25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

Tours of Aspen's mines were popular excursions in the late 1800s and early 1900s. (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.Hallam Lake was an amusement park 100 years ago – hardly the nature preserve and environmental study center it is today. The paper reported,

For several winters past one of the most delightful places of amusement for both young and old has been Hallam lake where crowds of jolly skaters have enjoyed the ever invigorating and delightful sport. However, as the winters continued and the heavy snows fell, none were willing to keep the ice clear of snow, the result being that many hours of this pleasure were sacrificed. But this year is going to be different. Frank Flynn and Howard Mulqueen, two of Aspen’s enterprising young men, have taken charge of the lake and are arranging to have a fine skating rink in order very soon. A nominal charge will be made to skate, that the expense of keeping the ice in good condition may be met. Get out your skates, rub off the rust and be in readiness to enjoy the first evening this rink is thrown open to the public.While enjoying yourself to the full limit, you will be helping the boys who are working hard to make this sport of all sports possible all winter.The paper enthusiastically wrote about a group of Colorado Midland Railroad officials, who were visiting Aspen to promote their rail line. Among the day’s activities was a tour of the Newman Tunnel (see photos). WOW!

Say, did you meet the boosters yesterday – the Colorado Midland boys? If you didn’t, you missed the biggest bunch of good fellows that have visited the Crystal City of the Rockies in many a day. …Under the escort of Mr. Woodward, the party repaired to the mouth of the tunnel, where all donned over-alls and jumper, and armed with candles, were in readiness for their sight-seeing trip. And it was a sight to see them lined up in their blue jeans. …”All aboard” was the next order and the party climbed into the tunnel cars, after first being assured they would not go faster than the regular Midland passengers to Aspen, and were driven into the tunnel. …Under the guidance of Superintendent Woodward, the embryo miners exposed mammoth stopes, climbed up rases, slid down schutes [sic], rode the skip, and saw the knights of the candle delving into the bowels of good old Mother Earth extracting the precious metal. … Mr. Woodward was busy all the time answering questions and making explanations here and there to his curious visitors, and the time passed only too quickly.Upon emerging from the mine, the party returned to the luxurious office of the company where a genuine surprise awaited them. During their absence and knowing upon their return they would be cold and fatigued after their exertions, Mrs. Woodward and Mrs. Barnes prepared a most inviting and appetizing lunch with delicious hot coffee. … After the lunch Havanas were passed around when the party again mounted the Tally-ho and prepared for the return to the city. With three cheers and a tiger for Mr. Woodward and three tigers for the ladies, the party was off. They were driven to the Elks’ club where they were entertained until train time. Upon entering the club a large sign attracted their attention, reading as follows:OUR LIQUORS ARE AGED IN TRANSIT.WE SHIP OVER THE COLORADO MIDLAND.This brought the laugh and the good time was on.

The Sundeck (see photo) tapped into fresh Rocky Mountain spring water 50 years ago, the paper reported,The arduous task of trucking 25,000 gallons of water up to the Sundeck every fall is a thing of the past.

Recently installed by the Aspen Ski Corporation, a new water system pumps water from a spring in Tourtelotte park up to the 11,000-foot restaurant.Designed by engineer Dale Rae, the unusual project utilizes electric pumps to carry water uphill through nearly a mile of 2-inch pipe, rising 1,000 vertical feet.With the new system, the enlarged and remodeled skier’s haunt now has a modern flush toilet and an ample supply of running water.Prior to this, manager Paul Wirth had to truck the entire winter’s supply of water up the mountain before the heavy snows came. Taken up in small lots, the water was then stored on top of the mountain and meted out carefully through the winter season.The paper announced the beginning of the end of a freewheelin’ era.

In an effort to facilitate snow removal, the City Council recently decided to limit parking on certain business district streets to 24 hours.Former parking limit in the city was 72 hours.Hollywood called for some of Aspen’s canine citizens it was reported,Aspen’s doggiest movie stars are returning to Hollywood, Dec. 8, to make more films.Toklat Lodge’s Stuart Mace will take 19 of his famous Huskies and sledding equipment to the film capital to take part in 52 new “Sgt. Preston of the Yukon” film installments [see photos].A popular TV program, the first film series was begun in Aspen in the summer of 1955. Filming was finished up in Hollywood.

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Aspen has wonderful, dedicated schoolteachers, as the paper attested,Dr. Kenneth D. Lyon [see photo], speech and debate coach at Aspen High School, has been named one of three finalists in the Colorado Teacher of the Year Contest. Lyon teaches English at the high school and the speech and debate coaching is extracurricular.Nearly 50 teachers from around the state competed for the annual award. …

Lyon was nominated for the award by Anthony Frederick (Tony) Hershey, a senior student at Aspen High and president of the National Forensics League.In nominating Lyon, Hershey said, “Ken Lyon provides students with the opportunity to sharpen their skills, to push ourselves beyond our capabilities, to develop our self-esteem, and, most important, to learn.” …[Dr. Ann Freers, Aspen superintendent of schools] said, “His speech and debate team has grown from conception to one of the best in the state. The hours spent are long and hard and yet the students achieve a degree of excellence which they had not previously shown they were capable of doing.” Lyon said that students often talk about “real life” after they graduate from school, but, he said, “I firmly believe that school is real life, and I try to make the social environment realistic as well as provocative and academically rich.”There was a revolt of the people (and the newspaper) in 1981, as an editorial declaimed,

After listening to complaints from residents about the theme picked by the Winterskol Committee of the chamber of commerce during the past three weeks, we had hoped that some of it might reach that group and persuade it to change its mind. …But since that committee has not altered its original odd decision to use “A Pinch Between Your Cheek and Fun,” whatever that means, as the theme for our 1982 winter carnival, and since that slogan has received almost universal rejection from all except the five members of the committee who voted for it, The Aspen Times has decided to back a people’s Winterskol Theme contest.We don’t think imaginative Aspenites need a monetary inducement to express their creativity, nor do we think it will be difficult to select a better theme, but as a reward, we offer a $50 prize for the creator of the theme our judges select.If, as George Madsen and Mick Ireland each suggested, in separate [Aspen Times] columns, the chewing tobacco theme was selected to avoid any reference to snow because of its sometime allusion to cocaine, the judges, who reside in a resort that makes its living from snow, are indeed paranoid.Aspen’s reputation will not be helped by obliteration of the word snow from the language, nor will selection of an inappropriate, obscure, even ugly, theme alter the incidence of cocaine use in the valley.Winterskol is a lively, entertaining, colorful carnival and its theme should help, not hinder, in its enjoyment.