25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.Cabin fever sets in after a long winter, and it feels good to get out of town – even for a athletic event. The paper reported,Up to the time of arriving [in Basalt] the boys and especially the professor had a high old time and every farmer along the Midland route must have thought an earthquake was coming as the train rolled by. This is no insinuation that the boys were making any noise, not by any means.As soon as we discovered we would have to wait here for two hours for the eastbound train, the Aspen delegation voted to inspect the town and visit the water works and other points of interest. The editor of the Basalt Journal gave us all the information we could absorb and the Aspenites think more of Basalt than ever. The young athletes became somewhat sleepy, however, before our train came in and one by one they curled up on the soft side of the depot benches and ere long there was a sawing contest in full swing.It was a very jolly crowd that gathered at the depot last evening to say “goodbye” and “good luck” to the Aspen High school boys that departed for Boulder to take part in the state university field day exercises tomorrow. As the train pulled out, the college yells were given with a vim which made the welkin ring.Good luck to the Aspen boys. Spring had arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley as the irrigation ditches were cleaned and running with water. The paper noted,

James Vagneur came to the city yesterday from his home at Woody and will spend a few days in the city attending to business connected with the starting of the Salvation ditch [see photo].The town and its newspapers were still concerned and wrote about the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake and fire.[Aspenite] Amos Bourquin, agent for the Traders insurance company of Chicago, received word from the company yesterday that the company’s loss in the San Francisco fire mounts to $750,000; that said loss will be promptly adjusted and paid, and the company will continue in business with ample resources.Always on the lookout for a return of Aspen’s boom years, the paper reported,Beyond a doubt Aspen will see dirt flying on the state wagon road up Lincoln gulch [off Independence Pass] by the first of next month. …During the building of this road Aspen will be the natural supply point for the large force of men employed in the work, and after the road is completed there will be nothing to it. It will open up a large and rich mining territory and Aspen will be the headquarters of the district.Smile and push Aspen.

As the snow melted and the rivers rose, so did the seasonal discussion of water. The paper commented,In this issue of the Aspen Times you will see the advertisement of the Aspen Water Company, placing the restrictions upon times for irrigating. We wondered what this is all about, the why of it, when we on the Western Slope are said to have more water than we can use, so we went to the offices of the Aspen Water Company and talked with Fred Hendy, owner of the company.Yes, it’s true, there is more water than we can use, but one of the reasons we cannot use it is the size of mains just will put through so much and no more, and as the city grows, more and more people wanting more and more water, the old mains do not meet the demands of irrigation as well as home use. And while on the subject of water, the paper reported in the adjoining column,The 1956 fishing season will open on Saturday, May 19th. Fishermen [see photo], we expect this season will be the best in many years due to the efforts of the Fish and Game Department to increase the stocking program for all areas of the state.Chief of the several changes in the rules and regulations is the decision to permit 24 hour fishing or, in other words, around the clock. In previous years the hours were approximately from sunrise to 1 hour after sunset. The reasons of explanation for this night fishing is that the larger fish only feed at night, therefore by night fishing these larger fish can be taken to make room for more of the smaller fish.

The Aspen Time headline read “Private plane crashes; narcs aboard.”Three law enforcement agents on an undercover investigation and a man who reportedly claimed he was just “a hitchhiker” escaped serious injury Friday afternoon when their rented private plane crashed in a field off McLain Flats Road about a mile and half east of Sardy Field.Mark Pautler, acting director of the state’s Organized Crime Strike Force, said the three men were involved in a major investigation as part of a statewide probe. Pautler would not comment on the nature of the investigation, but a reliable source told the Aspen Times Wednesday the three investigators reportedly were carrying a briefcase full of money intended for the purchase of a large quantity of marijuana. …The three agents were taken to Aspen Valley Hospital immediately after the accident Friday but transferred to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Denver on Monday for security reasons. Paulter said the three men feared for their safety and that their lives had been threatened in Aspen. …According to Pautler, the plane crash queered the investigation and he doubted any arrests would be made.”It’s a little hard to catch ’em now,” he said, but another strike force official said the organization would attempt to salvage the investigation if possible.Pitkin County Sheriff Dick Kienast said Monday he knew the plane carrying the agents was scheduled to arrive in Aspen, but he did not know the purpose of the visit.

The seeds of the 10th Mountain Hut Association were sown 25 years ago, but a different plant was envisioned than the crop we have today.A group of Aspen residents is making progress on the establishment of a trail that would link Aspen and Vail for hikers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers.The trail would be some 50 to 60 miles long, skirting along the edge of the wilderness, with several overnight facilities along the route – some public, some commercial. …Aspen architect Fritz Benedict decided a year ago that such a system would be a good thing. …The forest service liked the idea … but said construction funds for trails were limited and that existing trails should be used as much as possible. …The huts could not be located in the wilderness. They would have to be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicles or snowmobiles with supplies. …The trail goes from Aspen up Hunter Creek to Van Horn Park along a logging road to Woody Creek.It follows Woody Creek to the confluence of Spruce Creek, then goes up Spruce Creek to Yeckel Mountain. …Recently Robert McNamara and Dr. Ben Eisman offered to build a memorial hut to the late Margaret McNamara. Both were enthusiastic about the new trail system, and anxious to provide one of the huts between Aspen and the Diamond J Ranch cross-country ski center. …The group decided to call itself the Western Slope Trail Association.

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