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.We are in our afternoon monsoon pattern this month. The paper wrote about a spectacular thunderstorm 100 years ago in early July.Yesterday afternoon one of the worst thunder storms experienced in years swept over Aspen.It did not last more than half an hour but everybody knew it was storming all right. The lightning flashes which accompanied the storm were dazzling. After the storm had passed there were all kinds of rumors of places being struck by the lightning.The worst reported was from the fire station where for an instant, all the electric light wires were streaks of fire.Fire Chief Smith immediately began an inspection of the fire alarm apparatus but found nothing wrong with the wires or indicator. Later in the evening it was found all the electric light wires were dead. There were no electric lights in any of the city buildings last night. The city council held its session by candlelight.The electric lights at the Burns shaft on Aspen mountain were knocked out by the lightning.Considerable excitement prevailed in the Delmonico restaurant and on Cooper avenue during the storm. The front door of the establishment was open and a vivid flash of lightning passed through, striking the large range on the side, causing a bright flame but doing no damage. Luckily there were no guests in the house at the time and the chef was enjoying a much needed rest a short distance from the range when the flash occurred,Our people were much relieved when the storm had passed.
The Cooper Book & Stationery Co. advertisement was targeted for both locals and visitors (see photo) to the Rocky Mountains,Nothing Like Our Fishing TackleWe have the best flies at 40 c and 50c per dozen that can be found anywhere. They are new stock too.The Haywood Scotch flies are $1.50 per dozen. Lines, Leaders, Baskets, etc.Automatic Reels are the go now. We have them at $4.00, $5.00, $6.00 and $7.00.Silk Thread for wrapping poles.Also Red Varnish.Another popular summer pastime (see photo) was noted in the paper,Don’t forget that the Aspen Juniors will cross bats with the Glenwood Sluggers this afternoon at Athletic.And if you love sport, if you believe in helping the boys that try to entertain you and give you something that will amuse and edify you. It is your bounden duty to go to the park today and patronize the boys by buying a ticket and seeing the best game of ball played here this season.Aspenites are seekers. The paper reported,
Dr. Cecelia Gustaf, of Stockholm, Sweden, the noted spiritualist medium and soul traveler, is in the city and is located at the Hotel Jerome. The doctor has traveled extensively and has studied in Bombay, India, learning much of the East Indian magi. She has a scientific instrument which she uses in locating ore bodies and mineral veins. Wherever the doctor has appeared people have been astonished at her wonderful power. She will give an entertainment and seance free at the Jerome Sunday evening at 8 o’clock.Dr. Gustaf may be consulted on all the affairs of life during the day and evening at Parlor A, Hotel Jerome.Compassion and concern for a troubled citizen was expressed in an article headlined, “Man With The Gun Was Out Again last Night.”The man with a gun was out again last night. This time the gun display was made in the restaurant conducted by A.D. Veza. No one was hurt, but the wallpaper was perforated a couple of times as evidence of the operator’s foolishness and over exuberance. Friends of the gun-man succeeded in taking his gun before he hurt himself and all was soon peaceful and serene.THE GUN-MAN WILL GET YOU IF YOU DON’T WATCH OUT!Owing to the largeness of our heart and out of compassion for the gun-man, we refrain from giving the particulars.Leave your guns at home in the bureau drawer is the advice, free gratis, of The Democrat.
