25-50-100 years ago
Copies of The Aspen Times from October 1903 until 1911 are missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. To continue our journalistic history of Aspen, we include excerpts from The Aspen Democrat, the Times’ competitor 100 years ago.For several days, the newspaper raged about an assault case involving two underage girls and three young men in their 20s. Now outrage was directed at the court for curbing freedom of the press.The court room was cleared of all persons who had no direct interest in the case and some who had. In excluding idle curiosity seekers and the morbidly inclined, the court unquestionably acted in the interest of public decency and public morals. …But in excluding the press, the court, in the opinion of the Democrat, erred in its zeal to be fair. The press was not there to spread a salacious feast before its readers; to delve into the private lives of those who were involved. The press has suppressed ninety-nine facts where it has disclosed one. If the true facts were made known, this town would be a seething cauldron inside of two days. The merest hint of the true facts is “nauseating, disgusting and obscene.” In such a filthy mess as that which has been uncovered, the press could be trusted to use proper discretion in making public the evidence and the decision to exclude the press was merely a piece of fat-headedness whose only excuse was the good intention behind it.Armory Hall (see photo) was the center for dances, athletic matches and community events in Aspen. The following public notice would certainly put a crimp in the town’s social life 100 years ago.
Notice is hereby given that the building known as the Armory Hall in the city of Aspen, is considered to be unsafe and has been declared to be a public nuisance by the City Council and ordered abated as such, and that no public gathering will be permitted in said building.Fortunately this annual celebration was scheduled for the Hotel Jerome. The paper announced,Everything is ready.Yes indeed, the greatest ball of the season will be held Friday night at the Jerome.The Knights of Wolfe Tone are giving the ball in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and that it will be a hummer goes without saying.The Jerome ball room will be suitably decorated in the colors and emblems of the order, and the reception committee has been instructed to allow no wall flowers, and if a member of the committee is caught loitering near a person that is not dancing, he will be fined and moved to another place.The reception room of the Jerome will be used as a ladies’ dressing room and they can go into the ball room without passing through the lobby if they so desire.As spring arrived in Aspen, so did the wedding season (see photo). It was customary to host an evening ceremony and wedding supper in the bride’s home.
One of the prettiest and most charming weddings of the early spring season was solemnized Sunday evening at the home of the bride’s mother, Mrs. R.H. Whiting, on South Spring street when her daughter, Miss Laura Rogers became the bride of John Foshee in the presence of a large number of relatives and friends of the contracting parties. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Haupert at 7 o’clock, the beautiful ring ceremony being used. … The bridal party stood beneath a large bell made of pink and white flowers which hung in the center of the room. From this bell pink and white streamers ran to all parts of the room, making a most charming picture.The bride was becomingly gowned in a dainty white Paris lawn creation trimmed in silk net and tucks. She carried a shower bouquet of roses and carnations. Little Miss Lena Sullivan preceded the bridal party bearing a large calla lily in which rested the ring.
In what has continued to be a never-ending process, The Aspen Times announced a public hearing to consider new zoning regulations for Pitkin County. The paper explained, A zoning board composed of Fred Glidden, Henry L. Stein, Herbert Bayer, Fritz Benedict, and Sam Caudill have been working many hours with Trafton Bean and Associates, local planning service, in drawing up a sensible and workable plan for changing the county’s development in the right of way. …The purpose of the Zoning regulations as stated by the committee is to protect property values and existing resources, prevent congestion along major highways, establish necessary health and safety regulations for crowded areas, and provide reasonable minimum standards for the growth of the County. … Outlying farms and ranches are not affected by this proposal. …The thought behind zoning is that problems of growth are often easier to avoid than to cure. Highways lined with billboards, trailer courts and temporary housing areas in scenic locations decrease tourist revenues and hold down property values.Col. Henry Dutton sent a letter to Life magazine, which The Aspen Times printed for its readers.It is not true as Life states that the principal opposition to the diversion of the Frying Pan [see photo] comes from California.Residents of Aspen, Colorado, one of America’s most scenic and unique resort towns (Summer Music Festival – the ski capital of America in winter) together with those of neighboring towns are fighting for their economic lives trying to prevent the drying up of mountain streams which would result from such diversion. The Frying Pan feeds the Colorado, therefore Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction are also vitally concerned in this matter. Life researchers might be interested in looking into the future of this area which has the largest oil shale deposits in the world. Experts have stated that the Rifle-Grand Junction area may some day rival Pittsburgh as an industrial empire. With less water in the Colorado such development would be retarded and increased population could not be sustained. I suggest that Life check on the sentiments in Aspen, Snowmass, Glenwood Springs, Basalt, Rifle and Grand Junction and other towns on this question and also with the thousands who visit these areas each year for the best in trout fishing and the enjoyment of the beauty and invigorating climate of the western slope of the Rockies.The following note accompanied Rep. Wayne Aspinall’s, R-Colo., renewal subscription to The Aspen Times. Why not try to keep politics and water in correct perspectus [sic]? I’ll wager you a Stetson that if I am a candidate again, it will be for re-election. This is your time to call.WAYNE ASPINALL
The Aspen Times brought the community up to date on the four-year-old Windstar Foundation.The enigmatic Windstar Foundation made its community debut this week with the inauguration of its 1980 lecture-film series. … The lecture-film series will be an ongoing program which focuses on environmental, spiritual and community concerns plus technology appropriate for the Roaring Fork Valley. …The Windstar project is located on 950 acres in Old Snowmass adjacent to the Snowmass Monastery. The land was purchased from the Shorty Pabst family. …Architect Steve Conger, the foundation’s design director, says 60% of the [Windstar] complex will be below grade.Four “zones” in the facility were designed to function as a whole system, much like the early Benedictine monasteries, he says.There are areas for health-related activities, living quarters, community gatherings, education and creative work, meditation and a unit for audio-visual and broadcasting equipment. In addition, the project will house a kitchen, a greenhouse, and a shop. …Construction is scheduled to begin in 1981 with completion expected in five to six years. …Foundation members believe the final project will serve as a model representing the “possibilities for a sustained future.” …The Windstar Foundation was founded by John Denver in 1976.
The paper reported the fallout on another matter concerning John Denver,Contradicting a radio news statement made by Division of Wildlife biologist Lee Laughrin of Glenwood Springs, Aspen-based filmmaker Mark Stouffer said he does not believe John Denver made a mistake by releasing a pair of wolverines from Canada into the Colorado wilderness.Denver released the male and female wolverines in October 1978 as part of a documentary film project, called Rocky Mountain Reunion, produced and directed by Stouffer. According to Stouffer, Laughrin stated that introduction of a non-native “exotic” species of wolverine to Colorado could upset the ecological balance within the wildlife population.Stouffer said, “Colorado Division of Wildlife Public Relations Officer Arch Andrews has issued a statement verifying many recent sightings of wolverines in Colorado, thereby declaring the species a past and current resident of the state.” …Stouffer called the statements by Laughrin “just another cheap potshot at John Denver.”A gift, sold three years ago (causing much acrimony among several citizens of Aspen), was offered to the community in 1980. The paper announced, Aspen was offered a gift of six trolley cars owned by the Aspen Street Railway Company during the regular city council meeting Monday.[Michael] Hernstadt reminded the council that last fall it had expressed interest in operation of an Aspen trolley system, but was unwilling to offer financial support. … The city could use the cars for transportation or for bus stops, but for his tax advantage they should be used for some purpose and not sold immediately, he continued. …
After a brief discussion of the offer, the council voted to have the administration staff study the proposal and make a recommendation.
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