25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

An Aspen mother, her daughters and their dolls are all dressed in their best for a studio camera at the turn of the last century. (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.Enjoying our citizens chorus sing the “Messiah” at St. Mary Catholic Church is a treasured Christmas tradition in Aspen. One hundred years ago it was “Santa Claus’ Welcome” at the Baptist Church. The paper announced,Don’t miss the Christmas cantata, “Santa Claus’ Welcome,” at the Baptist church tonight. Hear the newsboys, bootblacks and the cooks in their cheery Christmas songs. At the conclusion of the cantata, the candy and nuts and the present will be distributed among the Sunday school scholars. A royal welcome and a pleasant evening is in store for you. The program begins at 8 o’clock.Aspen was a little too close to heaven for our Catholic priest (see photo), according to the paper. The Democrat regrets the announcement that Father Dilly will leave his charge at this place next week to take up his work at La Junta, the change being necessitated on account of Father Dilly’s health. It is understood the priest now at La Junta will come to Aspen. Father Dilly has made many friends in Aspen by his broad mindedness and courteous manner and tireless work in behalf of his church and people, and all will regret his departure, but while regretting will hope that the changes will be beneficial to his health and that the most complete success will attend his efforts in his new pastorate.

Multicultural socializing wasn’t prevalent in 1906 Aspen, as it was noted,The Scandinavian Silver club will have a dance and Christmas tree Saturday night at Redmen’s hall. All Scandinavians are invited.Last week, these pages reported a Shetland pony was the prize in a 1906 playoff dice game. This week, the paper reported a playoff drawing for a Christmas doll (see photo).The guessing for the doll at Eddys [department store] having resulted in a tie, it has been decided to have a drawing at the store this afternoon at 3 o’clock. The names of those in the tie will be written upon slips of paper, which will be placed in a hat, and a committee chosen from the pedestrians on the street will superintend the drawing.

The Aspen Times announced the winner of its own holiday contest 50 years ago.Grand prize of $50 in the first annual Aspen Times Decorating Contest was won by O. Louis Wille of 203 W. Bleeker St.Wille’s winning effort was composed of a group of ice statues showing the arrival of kings at the birth of the Christ child.Second grand prize of $25 offered by the Aspen Lumber and Supply Co. was awarded to the Prospector lodge for another ice statue group. The ice figures showed a miner and his burro.Judging the many Christmas displays last Saturday night was a panel of three. They were Garth Williams, Aspen artist, Peggy Coble, County Clerk, and Mike Garrish, Alderman.The three judges started their rounds at 8:30 Saturday evening and drove by every house and business establishment in the city. They saw their last display at 11:30.The dispatcher at the Hotel Jerome must have been sleeping in after a holiday party, as the paper reported,Damage in excess of $20,000 was suffered by the Glory Hole Motel [see photo] last Saturday, Dec. 22, when fire ravaged the seven-room owner’s house. The fire in the unoccupied house was first noticed by employees of the motel at roughly 6:45 in the morning. They immediately phoned the fire desk at the Hotel Jerome. According to a report from the motel, almost 10 minutes went by before the phone was answered. After the fire report was taken, another 12 minutes or so passed before the alarm siren sounded.

Once at the scene, the firefighters quickly got the flames under control. Before the conflagration was stopped, however, the building was almost completely gutted.So that’s why it’s known as the Thomas-Marolt property. The paper noted, The rapidly burgeoning area just west of Aspen will include another residential development it was announced last week. Aspenite Leonard Thomas purchased the Mike Marolt ranch [see photo] last Wednesday, according to real estate broker Roy Vroom.Thomas is the owner of a number of Aspen businesses, including the Aspen Pool and Little Nell Cafe.Vroom said that Thomas intends to divide the ranch up into plotted home sites. Plans are already underway to put in roads, water and power lines.He added that they hope to have improved plots available by next summer.Another real estate purchase was reported, for land that today is Aspen’s mass-transit hub.The possibility of another large real estate development for Aspen arose last week with the sale of nine business district lots to Texan William B. Rubey.

