25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

A traveling carnival set up their tents and midway attractions in Aspen in July 1906. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Microfilm of The Aspen Times 19041909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.A letter from Tom Flynn, who accompanied Ted Cooper on an expedition to purchase an automobile (see photo), was published, informing the readers of their progress.That settled the Reo, a regular noise cart on wheels and a shoddy looking thing too. Next we went to the Rambler people and had a ride in a 40-horse power machine. Then we tried the Packard Oldsmobile and several others, and last we tried the Buick. Well there isn’t much more to tell as the little Buick went up places where the big Rambler couldn’t start. We rode around all Sunday in it and Sunday evening closed the deal. This morning the man with us told us that he had another hill that was a hill. It was. … He started up that place and when he got near the top, by looking straight ahead I was looking at the sky. When we reached the last pitch, Ted and I decided that it was time to unload but he stopped the car dead still, backed her a few feet and went up as easy as though he was on the pavement. …WE HAVE GOT THE CAR.

The front page of the Aug. 5, 1906, edition announced the Buick made it to Aspen! Yesterday afternoon about 5 o’clock Ted Cooper and Tom Flynn arrived in town with their new auto. They made the entire trip from Denver, crossing the divide and climbing all kinds of hills in three days, leaving Denver Wednesday morning. They stopped off in Glenwood, however, the greater portion of yesterday. They made the trip in practically three days. Mr. Fred Maider the chauffeur, who brought the machine through from Denver on its initial trip, left on last evening’s Grande for Denver and now it is up to the boys to show their ability.Women’s arm wresting is a popular contest in the valley’s drinking establishments this summer. In 1906, the paper wrote about a billiard competition at the Hotel Jerome (see photo).This evening in the Billiard room of the Hotel Jerome A.G. Hendrickson, the champion trick pool player of the world, and Billy Goven, who is also an expert with the cue, will play a match game of pool – Mr. Hendrickson to make 150 points to Mr. Goven’s 125. The match game will be for a purse of $50. After the game Mr. Hendrickson will surprise the natives with an exhibition of numerous trick shots, many of which are of his own invention. …

It goes without saying that all lovers of good pool and billiard playing will be on hand to witness this tournament. Mr. Hendrickson is the winner of fourth place in a world contest at pool, and all lovers of clean sport should see the match game tonight. Mr. Mosely, of the Jerome, has arranged to properly take care of a large crowd.Mr. Arthur Hull has been selected to referee the match. The carnival was in town! The paper reported,The Rio Grande train bearing the Southern Carnival company arrived in the city on Sunday evening. Early yesterday morning everyone connected with the company was busily engaged putting up tents and booths [see photo] and before evening everything was in readiness for the opening of the carnival, and that section of Main street near the Jerome and between Mill and Monarch had assumed holiday attire, and on every side glittering signs announced the attraction that you, of course, should not miss:The Stadium, Peggy from Paris, The Electric Theater, The Ferris Wheel, Coon Town 400, Girl in Red, Texas Fat Boy, Nana, and San Francisco Ruins.The Stadium drew the largest crowd. A troupe of Japanese acrobats held forth here and their work was the best seen in this city. …The Midway was packed with rustling, bustling, jolly humanity late into the night, many waiting to see the high dive from a perch seventy-five feet in the air into a tank filled with water to a depth of thirty-six inches. This is certainly a remarkable feat and the performer was cheered to the echo when he made the leap and came up out of the blazing water, smiling an bowing.

Walter Paepcke (see photo) had another dream for Aspen – an unfulfilled dream 50 years later. The paper reported,Aspen’s long-awaited liberal arts college will be ready for operation in the fall of 1957, it was announced here Saturday, July 28, by Walter Paepcke, president of the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. Plans for the college, revealed during a press inspection of the new Aspen heath Center, call for a four-year liberal arts program. Three major universities have already agreed to serve as sponsors.Financing for the institutions first five years has been assured, the Institute president stated. Their annual budget of $150,000 has already been underwritten. A top enrollment of 300 to 400 students is expected. Existing buildings belonging, or available to, the Institute will be used at first.In referring to professors, Paepcke explained that he hoped the college would draw top level instructors from the sponsoring universities. The men would teach on leave from their own institutions.Another component of Paepcke’s Aspen Idea – the enrichment of Body, Mind and Spirit – was about to open at the Meadows campus.

Official opening of the $275,000 Aspen Health Center, located about a mile from downtown Aspen, near the junction of Castle Creek and Roaring Fork River, is set for September 9. …Aspen Health Center, which concentrates its activities on preserving the physical well-being of the “whole man,” is the first undertaking of its kind in America. It will feature a program especially designed for the men and women who carry heavy responsibilities today – executives and leaders in business, labor, the professions, education, government and religion. …The Center is not a sanitarium or diagnostic clinic in any sense of the word, Paepcke said, but is for men and women who are basically well but in need of a “tune-up.” He pointed out that business executives in particular neglect their physical well-being year after year. …At the Center a course of physical rehabilitation will be prescribed under the direction of a resident physician and a group of local and national consulting doctors. The course is tailored to the individual. …Resident directors of the Aspen Health Center are Bruno Geba and his wife, Erna, who were trained in physical education at the University of Vienna.

Aspen lost a legend 25 years ago. The Aspen Times reported, “Perennial ski bum Ralph Jackson dies.”Aspen’s longtime clown of the ski slopes, perennial ski bum, and director of the Underground Ski School Ralph Jackson died July 29 of an apparent heart attack at the age of 73.Born in 1918, he grew up in Boston where his family had a printing and book binding business. …It was while skiing in New Hampshire in the winter of 1937 that … a terrible fall left him with a head concussion, a neck injury and a bad shoulder. …He credited his 1937 ski injury with the development of his trick skiing technique. [In a 1977 interview with The Aspen Times], he related “It’s sort of a way of resting one leg. I didn’t have too much strength or control so I turned with one ski up in the air.”I would ski with on one leg or the other all the way down the mountain and I’d go backwards like on ice.”It was just a way of bluffing through till I got my strength back. But I stayed with it and worked it into a hot-dog-type skiing.”A natural clown, Jackson evolved a skiing costume that delighted Aspen skiers for more than 20 years.He donned a top hat, munched a cigarette holder, and dressed in a bow tie and jacket, black fur coat and Bermuda shorts.

What a relief! Exxon explained there was nothing to worry about in extracting shale oil. The paper reported,Colorado will be able to handle the social and environmental impacts of oil shale development, an Exxon Company spokesman told the Colorado Association of Ski Towns here Friday. “We recognize that as a company we can’t come into an area and simply tell the local community what we want them to do for us. It is unreasonable to ask them to assume full responsibility for building roads, schools, and hospitals to take care of the needs of our employees and others involved in supporting a shale oil industry. The industry has to do its part, too.” …As evidence of Exxon’s commitment in what apparently will be the nation’s first commercial shale oil project, [Exxon’s project development manager for synthetic fuels, John P.] Racz pointed to the Colony Shale Oil Project near Parachute. Exxon is operator and 60 percent owner of the Colony project. …To meet the anticipated needs, Colony is developing Battlement Mesa, a community across the Colorado River from the town of Parachute.A mobile-home community first, Battlement Mesa will ultimately include 7,100 dwelling units to accommodate a population of 25,000, Racz said.”Battlement Mesa will be complete with schools, shopping center, recreation areas and other amenities that should make it a very good place to live,” he said.Discussing the “boom and bust” pattern of earlier Colorado mining towns, Racz claimed the resource base for shale oil is large enough to feed a major industry for almost two centuries.

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