25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

The Scandinavian picnic was an annual summer affair in Aspen. This photo was taken in August 1901. The paper reported that outsiders were welcome 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.Summertime is picnic time, and picnics were popular social gatherings in Aspen 100 years, according to the newspaper and photo archives. The paper noted a tight social group was beginning to expand its boundaries. On Sunday the Scandinavians will give a family picnic [see photo] at Pearson’s grove, over on Maroon creek. Heretofore the members of the club have given picnics for their own nationality only, and outsiders, while they have been treated cordially, have not been entirely welcome, for the reason they wished them to be for their own people.On Sunday the grounds will be open to all who wish to enjoy themselves in a becoming manner and all who attend are assured of generous welcome.Another outing was worthy of the front page.An ideal picnic was given yesterday afternoon by Mrs. Harry Shaw when she entertained thirty girls, members of her Sunday School class, at Hallam lake [see photo]. The weather, place and everything was perfect for a delightful afternoon which certainly was enjoyed by all.

However, a lark in Tourtelotte Park (see photo) almost became a disaster, as the paper reported, Rev. A.P. Haupert, of Green Bay, Wis., arrived in Aspen on a visit to his brother, Rev. S. Haupert of the Presbyterian church, with the expectation of enjoying the scenery and the varied experiences that may be encountered in the mountains.Yesterday his expectations were realized in a measure. The reverend gentlemen went to Tourtelotte park where they were the guests of Perry Eddy for the day. While on a tour of inspection of the mine they thought they would try their hand at practical mining. Rev. S. Haupert and Mr. Eddy were prospecting in one drift and Rev. A.P. Haupert and Mr. Eddy’s helper were single-jacking in an adjoining drift.While they were thus engaged a large quantity of giant powder caught fire and burned up. As the powder was at the mouth of both drifts, they were soon filled with the deadly fumes given off by the burning giant. Mr. Eddy first pulled his prospecting friend out of the death trap, then rushing past the burning powder he rescued the other two men. All are still alive.Rev. S. Haupert is badly used up with sores and bruises. Rev. A.P. Haupert seems to have enjoyed the new experience. Mr. Eddy is certainly entitled to the Carnegie medal. Visiting the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains is like going on Safari. The paper reported,

While a party of men were fishing at Snow Mass lake a few days ago, they were fortunate enough to see a large band of mountain sheep, several deer and a number of bear. They returned to the city without any of the animals but caught about ninety large sized fish between them.

Water, water, not everywhere and certainly not enough to spare, according to a July editorial,A week ago the Frying Pan Arkansas river diversion project [see photo] was passed by the U.S. Senate. It is now before a House committee and may come up for a vote before Congress adjourns this month.We feel this measure, often called “The Rape of the Roaring Fork,” instigated by certain vested interests in eastern Colorado ands sponsored by the Reclamation Service, is bad and should be defeated.It calls for the expenditure of over $172 million of public money to provide some irrigation and some power to a small area in eastern Colorado.Part of the money to be spent will go to dam and divert the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers from their natural beds into a tunnel through the mountains.We do not base our objection of the fact that the project as it now stands would decrease the flow of water in the two rivers to a trickle during the summer months, thus spoiling some of the nation’s most beautiful mountain terrain.Nor do we base our objections on the fact that diversion will deprive residents of our valleys of much needed water, water which can be and is used and reused, over and over. …This diversion proposal, however, is uneconomic.Of the $172 million to be spent, $35 million is to divert 70,000 acre feet of water through the Continental Divide to increase the flow of the Arkansas river [by] 7 1/3 per cent of the present flow.The project is destined to irrigate a total of 921 farms at a cost of $65,000 per farm… Half of the land to receive this expensive irrigation is class II land. …It is another example of ill-advised, pork-barrel spending for selfish political considerations. The money in question could be much better employed in other, worthwhile projects. The front page had more reports about water, in this case Aspen’s unsafe water.Water from the Aspen water system was again found unsafe during the month of June, it was revealed by laboratory tests of the Colorado State Department of Public Health. … The figures compiled by the Public Health Department list the Aspen water supply as below standard or unsafe for four of the six months in 1956. July figures will be available in August.And an article about a meeting to improve the water quality,A specific date, Dec. 1, was set by the State Board of Health as the time when the city of Aspen must submit a report on their plans for bringing the Aspen water system up to a standard. The date was set … at a special meeting held by State Officials with the City Council, Wednesday, June 18, in the Hotel Jerome. …During the session [it] was asked what legal steps the Department of Health could take if the Aspen Water Co. and the City of Aspen did not proceed with their plans to ameliorate the present water system.In answer, [Sam Freeman] stated that it would be in his power as attorney for the Dept. of Public Health to take a case to the district court and ask for and obtain an injunction forcing the city or company to suspend water service.Finally, water news from the Thrift Shop – one item perhaps inspired by Aspen’s dubious drinking water. The Thrift Shop has recently completed two more civic projects with funds from sales at the shop.They have purchased and put up a red picnic umbrella in the City Park on Main Street for use by Aspen residents and visitors.Anyone who uses the umbrella is requested to put it down so that this newest addition to the parks won’t blow away.Secondly, Henry Stein has installed a water dispenser at the Pitkin County Hospital, and Thrift Shop funds will keep the dispenser filled with bottled water for the next year.

An Aspen landmark today was in jeopardy 25 years ago. The paper noted,Harley Baldwin, owner of the Brand Building, is carrying on Flag Wars with the city and county building departments.Baldwin raised an American flag over his Brand Building on Flag Day in June.”I felt it added to the building and I believe that people can put up an American flag if they want to,” Baldwin told The Aspen Times.He was cited July 9 for illegally hoisting the flagpole. … Yesterday Baldwin received his summons to court on July 29. The charges are: Failure to obey a stop-work order, violating the municipal building code, failure to get a building permit, failure to observe the zoning code, and failure to follow historic preservation commission guidelines. The charges could cost Baldwin a maximum of $300 a day.Building Inspector Herb Paddock told the Times that the American flag and patriotism have nothing to do with the Flag Wars.”The flag is not the issue,” he said. “It is a pure example of zoning and building code violation.”According to a suit, the city ignored its growth management plan, the paper reported,A recently approved 100-unit development of the Marolt Ranch just west of Castle Creek was improperly approved and should be voided, it was submitted to the district court this week [by] … the Aspen Growth Management Foundation, Inc.In its 18-page complaint the foundation listed eight separate claims for relief against the defendants and requested a disciplinary judgment, alleging that all approvals by the city council and P&Z commission were arbitrary and capricious and should be ruled void and without force. …In its action the foundation explained it was a nonprofit corporation organized “to foster careful and prudent land use planning and regulation” in this region. …[T]he complaint contends that the amount of park dedication fee for the free market units was improper and should have been higher, that park fees should not have been waived for the employee units, that land dedicated to the public was improperly dedicated and that the deed restricted employee housing is invalid. …When finally approved in June the development had been educed from 128 total units to 100, 70 of which were to be deed restricted as employee housing, plus 30 free-market units, to be reached by an extension of Cemetery Lane with much of the land dedicated to open space or park use. “Around Aspen” column noted a 100-year celebration for an Aspen family – they’ve been here as long as The Aspen Times!The Stapleton family will be holding a Centennial picnic and dance on Sunday, Aug. 2, at the Stapleton Ranch on Owl Creek Road, in celebration of the family’s 100th year in Aspen. The first to come was Tim Stapleton 100 years ago in the summer of 1881, and he and his family settled and farmed the Owl Creek Ranch.