25-50-100 years ago
Microfilm of The Aspen Times 19041909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.Attire for camping 100 years ago was quite formal (see photo), as the paper noted,The suits were very neat and attractive being held by a large rock. The D.R.C. Brown party and several other camping parties have enjoyed the past few weeks at this favorite resort. The Brown party was comprised chiefly of New York ladies, and they are enthusiastic over our delightful climate and say they expect to return next summer for a longer stay. The Brown camp was broken yesterday, and the ladies of the party came to the city to remain for a few days before returning to their New York homes. They created quite a furor among our home ladies yesterday as they passed through the city streeets dressed in their natty mountain suits. The were very neat and attractive.Ted Cooper wasn’t about to give away rides in his brand-new Buick automobile. An advertisement appeared in the paper mid-August.
AUTOMOBILE RIDESAbout the City and Country50c and $1Leave orders at Cooper’s BookstoreThis news item reassured all paying passengers in the Buick.Claude Markle yesterday attached a brake to the automoblie of Mr. Ted Cooper’s. This attachment will enable Mr. Cooper to hold the machine when going down grade.Many local stories seemed to slant toward Ted Cooper’s new-fangled driving machine. The paper reported,Do horses dream? This seems rather a peculiar question to ask but we can answer, Yes! on good authority, as it was proven yesterday afternoon by the magnificent, gentle driving horse of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Stallard. Mrs. Stallard and Mrs. Bennet had been downtown in the morning, and upon returning tied the horse in front of the Stallard home [today’s Aspen Historical Society and Museum] and were congratulating themselves on the fact that the horse was one in a few as he passed the automobile without so much as giving it a look. But Mr. Horse fell asleep while standing in front of the house, and dreaming of the auto, it jumped about ten feet into the air and upon returning to the earth tarted on the run that was concluded on Second and Smuggler, where a telegraph post stopped further progress but not before the bugggy was a complete wreck, all that was left being the staves and front wheels.
Even a long report about the dilapidated city boardwalks rated a mention of Cooper’s Buick, as well as a knock at absentee property owners Honestly, now, dear reader, aren’t you ashamed of the condition of the sidewalks of Aspen? Of course you are and you will agree with the Democrat in its efforts to get better walks before the celebration of the Tri-County Fair.[Editor Dailey proceeds to “walk” his readers block by block through downtown, commenting on the disrepair of the sidewalks, people tripping over broken boards and nails, and scolding business and property owners and city officials.]Now let’s go to the Jerome where most of the visitors will congregate during the Fair and here you will find the sidewalk in an awful condition. A bucket or two of cement would do good here. And then take notice of the walk between this famous hostelry and the office of our esteeemed contemporary [The Aspen Times]. It’s a wonder the deacon [B. Clark Wheeler] hasn’t said something about it ere this – too busy with the legislature, it is said.And now, oh mother, let’s walk out in the residence portion of the city, but for safety, please take the middle of the road as here the only danger is the auto of Ted Cooper’s, and you can hear that coming. …Say the word, gentlemen.Don’t wait for the council to force you to build new sidewalks.The owners of homes and living in Aspen take a natural pride in their property, and they improve as much as their finances will permit. To this class the council should be lenient, but it should have no mercy for the owners of rented property that live in luxury in some other city.Build new sidewalks, Build them now.The paper noted a thoughtful deed on the part of two local fishermen.The patients at the hospital [see photo] had a rare treat this morning through the kindness of Jeff Hetherley and Claude Conner who furnished the cook of the hospital with enough trout to give all a trout breakfast this morning.
There was a encouraging follow-up report to the previous week’s story (see Aspen Times Weekly, Aug. 6, p. 18) about Ralph Melville’s climbing accident on North Maroon Peak.Almost killed when he fell while mountain climbing Sunday, August 5, Ralph Melville will say I do this Saturday in Pittsburgh, Pa., with his mouth shut and wearing casts on a leg and armThe Aspen lodge owner, who was the object of an all-night rescue on the slopes of North Maroon Peak, was released from the Pitking County Hospital on Tuesday, Aug. 14. … Doctor Baxter, who operated on the climber’s knee and arm a week prior to his release from the hospital and who removed 12 stitches from his head the day before his release, termed Melville’s recovery as exceptionally rapid.It wasn’t a bear breaking and entering 50 years ago – the intruder was a skunk. The paper reported,Confusion reigned in Aspen’s Hotel Jerome last Monday when a skunk was discovered in a linen closet. Hero of the day was ski instructor Sepp Kessler, called in by the puzzled management, who borrowed a special skunk trap from Fred Fisher and captured the menance. Althought the animal was apprehended before he released the full power of his potent protective odor, hotel employees state that he nonetheless left ample trace of his stay.
An editorial commented,Aspen has so many assets, some so great they become traditions. One was the Red Onion [see photo], which has been famous for as long as the city itself.The community suffered when it was closed in the fall of 1979 and again when it closed briefly last summer. Not only did locals and visitors like to eat and drink in one of the resort’s better restaurants, the traffic gave life to the Cooper Avenue Mall.And the community will benefit from its being open again. Yesterday, diners found a new menu and a renovated interior, but the charm of the old building remains, as does the quality of food.After years of city and county reviews, engineering and environmental reports, petitons and letters to the editor, the head of the group who proposed a ski area on the backside of Aspen Mountain was ready to throw in the towel. The paper reported,
The proposed Little Annie ski area is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.Developer David Farny is studied out, broke and fed up.He came up with $18,000 in options back in 1975, has $150,000 in liabilities as a general partner, a $200,000 personal mortgage on the line, and hasn’t paid himself any salary for the past two or three years. …Farny’s at the end of his rope.”I had the money -$2.5 million – in June,” Farny said, “but it all fell through. The county’s approval was so wishy-washy that the investors felt it was too chancy.”County commissioners voted to study the potential impacts of Little Annie on transportation and services for 120 days before making a final decision of the development application. …Farny said the county study has broadened beyond a consideration of the impacts of Little Annie to a study of the impacts of growth. “‘Can the county afford to grow?’ is the question they’re asking now,” said Doug Carlson of the Little Annie staff. …”Little Annie is as much needed, if not more, than it was when I first brought up the idea in 1975,” Farny said.
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A recent survey of Aspen residents shows that people are happy here, feel safe but are financially insecure.