25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton
As the weather warmed, Aspenites enjoyed picnics at Stillwater in 1906. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.Death is the great equalizer, as the paper reported,Today is Memorial Day, a day set apart for services in honor of our dead soldiers. In all cities of this great nation the old soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Ladies of the G.A.R. and the Relief Corps are strewing the graves of our departed defenders with beautiful flowers and holding memorial services in all the houses of worship.Throughout this broad land of ours, those who followed the fortunes of the Stars and Stripes and the Stars and Bars are side by side decorating the graves of those who fell in the battles of the Civil War without one thought of who wore the Blue and who wore the Gray.

Aspen was on the circuit for traveling carnivals, performing-animal acts, stage productions, and fencing and boxing competitions. The paper noted,The merry-go-round has arrived in town, struck up its machinery, coaches and horses, put its music box in tune and was doing a land office business last evening shortly after 8 o’clock in the vacant lot next to the Jerome hotel. The children were out in force and the elders were also there to look after the children (?). This is an old but popular form of amusement dear to a child’s heart and it is safe to predict the owners of the concern will reap a harvest of nickels.The paper reported on more outdoor amusements with warm weather returning to the valley.Yesterday a jolly crowd spent the day picnicking at Stillwater [see photo] and a very pleasant time was had in fishing and other outdoor sports. Several of the crowd caught some nice trout, and many had trout for supper last evening and some will enjoy the fish this morning for breakfast.The paper also announced the first event of Aspen’s summer racing season (see photo) on Memorial Day. The directors of the Aspen Driving Park Association held a meeting yesterday afternoon. … The following events have been arranged:Harness Race, best three in five, free-for-all, trot or pace. Purse $50: $30 to first, $15 to second, $5 to third.

Cowboy race, one-half mile dash. Purse $25: $15 to first, $7.50 to second, $2.50 to third.The paper praised “A Good Officer” who impounded a horse.Charles B. Lee, of tonsorial fame, is making a record as the best Humane officer Aspen has ever had.Not a thing passes his observation, and last Saturday he took a horse that had been tied to a hitching post nearly all day without anything to eat and fed the animal at one of our livery stables. When the owner of the neglected animal was ready to go home he couldn’t find his horse. Finally he discovered what had become of the animal and called on Mr. Lee with the idea that he could run a bluff, but he was mistaken as Charlie is all wool and a yard wide and built from the ground up. The whole thing resulted in the fact that the horse got one good square meal and the owner had to foot the bill. Moral – Feed your horse and you will not be bothered by Mr. Lee.While we are on the subject, we will add a line to the effect that if any of the boys are caught killing the birds or robbing their nests they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law by Mr. Lee. The statute deals very harshly with all violators of this kind. Look out, boys, and leave the birds to fulfill the mission intended.

The Aspen Times introduced its new owner and publisher to its readers.Mr. William R. Dunaway, new owner of the Aspen Times, will take possession of the property Friday, June 1, as announced in the May 17 issue. The past three weeks have been spent in getting equipment and supplies in order to change the size of the Times from 6 columns by 20 inches to a 5 column by 16 inches tabloid.The mast head has been redesigned to be more in keeping with the new size, and many new features are planned to make the Times even more interesting than in the past. Before purchasing the Times Dunaway was the managing editor of National Skiing, the country’s largest ski publication, in Denver. While working there he spent many weekends skiing at Aspen and it was on one such weekend that the sale of the newspaper was contracted.A member of the 10th Mountain Division stationed at Camp Hale during the war, the new Times owner was a frequent visitor to our resort when on pass. …Following the war, during which he was a skiing and mountaineering instructor before seeing service in Italy, Dunaway returned to Seattle, Wash., to attend the University of Washington. There until his graduation in 1948, he was a member of the undefeated Huskey national championship ski team. Skiing and travel then called the new graduate and his wife, Kris, to Europe where they spent the next two years. … Later, on their second sojourn [to Europe], Dunaway was asked by Lionel Terray, famous French alpinist of Annapurna and Makalu fame, to join him in making the first ski descent of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest mountain. The owner of North Star Ranch would be spending more time in Aspen, the paper reported.Mr. James H. Smith [see photo], for the past three years serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, has resigned his position effective June 20. Secretary Smith maintains his legal residence here and is expected to spend a great deal of time at their ranch, located two miles above Aspen when he is free from his duties in Washington.

