25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

The Wheeler Opera House stage, bedecked in scenery, was a fine enough image for D.E. Lutes & Co., Fine Boots and Shoes to use as a store advertisement. (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.Encountering cigarette smoke in public places has always been unpleasant, but all an editor could do 100 years ago was implore the manager of the establishment for relief.Every time there is a show at the Wheeler it is necessary for patrons that are a little late to cut their way through cigarette smoke in order to pass up the stairs [see photos] to the main entrance. And more. As the play progresses, this smoke wafts over the audience and it becomes sickening ere the play is out.This disagreeable feature is due to the fact that before the play and between the acts, the kids are permitted to congregate on the stairway near the entrance and smoke their infernal cigarettes.Cut ’em out, Mr. Stallard, and please your patrons. Recently Aspenites have striven to keep their movie theaters from redevelopment. This blurb announced an unusual location for presenting the newfangled entertainment of motion pictures.

Next Monday night Pritchard and Johns will give, for the first time in Aspen, their animated moving picture entertainment in the new Armory, the show to be concluded with a dance. Pritchard & Johns now have their show ready for the road and after their initial performance in this city, will start out for the coast. They have gotten together many new features and we predict a successful tour for the boys. Turn out next Monday night and give the boys a good start.Some tall tales are told during hunting season; some even get in the newspaper. Brakeman Calhoun of the Rio Grande is confined to his home in Glenwood suffering from injuries received while out bear hunting last week near Emma. Several different stories are afloat concerning the accident, one being that Mr. Calhoun saw a bear and climbed up a tree to get out of the way, and the bear kept him there for two days. During the time Mr. Calhoun went to sleep and fell out of the tree and was badly bruised. He tries to make his friends believe that the horse ran away going home and he was thrown from the buggy.A report on Halloween night in Aspen packed a political wallop the week before Election Day.The hoodlums owned the town last night and destroyed property to their heart’s content, while Marshall Irving was hustling votes for sheriff, apparently leaving the city to take care of itself.Last night was Hallow-e’en and the kids and men were out destroying property in celebration of the occasion. Many homes this morning will present a dilapidated appearance as a result. Fences were torn down and carried out in the streets; outhouses were destroyed; gates were annihilated; vehicles were stolen and various other criminal acts committed.During all this where was the chief peace officer of the city? He was out of town asking people to promote him to the office of sheriff returning at 11:35 last night.If the 2006 Florida ballot for Mark Foley’s vacated congressional seat is confusing, read the newspaper’s instructions to readers in 1906.If the voter wants to vote a straight Republican ticket and at the same time vote against W.H. Gilbert, he must write the word “Republican” at the head of the ticket, scratch out the name Gabber and put a cross after the name of either Seeds or Hartenstein.Is there an opportunity here for election fraud, in spite of the paper’s cautionary words? Hopefully the two election judges are affiliated with different political parties.Election judges should be careful to read the law on instructing voters how to vote. No help shall be given to voters unless an affidavit is sworn to that they cannot read or write, and then two judges may enter the booth to assist such voter after the affidavit is made.

The Aspen Skiing Corp. knew 50 years ago that it was necessary to provide more than skiing (see photo) for its guests. The paper announced the sprouting of another corporation.

Construction has begun on Aspen’s newest attraction, a year-round, artificial skating rink to be located between Little Nell Cafe and the Aspen Pool.Owned by the newly formed Aspen Skating Corporation, the development will be called the Aspen Skating Center. It will comprise an artificial rink 60 by 90 feet in size, a skate shop and dressing rooms.Manager of the corporation and the new skating center is Lefty Brinkman. An employee of the Hotel Jerome for the past year, Brinkman was president of the Sun Valley Skating Club for two years.A well-known competitive skater, Brinkman skated for both the Philadelphia Skating Club and the Boadmoor Skating Club. At one time or another he was Pacific Coast Senior Pairs Champion, Middle Atlantic Senior Men’s Champion and placed second in the National Junior Men’s Championships. According to Brinkman, year-round skating in Aspen will bring many new skating enthusiasts to the area. The center will hire top professionals and will encourage young competitive skaters to come to Aspen to train.Present plans call for free Wednesday afternoon lessons for Aspen schoolchildren interested in learning to skate.Although the new rink will be too small for regulation hockey games, exhibition games will be scheduled if interest warrants them.The paper announced an old-time political rally to fire up protest against water diversion to the Front Range and against a proposal to reapportion state districts according to population, thereby increasing representation in urban areas. Aspen’s only political activity during the current national elections will take place tonight.Scheduled to assemble at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Aspen Times building, a torchlight parade, led by the School Band, will march up to Wagner Ball Park.Both Republicans and Democrats have united in planning this event to underscore the area’s opposition to the Fryingpan-Arkansas diversion and Amendment 4 for reapportionment.Main speaker of the evening will be Hugh Caldwell, Republican candidate for the 4th District to the House of Representatives. Following events at the Ball Park, a cocktail party and dinner at the Red Onion are planned for 6:30 p.m.

Apparently Independence Pass Road was still open in early November 1956, as the paper announced,Following the first weekend of skiing, local enthusiasts have scheduled the earliest race of the season, the Jim Parker Memorial Fun race, for next Saturday, Nov. 4.To be held at the top of Independence Pass, the event will be a team slalom, Teams will be composed of three couples, and a keg of beer will be used as refreshment. …The slalom was named for Jim Parker, popular Aspen ski instructor, killed last summer in a boating accident on the Indus River in Pakistan. It is hoped that the memorial race can be made an annual affair.

Getting to Aspen isn’t easy, which is both a blessing and a curse. The paper reported,Airline, Chamber of Commerce, business and lodge representatives pressured county officials Monday to extend the curfew at the Pitkin County Airport to allow later flights this season. FAA restrictions on Stapleton International Airport in Denver, imposed because of the shortage of air traffic controllers, have cut back the number of skier-feeder flights during the day. …Airport Manager Doug McCoy said the FAA has cut back the airlines flying into Denver by 25 to 30 percent in numbers of flights and in peak periods.John Skousen, president of Aspen Airways, said that the airlines are bringing in “banks” of flights in the less-restricted periods, 7, 8 and 9 p.m.Under existing county regulations, Aspen Airways would not have time to get these passengers to Aspen. …”You will lose some people to other markets,” [President of Rocky Mountain Airways Gordon] Autry said, “and you will at least lose them the first meal and the first night to the Denver market if you don’t change the regulations.”An adjoining article reported on the meeting of the Chamber of Commerce and elaborated on the history of the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport curfew.[The Aspen Chamber of Commerce] board agreed to draft a formal resolution asking [county] commissioners to extend the curfew from its present 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., with no exceptions for emergencies and no restrictions on flights.The airport’s actual curfew now is 8:30 p.m. with a half-hour grace period for emergency flights. …Three years ago the chamber led a movement to extend the airport curfew and increase night flights. The movement was successfully opposed by lower valley residents who complained about the noise from planes flying after dark. …Aspen Airways changed its flight patterns to avoid flying over the Woody Creek area and disturbing residents there.Local activist Don Lemos of Woody Creek was one of the more vocal opponents of the night flight issue and was instrumental in prompting the county to enact noise abatement regulations which affect not only the airlines, but activities such as snowmaking and construction machines. Lemos told The Aspen Times he doesn’t like the idea of a curfew extension for the upcoming ski season, but he understands why the request is being made. He said he would support a one-season curfew extension to 10 p.m. … He will not support an 11 p.m. curfew.