked up and moved to another lot. Could it be one of the small Victorians known today as the Conner Cabins (see photo), behind City Hall?J.Q. Connors moved a house yesterday from next to the Walsh residence on Hopkins avenue to the vacant lot opposite Julius Berg’s residence on Hopkins avenue. Mr. Connors will repair the house and take up his residence there as soon as it is completed.

The post office is always a good spot for news gathering, but this reporter made some critical remarks about his beat’s environment.Some one suggests some soap and water on the floor of the post office, combined with a little elbow grease would be good to look at instead of the present looks.and on another page …Men should not be allowed to stand in the post office and smoke cigarettes and cigars while ladies are waiting for the mail to be changed. It is anything but polite on the part of those who are so thoughtless.

A black banner across the April 19, 1906, front page read “Earthquake Deals Death.” The wire story reported,Entire city of San Francisco practically destroyed by an earthquake of three minutes’ duration at 5:15 o’clock yesterday morning. People were asleep when shock occurred and many are now insane from the horrible experience through which they passed. It is believed the mortality list will number up in the thousands. All of the city’s magnificent structures now lie in heaps of stone, brick and mortar making a scene of great devastation. The water works have been repaired but the fire is gradually spreading over the entire city. Editor Charles Dailey responded compassionately, When the news flashed over the wires yesterday announcing the terrible disaster that befell San Francisco, the little town of Aspen was still jogging along as quietly as ever with no thought of trouble, but just as soon as The Democrat bulletins were posted giving meager details of the earthquake, the entire people of this little mountain city were unanimous in expressing their sympathy for their brothers and sisters in the Coast city. … Such misfortunes as this are what makes the whole world kin, makes brothers of all men, and every man, woman and child will rally to the relief of the stricken city if relief be needed.

Aspen took charge of the community’s electric power 50 years ago. The paper reported on the takeover and an ambitious redesign for “Armory Hall,” now City Hall.Mayor A.E. Robison, who is managing the details of the transfer of the electric generating and distributing plant [see photo] from Holy Cross to the City, reports that the purchase price, $124,000, has been deposited in the bank and will be handed over to Holy Cross Electric Association. … The city has agreed to take over the office now used by Holy cross as they are closing out the Aspen office. According to present plans Holy Cross will have a meter reader and service manager in Aspen, but billing will be done in Glenwood.The city is planning on extensive remodeling of the Armory Hall to possibly house the Utility office, City Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and Music Associated with practice rooms on the second and third floors.The first detailed zoning of the city of Aspen was going to have a hearing.Aspen residents’ attention is especially directed to a “Notice” printed on another page of this issue announcing a public hearing on a proposed ordinance that will be conducted by the Planning Commission of the City Council in the County Court House.

The ordinance proposed will regulate the use of land and the area, and setback of buildings, adopting a map of said districts; providing for the adjustment, enforcement and amendments thereof; and prescribing penalties for violations.Our Mary Eshbaugh Hayes appears everywhere! The paper noted,Anyone who takes the Ladies Home Journal undoubtedly saw the little piece in last month’s by Mrs. James (Mary) Hayes. So much comment had been made in the past on her methods of transporting her two small children, a buggy for one and a side seat for the other, she enclosed a picture of same and sent it with a letter to the Journal, which magazine promptly published both.The Aspen Times welcomed some newcomers who have been residents for 50 years. Tage would be named head of the new Health Center at the Aspen Meadows, as well as a trainer for the U.S. Ski Team.Mr. and Mrs. Tage Pedersen and small daughter Sonya arrived Monday from Denmark. Mrs. Pedersen was a New England girl and met her husband while studying in Denmark back in 1951. We wish them a hearty welcome to Aspen.

Aspen has read reports of tragic mining accidents since the 1890s. This time, 25 years ago, an explosion in Carbondale’s Mid-Continent mine rocked the valley. The paper reported,Hopes for the survival of 15 miners trapped in a Mid-Continent Resources coal and coke mine by an explosion Wednesday were fading Thursday morning as rescue teams still were unable to reach the site of the explosion 17 hours after entering the mine.The chief danger to the men who were working about a mile and a half from the entrance to the company’s Dutch Creek Number One mine near Redstone appeared to be methane gas and carbon monoxide that were detected in the mine following the blast. …Crews worked through the night in four-hour shifts attempting to reach the trapped miners. Progress was slowed by the danger that their efforts could set off another explosion of the extremely volatile methane gas. They were unable to reestablish communications which had been cut off when the blast occurred. …Cause of the accident is still unknown. [Mid-Continent attorney Robert] Delaney would not confirm that the accident was a methane gas explosion, but said Dutch Creek Mine Number One had “always been a gassy area.”On Dec. 25, 1965, a methane gas explosion at the Dutch Creek Mine Number One claimed the lives of nine miners. …Delaney said that although rescue workers are about 1,000 feet from the trapped miners, they are not expected to reach them until 3 p.m. today [Thursday, April 16] and that it would be at least 5 p.m. before the miners could be evacuated. …

The accident is the second this year in a Mid-Continent mine. On Feb. 25, a 25-year-old apprentice miner from Glenwood Springs died from upper body injuries after he was crushed by a continuous miner in the LS Wood Number Three Mine near Redstone.Aspen sent five eggs for President Reagan’s Easter basket. The paper reported,The 1981 Easter Egg Roll will include a few new events the White House hopes will become part of the annual celebration.For the first time, American artists have been invited to paint or decorate wooden egg replicas for a representative display at the White House during the egg roll. Approximately 75 artists were asked to submit eggs for the exhibit, including Aspen-area artists Dick Carter, Michael Cleverly, Tom Benton, Lorraine Shirkus and Jeffrey Moore.The White House also asked for eggs from Peter Max, Andy Warhol, Fritz Scholder, Helen Frankenthaler, Eric Sloane, Robert Motherwell, Roy Lichtenstein, Lester Johnson, Will Barnett, cartoonist Charles Schultz, and a host of other leading American artists. …Cleverly split the egg in half, painted a photo-realistic image of a woman [see photo] as seen from behind on one half, and a silhouette or “negative image” on the other half. …Moore decided to alter the shape of the egg. He divided the wooden replica into four segments [see photo], fanned them out slightly from a center axis, and covered all exposed surfaces with abstractions of aerial maps.

Aspen developer Hans Cantrup had purchased the Aspen Institute and Meadows campus; a development plan was scheduled to go before City Council on April 20. The Music Associates of Aspen board members were worried, the paper reported, “We’re really in seious trouble,” MAA board member Charlie Paterson told Aspen’s city council and electoral hopefuls at a Wednesday meeting.Briefing them on the “very serious problem of finding a location for the music festival,” Paterson and other MAA board members made no effort to soften the news that the present music tent is in jeopardy and hinges on the plans of Hans Cantrup. …The yet-unrevealed plan has the MAA concerned, a worry expressed by Jim Chaffin, who said “our biggest problem is that we just don’t know his plans.” The problem is that the present 1,600-seat tent is both too small and too old to adequately serve the ever-growing festival, and the MAA has apparently exhausted other efforts to find alternative sites. …City council members pointed out, however, that the situation is not entirely bleak, because the city of Aspen must approve Cantrup’s plans.


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