25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Two Aspen miners pose during their backbreaking, dangerous work. Note the tunnel entrance supported by extensive timbers and stonework (see 1905). Aspen Historical Society photo.
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Copies of The Aspen Times from October 1903 until 1911 are missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. To continue our journalistic history of Aspen, we include excerpts from The Aspen Democrat, the Times’ competitor 100 years ago.During the first week of March 1905, the arrival of spring in the Roaring Fork Valley was reported.The ranchers are at present kept busy at home as spring is advancing and only a few came to the city yesterday on their regular weekly visit.Now that the steady thaw on the mountain sides has set in, the snow is becoming gradually lossened and snow slides can be expected. Yesterday about noon three good sized slides came down East Aspen mountain near Ute addition, making a tremendous noise. One of these was extra large and came almost down to the railroad track, which was quite fortunate that it didn’t come further as a great deal of delay would have been caused.This news item is another reminder that many of our favorite ski runs on Aspen Mountain bear the names of the mines and tunnels beneath the slopes.

A large number of people were noticed casting their eyes upon Aspen mountain last evening. Upon inquiry, the fact developed that the property known as the Trainor tunnel or a part of the Durant had caved in and all were trying to see if it were perceptible from town. The Trainor tunnel is one of the old workings on Aspen mountain and for some time past has been in a dangerous condition, but is used by the employees on the Upper Durant as a passage to their work, being nearer. However, they will now be compelled to go through the Lower Durant. Happy to report increased mining activity (see photo) in the city, the paper enthused,It is with pleasure the friends of the welfare of Aspen hear any good tidings relative to its prosperity or more work to employ men. The news that the Mollie Gibson mill, which was recently started up after a long idleness on mill ore from the Newman tunnel, is now booming, more men being employed on than for several years, will be good news to all. The mill at present is running three shifts of men since the arrival of Mr. Farnum in the city Monday, who will be a prominent factor in its interests. Monday night the entire mill was put in operation so that two hundred tons of ore can now be handled in a day. The treatment of the ore so far has been very successful, a goodly saving being made so that it will be kept running full force indefinitely.Plenty of milkshakes were served with this wagon team mishap.J.D. Sterner, the dairyman, had the time of his life yesterday morning. His horses took fright as he entered the town on his regular delivery trip and in about two shakes of a cow’s tail, milk cans were thicker than horse flies. No serious damage was done, but Mr. Sterner’s customers waited in vain for the milk that never came. Mr. Sterner was not injured, but it is probable that he saw stars for the time being – a regular Milky Way, as it were. Anyway, he lost the cream of his trade for the day.

As in 1905, one of the first sightings of spring was reported in the valley during the first week of March 1955. In Around Aspen, columnist Mary Eshbaugh Hayes noted,Happy news for the non-skiers is, of course, the coming of spring. After the most recent snowstorm last Monday, Mr. Art Young saw the first robin at the corner of Smuggler and 5th. It must have drifted into town on a large snowflake. But nothing daunted, brings glad tidings of spring just around the corner.Throughout the 1950s, the Hotel Jerome was the community center see photo) and treated as if it were grandmother’s big house for Aspen and visiting family gatherings. The Around Aspen column reported,The Treasure Hunt staged at the Hotel Jerome last Thursday was old fashioned fun for the many participants. Like bees around honey, they were led from one clue to another. Hiding places included such out of the way spots as the elevator, a chandelier, one certain clock and a ladies fan (which she was using as she relaxed in a chair). The final one remianed in the small coat pocket of Mr. Lawrence Elisha for quite some time until a clever lady from Chicago, Mrs. R. Royan, discovered it and thereby won a pair of Head skis, the dream of every skier’s heart.This year is the golden anniversary of the Aspen High School newspaper. Today’s version is know as the Aspen Skier Sentinel. The News About School column announced,

