25-50-100 years ago
Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1906 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.Guns and liquor are not a good mix, as the paper affirmed in a story headlined, “A Gun Play on Cooper.” Last night about 11 o’clock a shooting occurred in one of the resorts on Cooper avenue east of Galena street. The trouble occurred between Charlie Pearce and Charlie Reuter, a traveling man representing a grocery house.There had been an old score, it is alleged, between the two men for some time past, and while drinking together last night Reuter proceeded to tell Pearce what he thought of him and stated he would not be “bluffed any longer” and invited Pearce to “square” himself and fight it out there and then.The proprietor of the resort endeavored to soothe the irate drummer, when Pearce advanced and pulled a revolver from his hip-pocket, and fired point blank at Reuter’s face. Reuter fell back against the refrigerator but immediately recovering his equilibrium, started in pursuit of Pearce who was executing a masterly retreat with his artillery in fairly good order. …
The peace officers called at the residence of Pearce but received no response to their repeated calls and raps. It is understood Pearce will be apprehended today and arraigned on the charge of discharging firearms in the city limits and for carrying concealed weapons.Now is the time to make an example of “the man with a gun” as the habit is growing too promiscuous. If it is not stopped and stopped now, some fool with a gun will shoot somebody and more than likely the man that gets hit will be an innocent bystander.Two days later the paper asked, “Why should we apologize?” If nothing else, at least a corrected spelling of the perpetuator’s name was made.Last evening Mr. Charles H. Pierce called at The Democrat office and demanded that the editor publish an apology for what we had said about his inexcusable act of Thursday night when he shot at a comrade. Mr. Pierce stated further that unless we apologized he would instigate all sorts of things against us.In replying to Mr. Pierce’s threat we said: “Go right ahead, Mr. Pierce, and do all that you say you will, we have no apology to make.”Why should we apologize for stating the truth that he had unwarrantably shot at a comrade while drinking together, when it was the truth.The transport of ore from Aspen Mountain was under new management, the paper reported.
W.R. West & Co. yesterday purchased the old Tourtelotte park [see photo] aerial tramway running from the depot to the park. Superintendent Lyman Hays stated yesterday to a representative of The Democrat that the tram would be running full capacity within sixty days and that besides handling the ore from his property the output of several other mines of the park would be placed in the cars at Aspen by the tram. This will result in a great saving to the operators of the park mining properties. … Among those who will be benefited is George Harris, who is operating the Oakland [claim] and working a fine body of ore. Ed Turner, et al., who are working the Good Thunder is a comer, say those on the inside.Mr. Heys is making many changes in Tourtelotte mining and the advanced methods of his company will result in great things for that mining district.Smile and push Aspen.There’s only so much humiliation you can take in a new job. The paper reported,A new waiter was employed at the Jerome last week but after the first evening handed in his resignation.Not being used to the slick floor on going out of the swinging doors with his hands full, his feet slipped out from under him and he fell flat between the large dining room, and the contents of the dishes went all over the gentleman. He was very much embarrassed and decided to resign.
The Times reported the death of one of Aspen’s favorite old-timers (see photos). Long thought of as one of Aspen’s most loved and respected citizens, William (Billy) Zaugg died last Thursday, Nov. 15, at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.Born in Switzerland in 1867, Mr. Zaugg came with his parents to Kansas when he was a boy. He graduated from Oxford U. in Kansas.Shortly after that, having become interested in mining, he moved to Aspen, then a tremendous silver center.In Aspen, he had several successful ventures in Tourtelotte Park on Aspen Mountain. Subsequently, the ski run, Zaugg Park, was named after him.He had no family but was known by nearly everyone in Aspen.
