25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Several bridges were washed out or damaged during the 1906 runoff. This structure, now called the Gerbaz bridge, spanned the Roaring Fork to Watson. (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.A front-page article with the dateline of Glenwood Springs, June 16, reported on the annual Strawberry Day at the “Hot Water Town.”A larger crowd than usual came to Glenwood Springs today to enjoy the hospitality of our people and the amusements incident to Strawberry Day. Early in the morning train loads of people began to arrive. It is estimated there are about 1500 people here from Aspen and Leadville and intervening towns, and at least 1000 from Grand Junction towns between Glenwood and that city. …In the afternoon the immense throng assembled at the opera house and accepted the hospitality of the people of Glenwood and vicinity and ate strawberries and cream and cake until all had a sufficiency. During the day the mammoth pool was crowded with bathers and it was late in the night before the pool was deserted.The grandstand and bleachers at the baseball grounds were crowded to witness the game between the Glenwood and Aspen teams.The game was a disappointment to the Aspen people, of course, as it resulted in a score of 12 to 5 in favor of the Hot Water boys. However, the Aspen team had some powerful players and with practice, which up to today’s game they haven’t had, will yet rub Glenwood and reverse today’s outcome.At 5:30 o’clock the pride of Aspen, the Columbine Guards, lined up in front of the hotel and put up the finest drill ever witnessed here. …There are four dances going on in the town tonight and a large crowd is present at each. One is being held at the Glenwood hotel, one in the opera house, one at the Hotel Colorado and another on the street.Editor “Cap” Dailey added his two bits,The Aspen people began to leave the city Friday morning and on the evening trains for Glenwood. Saturday morning five cars on the Midland were loaded and the Rio Grande had five coach loads before reaching Glenwood. About seventy-five left last evening over both roads and this morning, as many more will go down the line.It is now up to Glenwood to reciprocate by sending a good sized (say 300) delegation to Aspen to celebrate the Glorious Fourth of July. … There will be plenty doing here on the Fourth and if Glenwood does not respond we will cut that city to a frazzle.

The week’s editions were full of reports of high water (see photos). The warm weather of the past few days had started the snow in the hills to moving and the rivers are running full. Yesterday the Roaring Fork was so high that it made the bridge spanning it on Cooper avenue shake considerably.Jack Williams came to the city Wednesday night from his mining property at Independence. He was compelled to leave his horse at the Junction up the Roaring Fork and walk the remainder of the distance to town, owing to the fact that the bridge at Weller’s had been washed out. He reports the snow in that section as being quite deep and hardly started to melt up to date.The heavy flow of water in the Roaring Fork river, Castle creek and Maroon creek continues.Yesterday the bridge up Castle creek went out and the wreckage came down and lodged against the center span on the Midland bridge.The Midland bridge crew was immediately put to work clearing away the debris. By nightfall the wreck was cleared away and all danger to the railroad bridge averted. The long span of the Midland trestle to the Newman tunnel up Castle was injured to such an extent that all shipment of ore was suspended. …While there is no increase in the flow of the Roaring Fork, people living in the flats keep guard all night fearful that the waters might rise and overwhelm them in their beds.

The new owner/publisher of The Aspen Times, Bil Dunaway, penned the first of what would be nearly 2000 editorials.

The right to vote is a concrete way of expressing your opinion. If you do not vote in a particular election or if you let your voter’s registration lapse, you have voluntarily given up your right to have an opinion about the things that happen in Aspen.It is interesting to tell your friends what you think about a current issue, but it is ineffectual.In an election, expressed ideas – no matter how moving or intelligent – do not count. Only votes – real and tangible – count. In a second editorial (as became his habit), Dunaway both scolded the community and endorsed the proposed bond levy for the Aspen Sanitation District. Aspen is not an ordinary town. Its problems are not ordinary small town topics. If it were, if they were, the outcome of the election would be inconsequential, and its residents would need not stir from their customary lethargy.Our town is pretentious. And we, its residents, are pretentious. We have set up our area as a resort and aspired to world renown.In part we have succeeded. Aspen is known wherever men ski, wherever men play music, wherever they dream of beautiful mountain communities.Yet our success is only partial. We bring visitors here with the promise of natural beauties. These they find in abundance. But we fail to provide the modern urban conditions they expect of a resort.Our streets are bad, our water unsafe, our one existing sewer disgorges its nauseous residue into the river flowing through town. How can we expect to attract and keep tourists, who every year are more sophisticated, more demanding?We can not.Tomorrow these tourists will be watching us. Tomorrow Aspen will have its first opportunity to vote for municipal improvements in several years. The outcome will prove to potential visitors whether or not we are serious in seeking their trade. We need new sewers. Existing lines were condemned by the Colorado Department of Public Health. They, our prospective visitors, know this, and they are waiting to see how we remedy our defects.

Aspen and Hollywood continued its on-again, off-again relationship, as the paper reported,Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. stockholders approved Denver oil magnate Marvin Davis’ $703 million takeover offer Monday, a move that may put the Fox-owned Aspen Skiing Corporation on the selling block.Although ski corp management firmly denies it, speculation continues that David may spin off the ski corp and its four mountain operations.When David made the offer in February, his representatives said the oil baron had no plans to sell off Fox holdings such as the ski corp, Coca-Cola Bottling of the Midwest, Pebble Beach resort and other real estate.But according to a June 1 edition of the Ski industry Letter, a trade publication, David “may be considering divestiture of the Aspen Skiing Corporation which operates ski areas at Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Snowmass and Breckenridge.”According to the newsletter, “From several sources has come speculation that such a sale might involve spinning off Ajax to Little Annie backers, Snowmass and Buttermilk to local investors, and Breckenridge to anyone with the capital.” …Ski corp vice president Jerry Blann flatly denied the newsletter report. “It’s absolutely wrong,” he said. Blann said that Davis indicated to ski corp president Tom Richardson recently that business would continue as usual.

The Aspen Skiing Corp was the newsmaker for the June 11 edition, as another article noted, Aspen Highlands and Aspen Skiing Corp representatives began giving testimony in U.S. District Court in Denver last week in a suit brought by Highlands against the Aspen Skiing Corp.Highlands claims that the Aspen Skiing Corp has attempted to monopolize the sale of extended-use lift tickets and controls a service that provides information and makes reservations for people wishing to visit Aspen.Highlands claims that the Aspen Skiing Corp tries to control even more business than the approximately 80 percent it has had at Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Snowmass over the past several years.Aspen Skiing Corp should be broken up to allow more competition, the Highlands’ suit argues.Highlands’ witnesses testified last week that the two corporations did cooperate for several years in the mid-’70s in the sale of four-area tickets good from four to six days. …Highlands claims it lost $650,000 in the 1978-79 ski season because of a conspiracy involving the Aspen Skiing Corp’s three areas and the central reservations agency. The three areas and the agency promoted the Aspen Skiing Corp areas and tickets while “disparaging” Highlands’ version of a four-area ticket, the suit charged.CorrectionThe Aspen Times Weekly, May 14, noted that Ellen Feinsinger identified the Highlands’ Christian Endeavor bar as the spot where Freddie Fisher and Walt Smith were performing. A flurry of e-mails, including one from former Tippler bartender Tom Iacono, and a postcard, corrects us again that the renown Tippler is the location. Hopefully, three times is a charm!

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