In accepting his resignation, President Eisenhower said, “I want to express my personal appreciation of the important contributions you have made to the Naval Air program and to the defense effort … I regret that you are leaving government service at this time. Secretary Wilson has told me of your devoted efforts that have been of so great assistance both to him and the Secretary of the Navy, and I know they share my regret. You carry with you my thanks for your fine service and best wishes for continued success and happiness.Beware of turbulent rivers in springtime.Sunday afternoon, May 27, three Aspen young men took the large rubber raft, which was first used two years ago by Earl Eaton and Charlie Bolte in their successful run down the Colorado River to Lake Mead, to the Shoshone Dam above Glenwood Springs. The water was very high and the rapids looked angry. …The banks were lined with spectators, crowds gathered on all sides, many drove down from Aspen.As the raft came into the worst part of the run, just below the dam, the front end nosed into the water, the rear raised high, and it dove into the stream to come up farther down, with no one aboard. All three were wearing life jackets.Ken Moore was found suffering from shock and an injured shoulder. He was taken to a hospital in Glenwood for treatment. John Zurfluh lost his shoes, but other than that suffered no loss nor injury. Robert Mann was seen, his head and hands above water for a few moments, but has not been seen again. The search for him continues, as hope for finding him alive diminishes.

Aspen cinephiles were keeping tabs on the number of screens 25 years ago, just as they are today. Connoisseurs of foreign, funny and far-out films have had a two-month dry spell while the Wheeler Opera House movie theater has been closed. But the movie drought is over. The Wheeler theater will open its doors this Friday, May 29, at 8 p.m. with an 8:30 showing of “The Getting of Wisdom,” described as among the best of the recent Australian movies.Theater manager Jon Busch told the Aspen Times with considerable elation that despite fears that the movies would not return, he now anticipates a whole summer of films until renovations of the Wheeler building begins this fall. …The Wheeler theater has been showing movies to Aspen audiences since 1965, with Busch as manager for the past eight years.Call it what it is, the paper reported,Despite a petition by some residents, Pitkin County Commissioners decided this week that a Brush Creek road, “Fat City Way,” should not be renamed – unless 100 percent of the road’s residents want the change.Ten residents of the road petitioned for a change of name to “Upper Ranch Road.” …Bob Krueger said that he and Richard Scales came up with the name originally while having a drink at the Jerome.

“The value of my lot has gone from $6,000 to more than $!00,000 since I bought it,” Krueger said, “so I think the name is appropriate.”Reporter Mick Ireland filed this on-the-scene story (see photo),The first thing you notice about the jail, even before the stench hits, is that the place is noisy.Even before the jailer gets your prints on a card (three sets for accused felons, only two for reporters), the tinny sound of a television echoes down the hall to meet you, reverberating out of the steel Box that Pitkin County calls a jail.Calling it a Box is no mere figure of speech. When the jail was installed almost a century ago, a steel cage was lowered into the basement of the courthouse where it remains unchanged to this day, an early example of modular or prefabricated housing. …Though I had volunteered for a stint in the slammer, by the time I got there the two-night commitment had become as compulsory for me as for the other “real” prisoners. …Less than a week later, a two-day seminar on jail planning convened at the Aspen Institute. Two of those attending, myself and a prisoner named Mark Zimmerman, were the only people who I am sure had spent time living in the Box. …Jail administrator [Bob] Braudis later said the discussion of fire safety in the jail was one of the most important outcomes of the meeting. He plans to get fire safety experts down for a look as soon as possible. A second exit may be cut in the Box, and safety equipment installed.The second primary area of vulnerability for the county is in the lack of segregated facilities. The six cells in the jail all open onto a small day room. There is no way to separate violent offenders from persons awaiting a court hearing, no way to house women and juveniles apart from the others, no way to separate reporters from the innocent.

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