Another colorful character had a new nighttime gig. The paper noted,Last Saturday, Nov. 17, Aspen residents and visitors were able to hear one of the world’s great Dixieland musicians when Freddie (Schnicklefritz) Fisher opened at the Hotel Jerome with his new trio.To play in the Jerome bar, the newly created trio is composed of Fisher, on clarinet, his son King Fisher on the cornet and pianist Walt Smith.A well-known Dixieland band leader before the last World War, Fisher retired from big-time music in 1951 and moved to Aspen in 1952. Here, he opened a fix-it shop and only played his clarinet for charity benefits and occasional short fill-ins.Fisher’s son King is a graduate of Aspen High School and the leader of his own young jazz enthusiasts called the Wolverines. Father Fred considers him a top man on the cornet.Third member of the new trio, Walt Smith, is known in Aspen as owner of the Aspen Enterprises, which includes the Aspen Lanes and Timberline Dorm. He was formerly a well-known jazz pianist in Denver clubs.Aspen loves its dogs, but how about these cats!
Six Aspen cats sidled away with 17 rosettes and 11 trophies at a recent Denver cat show,Shown by Mrs. Nino Hisig, three Persian cats and two Abyssinian cats won the mass of awards at the All-Breed and Specialty Show, Nov. 10 and 11.A blue Persian, Canber Betsybob of Rocky Mountain racked up a phenomenal number of bests. She won best cat in show, best champion, best longhair, best of breed, best of color, best class and one first award in the All-Breed division.In the specialty category, she was awarded prizes for longhair of color, best longhair of division and best of class.Rocky Mountain Butterscotch, a cream Persian male, walked off with a first and winner’s award and best in color in the All-Breed section … Rocky Mountain patch of Gold showed her mettle by winning best in longhair kitten class and best in show, opposite sex. … Rocky Mountain Cinderella, a blue green Persian, was first and winner in the longhair specialty class. …The Abyssinian cats together accrued eight points toward championship, and each took a best of color award.
Change can be painful, especially in Aspen. The Times reported, A group of 30 very upset mothers of young schoolchildren met twice this week with members of the school board of the Aspen Public Schools protesting the consolidation of the schools and the move of the two elementary schools to the Maroon Creek Campus. …The mothers said they were not being negative about the move, but were being critical. They said they felt there was a lack of adequate planning for the move, that they were concerned the facilities would not be ready on time. … They worried about young children having to ride school buses with elder children, being mashed in the process. … The mothers mourned the move from a quiet neighborhood where children can walk to school and to Hallam Lake and the Visual Arts Center. They mourned the move from buildings designed for little children to buildings designed for older youths. …Board president Nancy Van Domelan spoke to the advantages of consolidation.”We have to consolidate for financial reasons, and we will have financial advantages, ” she said. “But there are other advantages. The elementary students will be moving to better facilities. The middle school and high school are newer and better buildings, they are better equipped. There is a greenhouse, there are labs, areas for voc ed, home ec and art. We will be able to centralize computers. “There will be cross-age tutoring, children of all ages can mix, interacting can be beneficial, the school can become a family. … It’s not good if you don’t change,” she said. “There comes a lack of innovation.”1981 marked a big birthday celebration for a community landmark. The paper wrote,
St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Aspen is kicking off its centennial year celebration with a community chili dinner this Saturday, Nov. 21, in the church kitchen. …The chili supper will be the first in a series of events sponsored by the St. Mary’s parish family to raise funds for centennial celebrations throughout the year. …The history of the Catholic Church in Aspen began in 1881, when Father Edward Downey crossed the mountain ranges on foot to arrive in the mining camp.As the first priest in Aspen, Downey said his first Mass in the brand new Aspen Times building that was located at Hyman and Mill streets.He moved his growing parish into a tiny church that he named St. Stephen’s. …When Father J.B. Pitavel initiated his famous drive [in 1891] for funds to build a new and grand St. Mary’s Church, he soon collected $22,000 from prospectors, gamblers, merchants, saints and sinners, as they were described by a subsequent pastor. And when the new church was dedicated in 1892, the entire cost came to exactly $22,317 – all paid for and with no debt outstanding. The funds also built a convent and parochial school [see photo] that taught Aspen children until 1909 when the silver crash forced the closing of most mines, businesses and services.
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