The first official copy of the Aspen High School newspaper, the Silver Bell, was published February 28, 1955.The paper contained a guest editorial by Lotte Brenitz, class news, news around school, such as basketball games, parties, and administrative news, jokes and announcements.The newspaper staff is as follows:Editor, Pam Worden; Assistant Editor, Irene Johnson; Cartoonist, King Fisher; Sports Editor, Greg Livingston; Reporters, Jane Moore, Carolyn Stein, Bonnie Mann, Virginia Russell, Liz Newlove and Sylvia Sardy. Typists, Hallie Barbee and Sylvia Sardy; Sponsor, Mr. Ralph Bohrson.Hopefully, Aspen’s skiing prowess would be well represented in the 1956 Winter Oympic Games in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. The paper reported, The Aspen skiers, aspiring to a bid to be named to the Olympic Ski Team, left Aspen last Monday in a swirling snowstorm for Denver where they will take a plane for Franconia, N.H., where they will train the next two weeks. The last week will be occupied with seven races by which the Olympic Officials hope to select the team.Three of Aspen’s native sons and daughters, Melvin Hoaglund, Max Marolt and Beverly Paulich, are among those selected. These three were raised on Aspen Mountain and Aspen is to be proud of its record so far in developing such strong skiing material.

The results of Roch Cup race were announced on the front page.Winners of the Roch Cup races held here during the past weekend were Emery Woodall, member of Aspen’s Ski Patrol, with Tommy Carter, Aspen, 3rd, and Henning Arstal, DU, 3rd. In the Women’s division, Babette Hauisen, Sugarbowl Ski Club, took 1st, with Michaelanne Walters 2nd, and Beverly Paulich, Aspen, 3rd.The Roch Cup race is a 3-way combined – giant slalom, slalom and downhill. These races are combined with the Southern Rocky Mountain downhill and slalom races.

Goings-on in the Roaring Fork Valley were under covert surveillance (see photo) in 1980, according to The Aspen Times.Big Brother may be watching the entire Roaring Fork Valley.A Missouri heights resident,Tony Fairchild, recently discovered that his home had been under the eye of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) television camera since last year.As soon as Fairchild discovered the camera on a utility pole outside his residence, the DEA ordered Holy Cross Electric to take it down.However, the story does not end here. An illegally placed repeater system was discovered in a Roaring Fork Valley Television Association building at the top of Sunlight Mountain in Garfield County. The system … was apparently receiving and sending television signals when a RFVTVA engineer pulled its plug and turned it over to the Pitkin County Sheriff as found property. The sheriff’s department in turn discovered that the repeater box belonged to the Department of Justice and the DEA. …Pitkin County Sheriff Dick Kienast said he got word from Denver that the DEA and US Attorney were wondering “what we were doing with their equipment.”However, we had not yet notified them that we had the equipment.”The constrasting style of law enforcement between the DEA and the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department attracted the national media. The paper reported,Crews from two nationally distributed TV shows, 60 Minutes and PM Magazine, were in Aspen this week filming sequences for their respective programs. …

Dick Cook, a Denver-based producer and director for 60 Minutes, explained he had become interested in Pitco Sheriff Dick Kienast after reading about his problems with the Denver grand jury in the Rocky Mountain News.Those interviewed by Cook stated that he appeared interested in how the community reacted to Kienast’s opposition to undercover agents in the community and his philosophy of law enforcement which stresses community service.Conducting interviews this week for the program was Morley Safer, one of the three major commentators for 60 Minutes.The city of Aspen held a special election in February, but almost no one came (see photo).In the lowest voter turnout in 10 years, Aspen’s registered voters Tuesday authorized the city to issue its general obligtion bonds in the amount not to exceed $4 million to finance the city-sponsored Water Plant housing project.Voters also approved a city charter change to ensure legality of revenue bonds issued for the renovation of the Wheeler Opera House and backed by proceeds of the real estate transfer tax.Of the 2,289 registered city voters, only 296 bothered to vote. …[Aspen City Councilwoman Susan] Michael said voter turnouts tend to be lower when no candidates are involved in the issues. “Bond issues don’t tend to excite people,” she observed.Stefan Albouy, a 20-year Aspen native and leaseholder of the Smuggler Mine, wrote an impassioned letter to the editor.


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