25-50-100 years ago
September 12, 2006
Microfilm of The Aspen Times 19041909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.The paper had been filled all week with plans for welcoming the Colorado Manufacturers’ Association of Denver to Aspen for the Tri-County fair. Editor Charles “Cap” Dailey never missed an opportunity to urge his readers to “Smile and Push Aspen.” After their visit, Cap rhapsodized, Was there anybody in Aspen last evening, man, woman or child that was able to be around at all, who was not up to the depot last evening to greet the Denver boosters, more properly known as the Colorado Manufacturers’ association? …At the sound of the fire-bell at 7:30 o’clock, as a reminder that the train carrying the Denver delegation was approaching the city, the people began to gather from all directions. Then came the Aspen band with torches ablaze marching to the Union depot to the strains of one of their own popular airs. …Just as the two compound engines pulling the special train composed of baggage car, three coaches, dining car and three Pullman sleepers reached the depot, the Aspen band played one of its best selections.The next minute the Denver delegation assembled on the platform and gave forth one of its mighty yells, and the Aspen crowd took it up and made the dome of old West Aspen mountain shake and tremble with pleasure and gladness. It was a good and hearty exchange of salutes and from that moment on, the Aspenites and the Denverites were one.
Along the side of the special train a large white banner bore the inscription: “Keep your money in Colorado.” This was also the legend on their standard, and it certainly is a good one.A blurb scolded a petty thief, If the party who helped himself to the table from the yard on East Hopkins avenue will call again, he can secure the fourth leg of the table and the article will be of some use.The Democrat’s Dailey had some fun in ribbing its competitor, The Aspen Times.Last night by mistake the dear telephone girl of Denver got the wires crossed, and The Democrat’s correspondent talked to the Times, and Sister’s [The Aspen Times’ managing editor W.S. Copeland] correspondent sent a partial report to The Democrat. Therefore, the Times will have a much better telegraph report than usual this morning. After this paper had received Sister’s report, we found it didn’t amount to much, and we called up our own correspondent and secured out regular 10,000-word report that our readers might not suffer by mistake. …Oh, by the way, Sister, your correspondent must be a Democrat or working on a Democrat paper. Why don’t you get a Republican, it would look better for the color of the Times. Here’s a follow-up article to a reference in 1906 (Aspen Times Weekly, Sept. 3, 2006, page 18) that the Garfield School (see photo) had closed.
Yesterday the first, second and third grades were established in the Garfield school building, the school board finding it impossible to handle the children of these grades in the Lincoln and Washington buildings. On Monday next the fourth and fifth grades will also be started in the Garfield.The Democrat commends the action of the board as by closing the Garfield school it worked a hardship on the children living in the east end of the city. The paper announced a team (see photo), comprising first swing, second swing, wheel, hose-puller, plugman, hose-buster, nozzleman, captain and manager, had been selected to represent Aspen at the Mesa County Fair in Grand Junction, Sept. 26-28, 1906.The team will take part in all the event – wet contest, hub-and-hub race, dry contest and running races. …If the boys are fortunate enough (and we hope they will be) to carry off some of the cash prizes, the money will be used to provide for a running course in this city and to have a contest during the [Pitkin County] fair.
The play area for Aspen’s schoolchildren 50 years ago was Hallam Street in front of the Red Brick School. The Times reported the School Board’s efforts to secure land for a playground.In asking the City Council for use of Wagner Park [see photo] as a playground the School Board explained that it had previously negotiated for land directly behind the school. Purchase of adequate acreage behind the school was stymied, the board spokesman explained, by Walter Paepcke’s refusal to sell. Although most of the persons owning this land, desired as playground by school authorities, were amenable to the sale, Paepcke had repeatedly expressed his unwillingness to let go of his property. Since he owned the major portion of the land needed, the School Board had decided to request use of Wagner Park to partially fill their playground needs. In his presentation to the Council, Wendy Morse, speaking for the Board, explained that Wagner Park would serve the high school children. Other facilities would still be needed for the grade school children.To further protect the younger children, who must now play in the streets, Morse also requested the City Council to permanently block the streets adjoining school property during the entire school year.Although members of the Council expressed unwillingness to place permanent blocks on the streets, they agreed to place rope barriers during school hours. When requesting a lease for Wagner Park, Morse stated that the school would like to build a cinder track, seed the playing fields and perhaps construct a shower house. All school-constructed facilities would be made available to other city users, he maintained.A substantial contribution for the projected shower house had tentatively been promised by Paepcke, the Board member added. It was implied that this promise was contingent on the School Board’s selection of a site other than the land directly behind the school.Another park was in the news for projected enhancements funded by the ever-constant largesse from the ladies of the Thrift Shop.Landscaping and improvements valued at $900 were donated to the Aspen City Park [now Paepcke Park] by the Community Thrift Shop staff.