Aspen’s Western roots were showcased every summer (see photo). The paper noted,Sponsored by the Aspen Saddle and Bridle Club, the annual Aspen Silver Stampede Rodeo will be held this weekend, July 14-15.To start with, the annual rodeo parade through the center of town [is] slated to begin at 11 a.m. The parade features rodeo stars as well as floats by local Aspen businesses.Scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, the main rodeo events will be held in the arena west of town. Saddle bronc riding will be the main attraction on both days. …[T]here will be a wild horse race on each day as well as the standard rodeo contests such as bull dogging, bareback bronc riding, calf roping, and stake racing.Local children will also have a chance to participate in the rodeo. Two events have been scheduled for them: a boys and girls steer riding contest and a Musical Chairs game. No entry fee will be charged for the children.In the 1950s Aspen’s cultural calendar expanded as opera followed rodeo. The paper announced,Two world premieres will be presented on two Opera Evenings at Aspen Wheeler’s Opera House, August 4 and 5. Seymour Barab’s one-act opera “Chanticleer” will have its world premiere at Aspen, and Rossini’s “Marriage Merchant” (Cambiale di Matrimonio) will have its world premiere performance in English.Former Metropolitan Opera baritone Mack Harrell, who has appeared at all eight Aspen Music Festivals, and Miss Adele Addison, brilliant young soprano who is in her first Aspen year, will sing the leading roles in the two operas. Other members of the cast will be chosen from the most advanced students in the Aspen Music School’s Opera Studio.Both one-act operas will be presented in costume on the stage of the historic old opera house where many of the world’s great artists appeared in the days when Aspen was a roaring silver mining camp. …Both productions will be under the direction of John Newfield, production director of the Opera Studio. Madeleine Milhaud, wife of Darius Milhaud, will join Newfield in directing. >Thanks to the Lions Club, at last we knew what was where and where was what.Aspen residents will have a chance to put house numbers on their homes next Tuesday, July 17, if members of the Lions Club are successful in their new campaign.
In an effort to raise money for civic projects and to help identify the many unmarked Aspen homes, the club members will devote Tuesday evening to selling and installing house numbers throughout Aspen. …The new project is a logical sequence to the recently completed task of placing street signs on Aspen corners. This was financed and carried out by the Lions club last week.July 1981There was an attempt to legislate against Aspen’s “Messy Vitality” 25 years ago, the paper reported,In the second meeting of the newly formed Commercial Core and Lodging Commission, the commission argued for stricter enforcement of the open container liquor law during the Fourth of July.”I think it is a very poor holiday. I hate to see downtown turned into a barroom for the day,” said Commission Chairman Gary Plumley, and he added that perhaps the only way to stop it (the rowdiness) would be to advise the city council to reconsider having a parade. …Only seven police officers were on duty that afternoon, said Plumley. He told the commissioners that he observed one officer near some people with open containers doing nothing. Police Chief Rob McClung later replied to the commissioners’ complaints and said that it was interesting that when he asks for a bigger budget to take care of such situations, nobody wants to give it to him. “If my officers tried to grab every person with a cup, it would be insane.” Besides, he continued, the rugby team and others had permits from the city to sell drinks right on and near the mall area.The paper reviewed the 1981 Fourth of July parade as short and sweet.
In line with the Aspen Chamber of Commerce’s request for a Fourth of July parade fit for family viewing, Aspen staged one of the most wholesome parades anyone can remember in years – and perhaps one of the most forgettable.Comments ranged from “too wholesome” and “disappointing” to “uninspired” and “boring.”But one less-jaded observer seemed to speak for the majority when he said, “Well, I always enjoy a parade.”It was a short parade (only 70 entries) but it was definitely an all-American event showing, among other things, the lighter side of presidential assassinations and Arab control of money and oil.Conspicuously absent from the parade this year was the traditional rowdy entry from the Gentlemen Of Aspen rugby football club. In past parades, the ruggers enjoyed riding in the back of a truck and hurling water balloons into the crowd.And the Gentlemen traditionally followed that performance with a loss to the Barbos, a tradition that was likewise dumped this year as Aspen beat Denver 12-4. …The best band award went to the Aspen State Teachers College marching Band, which was, in fact, the only band in the parade.Is it time for another Sagebrush Rebellion? The paper reported,In a victory for Colorado environmentalists, the state legislature failed to produce enough votes to override Gov. Richard Lamm’s veto of the Sagebrush Rebellion bill (SB-0170).The proposal called for the federal government to relinquish control of approximately 23 million acres of land to the State of Colorado. …Proponents of the Sagebrush Rebellion argue that lands could be better managed under state control. In addition, they fear that continued federal management will prevent state input in management of lands targeted for energy development.Opponents argue that the state doesn’t have enough money to manage the lands now controlled by the federal government. They maintain that the state would not be a careful land steward, and that state control might close some areas now open to the public. compiled by Sara Garton
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