Announced by broker Roy Reid, the sale involved a half-block on Durant Avenue just south of Guido’s restaurant and the Country Store building. The land was owned by four out-of-town men.Rubey, from Houston, Texas, is a frequent visitor to Aspen. He already owns other residential properties in Aspen.According to Reid, Rubey has no immediate specific plans for the land.However, he added, the tentative future of the land involves leasing it to someone interested in putting in a sizable first-class shopping center or hotel.There was a big enhancement to Aspen Mountain to announce, Boasting the only practice loading and unloading platform in the country, Aspen’s newest chairlift will open for the season Dec. 21.Replacing the T-Bar on the Little Nell slope, the lift is a Riblet-built double chair. It is 3100 feet long, has a vertical rise of about 830 feet and is expected to handle almost 900 passengers per hour.Unique feature of the new chairlift is a practice platform alongside the lower terminal. This has a hinged chair which will enable beginning skiers to practice loading and unloading.

GrassRoots TV announced the debut of a morning show on our local station.[“Good Morning” ] is an hour-long assortment of local vital statistics, interviews and entertainment in a format not unlike “Good Morning America.”[Ted] Lenio and [Buzz] Dopkin open the show with news, weather, sports, road and avalanche conditions, along with some quips known internally as “Buzz’s worthless news.” … [There] will be a regular business feature with Bill Gruenberg and an exercise segment with Annie OlsonAlso presented throughout the week will be reviews of restaurants, films, places to go, things to do, and “how to” spots. …Other features scheduled to appear after the first of the year is a soapbox session which will allow the local citizenry a chance to air their views on almost any subject.Nice try, but even this well-intended regulation hasn’t done the job. An editorial proclaimed,A majority of Aspen’s planning and zoning commission gave the community a nice Christmas present Tuesday by approving a resolution recommending adoption of floor area ratio (FAR) regulations for all residential zoning districts. …Tuesday’s resolution marks the second time residential FARs were approved by the commission at the council’s request. A similar concern with the bulk of new houses and duplexes was expressed by residents a few years ago and recognized by the council with a request for action by the P&Z. …After receiving the P&Z recommendation, which it had initiated, the council held several meetings to discuss it, but lacked the courage in the face of concerted opposition from developers to adopt the proposals, and the matter faded into bureaucratic limbo until new concerns with mammoth new structures were again voiced last summer. …

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However, as much as the FARs are needed, we wonder if the city council will have the courage to adopt them this time when faced with the developer and industry opposition they are bound to get. One of the best Christmas presents the council could give the community would be to stick by its previously stated belief that the residential FARs are essential and adopt those which it requested the P&Z commission to create.100 years ago, St. Mary Catholic Church welcomed a new priest, and 25 years ago, the paper announced the arrival of several new shepherds to Aspen.Father Tom Bradke, originally from Chicago, is the newly appointed pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. He has spent the past several years riding the mission trail between Basalt, Carbondale, Redstone and Snowmass Village. … “I see the town of Aspen as an extremely gifted area, and the people who live here are fortunate to have many cultural opportunities,” Bradke said.In addition to his regular duties, Bradke intends to organize many social activities involving singles in the Aspen community. Father Tom Dentici, the new associate pastor of St. Mary’s, has been skiing and vacationing in Aspen since 1951. … He spent 25 years in Trenton, N.J., and three years as a Trappist monk at the monastery in Snowmass. … [He] sees the mountains as a potent spiritual symbol of our town. “Is it money that will be the goal and sign of Aspen in the future, or will we develop values as high as these mountains?” asked Dentici.It wasn’t the glamor or excitement of a resort town that attracted Rev. Roy Lewis to the Aspen Community Church. “I just wanted to come back to a small town on the Western Slope,” Lewis explained. …Rev. John Hirst moved from St. Louis, Mo., to Basalt with his new wife Dorcan last August. Having recently graduated from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Hirst is very enthusiastic about his appointment as the first full-time pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church.”I enjoy working with a young, growing mission congregation. I hope to mature in ministry with the church,” he said.