Meeting at the Red Onion restaurant, the ladies consulted with landscape artist Henry Pedersen and commissioned him to carry out the improvements.Included among the planned improvements is a children’s playground area with swings, slides, etc.; increased picnic facilities; additional planting of trees and shrubs, and a level area for a future tennis court. Peggy Clifford, the paper’s new columnist, penned a rare tribute in Talk of the Times.The subject of “gratitude” comes up often in Aspen. Whether an individual has lived here for all of his life, or whether he’s recently arrived, he is supposed to be grateful a lot. He should be grateful to the Ski Corporation and the Aspen Company and the Music Associates, because they each, according to the story, brought about a rebirth of Aspen and a flourishing economy. Since we are all becoming rich and famous by living in Aspen, it’s occurred to us that we should all be MOST grateful to the 500 or so people who stayed in Aspen through everything. They watched a silver boom blow up, they lived through a depression that was longer here than nearly anywhere else in the United States, and they were here when all of the bright-eyed pioneers arrived in the mid-forties. If they hadn’t stuck it out, there would have been nothing here at all.
Transportation, always a subject for The Aspen Times, scored a victory in a special election asking for a property-tax increase. Mick Ireland reported,What had come to be known as the Class War ended in a surprisingly quiet exercise in democracy Tuesday night as voters turned a deaf ear to the media blitz urging them to reject funding for the county bus system. …Both Aspen’s West End and the midvalley precinct that encompasses Starwood, Woody Creek and Maroon and Castle creeks were expected to be strongholds of anti-property-tax increase sentiment, but both delivered majorities for the bus issue. …The final vote on the bus question was 1,192 yes, 860 no, a 58.1 percent to 41.9 percent landslide for the yes forces.The opposition to the bus question was spearheaded by the political action group VOICE, which conducted a media blitz that was concentrated on spending for KSPN radio airtime.While the voters failed to heed VOICE’S urgings, the group could enjoy the consolation of knowing that their efforts had spurred an exceptionally heavy turnout for a special election. …The heavy advertising campaign also appeared to rally pro-bus forces [see photo]. Several ad hoc groups and one individual were buying airtime of their own though the pro forces never reached the saturation levels by VOICE. …The tone of the pro-bus commercials was decidedly more angry than the slick VOICE spots. “If you don’t get out and vote, you are letting another special interest group buy another election. Prove there are more of us than them,” one of the coalition commercials said.The business of skiing in Aspen 25 years ago was subject to moving pieces on the corporate buyout game board, the paper reported, As was rumored earlier this summer, the Aspen Skiing Corp. and several other properties owned by 20th Century Fox were sold to a subsidiary of Aetna Life and Casualty Company, it was announced last week.Last June, after a series of much-publicized negotiations, 20th Century Fox, which purchased the Ski Corp several years ago, was sold to a company owned by Denver oil magnate Marvin Davis. Last Friday, it was revealed that the Fox board had approved the sale of an individual one-half interest in the assets of the Ski Corp to Urban Diversified Properties Inc., a subsidiary of Aetna. …
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Fox is owned one-half by Davis, his family and associates, and one-half by Richco Holdings, BV, a Netherlands corporation.Also included in the sale were undivided half interests in the Pebble Beach Corp; 63 acres of land on which the Fox film studios are located; the outstanding stock of Coca Cola Bottling Midwest Inc.; Houts Theaters Ltd., Australia, and 20th Century Fox Film Corp., New Zealand. There was more news about the Thrift Shop, the paper noted,After several false starts the venerable Aspen Thrift Shop has found a temporary home in the old post office building on Spring Street [where the Wienerstube and Ajax Bike & Sports are now located].An institution in Aspen for the past 30 years, the shop was required to vacate its space in the city-owned Wheeler Opera House last weekend to permit interior demolition prior to renovation. …Earlier this summer the city offered to let the Thrift Shop use city-owned land on East Hopkins next to the firehouse to hold an old house it had received as a donation.However, when it was discovered that it would cost an estimated $100,000 to bring the house up to code, the organization announced it could not afford the move. …Thrift Shop volunteers are still looking for a more-permanent temporary home in case the post office is sold or leased. But in the interim they are open for business.