25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

Lumberyards were buzzing in Aspen during the late 1900s and early 20th century. Snow-packed roads made the delivery of logs much easier, the paper reported in 1906. (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.The holiday season was drawing near, and music was on the minds of Aspenites and in the pages of the paper. The school superintendent and several staff members published a Christmas wish on the front page.To the Citizens of Aspen:As the contest for the piano is drawing to a close, we wish to make a special appeal to the good people of Aspen in behalf of the High School. All agree that the piano should go to that organization which represents the greatest number. The high school represents no particular denomination or society; it represents the community, Catholic and Protestants alike. … We are surely in need of a piano; it would add so materially to the efficiency of our regular school work. The members of our school board are as willing to buy us a new one as any five men in our city can be, but they are struggling with a bonded school debt of twenty-three thousand dollars and cannot provide us one at present. In behalf of higher education, in behalf of the children of our entire community, we earnestly appeal for this new piano.This blurb appeared on an inside page of the same edition. Someone was stuffing the ballot box, as the population for all of Pitkin County in 1906 was approximately 5000 people.

The votes in the piano contest last evening stood as follows: Aspen High School, 54,863; Catholic church, 48,385; Armory hall, 11,858.This notice could just as well have been posted by “Music Man” Professor Harold Hill, not Florence Harrington.Florence Harrington desires all the young boys wishing to organize a juvenile brass band to meet with him at the Jerome hotel at 7:30 this evening.This is a movement The Democrat takes pleasure in calling attention to, and asking everybody to give it a boost. It is a good idea and if a first class juvenile band can be organized here it will not only be a source of great pleasure to the city in general, but prove quite an attraction to outsiders as well.Another thing, if the boys get down to work right away they will be in fine trim by summer time, and Aspen could once more enjoy its old time summer concerts. Let’s encourage the boys all we can.Many workers smiled, the paper reported, after a big snowfall because their job became easier.The snow storm yesterday caused a contraction of the facial muscles of our log haulers [see photo] that will last until roads are muddy again. It is believed that sufficient snow has fallen to permit the hauling of logs to the railroads on runners. There are many large contracts out for the delivery of logs by January, and it was feared the lack of snow would cause considerable delay.There was more gunplay downtown, the paper reported,Shortly after 12 o’clock this morning the people on East Cooper avenue [see photo] were startled from their slumbers by the report of a pistol shot.An investigation revealed Pete Iller in the shadow of an old building with a bullet hole in his right foot. He was taken to Dr. Twining’s office where the bullet was extracted and the wound dressed. The patient was then taken to Citizen’s hospital.Iller told the police that at closing up time he had left a saloon and was on the way home when Andrew Treselic appeared from behind an old building and took a shot at him, the bullet from a 38-calibre revolver striking his right foot. He claimed he did not know the reason for the attack.

It was high time Aspen received a visit from that jolly old elf, the paper noted,Santa Claus will be within reach of all Aspen children Saturday, Dec. 22.That is the date for the traditional Kids Christmas party scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in the school gym.Sponsored jointly by the Eagles Club and the Chamber of Commerce the annual affair is open to all children, no matter of what age or from what area.Highlights of the party each year is the appearance of Santa who distributes candy, oranges and other goodies. A large and well decorated Christmas tree is also provided. Last year’s festivities were attended by 225 children ranging from 2 to 68.The annual business shuffle was still under way, and one move was by the venerable Aspen Times. The interior furnishings of the Times are still the same today!In a general reshuffling, the Aspen Times this week moved its offices into the recently completed addition east of the old Times building.Designed by Tony Chapin and built by Tony Kaestelic and Frank Baltizar, the new building contain offices, stock and cutting rooms.Though still lacking heat and electricity, the addition is now headquarters for the usual fever pitch Times operation.The old office, now separated from the Times shop by an insulated wall, has been leased to Elli of Aspen and the Aspen Ski School.It will house the ski school’s office and a portion of the sport shop’s stock and will begin functioning as soon as the new tenants can replace the timeworn cardboard box, brown paper sack decor with something more contemporary.Lack of storage facilities and an expanding ski equipment rental business prompted Elli of Aspen to open a branch store.Moving soon will be the Western Union office.Located for some years in the Hotel Jerome, the telegram service will shift to Beck and Bishop grocery store on Jan. 10.To be supervised by Mrs. Henry Beck, an experienced operator, the office will be in what is presently a storeroom on the north side of the building.The Around Aspen column announced a brand-new teacher, whose last name is now Stapleton, and mentioned a far-away subscriber. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Braun, Sigrid Braun will start teaching today at the Aspen School. A senior at Western State in Gunnison, Sigrid will teach music education. Her roommate, Lee Ecklund, will also instruct here. Her subjects are dramatics and literature. They will stay with Mr. and Mrs. Braun. …A friend of Mr. and Mrs. Friedl Pfeifer’s with the American Embassy in London wrote recently that he had “just met an Irishman who subscribed to the Aspen Times.”

Heroes can come any in any size, the paper noted. “Are you a hero?” asked the photographer.”Who, me? Of course not,” answered the hero, lisping because he’s lost his two front teeth [see photo].Jeffrey Pransky, just turned 7, was largely responsible for the rescue of his friend Peter Plantec, 48, who had fallen on West Buttermilk and suffered severe injuries of a broken hip and femur.The accident occurred at the end of the ski day, Nov. 29, when Plantec, his two daughters and Jeffrey were skiing away from the West Buttermilk trails and through the trees to reach the nearby Pransky house. The foursome had split into two duos, with the little girls skiing one way, and Plantec and Jeffrey skiing the other.Plantec, skiing ahead, hit a rock. It tore his ski off. He remembers the second rock as it broke his leg. …After instructing Jeffrey to ski to the bottom and get help, Plantec piled snow on his leg to keep the swelling down, and began what concluded as more than a 40-minute wait.Meanwhile, Jeffrey skied back over the trails and down the mountain to the main Buttermilk office where he notified the patrol that his friend was hurt.Plantec, who remembers being in “incredible pain,” saw at least one snowcat as it searched for him. Unfortunately, he was hidden from view in a little hollow.”I could see them and call to them, but they couldn’t hear me,” he said later. He was apparently slightly hypothermic by that time.Another snowcat bearing Jeffrey joined the search, and Jeffrey was able to locate Plantec, who was taken to Aspen Valley Hospital. …Though he was apparently enough of a hero to earn a free flight to a Bronco game in Denver, Jeffrey said, “It was just something that I had to do.”Mary Eshbaugh Hayes passed along news in Around Aspen about several favorite Aspen women, including Maureen Rogers, the quilting artist and Redstone resident who died in a car accident last month.Did you know that Maureen Rogers and Bianca Hooker are the new owners of the Emporium Fabric Shop? They are buying it from Marilyn Hennig, who has gone to Las Vegas to break into show business (Marilyn sang for many years at the Crystal Palace, started Le Cabaret and sang in many Aspen Community Theatre productions – she was the star of “Gypsy”).One of the new owners, Maureen Rogers, formerly had the Christmas Shop behind the Hutch in Aspen and now has a Christmas corner of her handmade items in the Emporium. Bianca has written the gossip column for the Snowmass Sun. …Tukey Koffend, owner of Uriah Heep’s Boutique, has sold her house in Malibu, Calif., and says she is back in Aspen forever.

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