25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

A wooden water flume was replaced in 1906 by a 1,200-foot siphon on Maroon Creek, to deliver water for the Roaring Fork Electric Light & Power Company. The water flume in this photo crossed Castle Creek. (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 paper announced an improvement in the delivery of Aspen’s electric power.About five months ago the Roaring Fork Electric Light & Power company let a contract to the Tomkins Hardware company to construct a 1,200-foot siphon on Moving mountain [see photo] up Maroon creek to take the place of a wooden flume which was continually being carried away by snowslides and the movement of the hill. Thursday the work was completed and there is now little or no danger of the water supply for power purposes being cut off at this point.Recently several snowslides of considerable dimensions have run over the siphon without disturbing it in the least.The work done in constructing the vertical siphon is creditable to the builders and Mr. Asa Pattee, who has charge of the work is to be congratulated. It is pronounced one of the most perfect piece of workmanship of its kind in the entire country.Smile and Push Aspen – we have the best workmen of any sort or kind, in the country.

Although Editor Charles Dailey always looked on Aspen’s bright side, the minutes of the City Council meeting reflected the real picture. The paper noted, The marshal was instructed to use his discretion in regard to the tearing down of the buildings east of the Aspen Dry Goods store. The health committee reported two houses in which there were cases of scarlet fever, and that the same had been quarantined.Some complaints had been made to the health officers relative to people visiting at houses quarantined. It was the sentiment of the council that the quarantine ordinance be strictly enforced in all cases.The council then adjourned.Roads versus schools? “Cap” Dailey had an opinion about the distribution of federal funds received for grazing, timbering and mining in Pitkin County’s forests. At the beginning of this session of the Colorado legislature Senator Taylor, of Glenwood, introduced a bill providing for the disposition of the monies received from the United States government by those counties in which there are forest reserves. This bill provided that all such monies so received should go to the school fund, but it appears that the “Good Roads” proclivities got the better of the senator’s judgment and when the committee reported back the bill with an amendment to the effect that all such monies be placed in the road funds, he accepted the amendment. … So do we want better roads in this county, but there are other things besides roads in this glorious old world of ours. Take our schools, the betterment of which should be the uppermost thought of every citizen, will benefit all children alike, the farmers and the city folk. Therefore in all fairness, The Democrat objects to the compulsory expenditure of this forest reserve money in roads.

After the Isis Theatre (see photo) presented a free movie and candy for the children of Aspen Christmas Day afternoon, it screened the first American showing of the 1956 Winter Olympics film. The paper reported,Few of those who managed to get into the theater were disappointed. The record of the Cortina Games turned out to be an Italian film masterpiece, combining an imposing and thrill-packed documentary with beautiful color and photography. Originally scheduled as an opinion sampling preview for Sunday afternoon, the film, “Vertigo Bianco,” was so well received by the overflow audience that it was rescreened Monday evening. Ski School director Fred Iselin penned a column, “Ski School Savvy,” for the paper.Many skiers ask what we are instructing. We are skiing the Aspen technik. We have taken the best parts of the Swiss-Arlberg and French techniks and combined it into a concentrated and logical teaching method. …Wendy Morse has been chosen as head instructor and supervisor for the Little Nell area. The staff list of the school reads like a U.N. roll call. Obermeyer, Sabatini, Woerndle, Kessler, Lynch, Card, Astor (the black sheep of the Astor family), Hall, Moore, Patterson, Gretl Uhl, Pedersen, Catchings, Hamre, Morris, Johnson, McCrudden, Kalstrom, Geier, Vestal, Baar, Lack, Madleine Veatch, Holst, Sealander, Griffin, Peck, Hewey, Rousch, Hurst, Galun. …Bob McNamara, Ford VIP in charge of production, skis with Bill Pitcher. He accelerates very nice between parallel turns.The remodeled Sundeck is a dream. Everybody is talking about the flush facilities this year – very progressive. … The new addition on the Red Onion should be called Las Onion – it has a touch of Las Vegas. The two accordionists play very agreeable music, also continental tunes: “Du liegst mir in Herzen,” etc.

There is very much deep powder snow left on Silver Queen, Bell, Gentlemen’s Ridge. Skiing is excellent. Roche [sic] run hasn’t been skied – used to be the only way down from Midway, some years ago.Bil Dunaway suggested in an editorial there be an “An Area For Bunnies.” Perhaps these words inspired the founding of Buttermilk.A resort should not cater to experts alone. Many skiers in this country are neophytes. They are not interested in steep or bumpy or long slopes. They are searching for sunny, barely-inclined ballroom floors.Other resorts do everything in their power to provide such slopes and slow, easy-riding lifts to service them. Aspen, unfortunately has always been deficient in this respect. Our facilities for the beginner skier have always been minimum. And they have not improved. One of the few local slopes which appealed to this class of visitor has always been Little Nell {see photo]. … The new double chairlift which now services the slope should be listed among the resort’s assets, there is no doubt about that. It will undoubtedly prove popular with the majority of skiers, but it was not designed with the beginner in mind. …Before reaching the get-off point [at the midstation], they are required to lift their tips to avoid catching them on the ramp frame. Here, if they are careful and have good coordination, they lower their skis and ski down an inclined ramp to the slope. If not blessed with good coordination, however, they miss this brief opportunity to dismount and are carried upward to the frightening steepness of the upper slopes. …Most major American resorts and all European areas have reserved a nearly flat slope and a special, extremely slow lift for the rank beginners. The Ski Corporation should do this in Aspen. The slope does not have to be long, the lift does not have to be expensive, but somewhere, near the edge of town, they should exist. You can take the boy out of the mountains, but you can’t take the mountains out of the boy. The ashes of one of America’s most influential literary figures were scattered over Aspen last week.In line with a 1951 request, ashes of the late Harold Ross, New Yorker magazine editor, were strewn over mountains near Aspen by mortician Tom Sardy from a plane piloted by Burt Simons.Ross was born in Aspen in the 1890s, went to school here and made frequent visits back as a young man. …Now-famous writers like James Thurber, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and S.J. Perlman got their start under Ross.

There are still skirmishes today in the Battle of Burnt Mountain. The paper reported, In an exchange of bombshells that shattered the peace of recent years, two old adversaries – Pitkin County and the Aspen Skiing Company – apparently launched a new Ski Wars siege at this week’s county commissioners’ meeting.The county’s bombshell took the form of a decision, on a narrow 3-2 vote, to sue the U.S. Forest service in an attempt to have the permit for the Burnt Mountain Ski Area – issued in 1965 – issued invalid. The Ski Company’s explosive response came as a statement that the Burnt Mountain permit is part of the overall Snowmass permit, and that one can’t be revoked without revoking the other – meaning that stopping Burnt Mountain would also involve shutting down Snowmass.”We feel that if your challenge to the permit is successful,” said Larry Beidleman, Ski Co vice president for planning, “Snowmass would have to close.” …

The county, according to Commissioner Michael Kinsley, will base its suit on the contention that the transfers of ownership of the permit (specifically the 1973 transfer to the Ski Corp) required a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and since no EIS was performed, the permit is now invalid. Celebrity names filled Around Aspen’s pages during the holidays. Pop artist Andy Warhol is here, renting a house.Linda Gray, JR’s wife on the Dallas TV show, is in town.Sonny Bono and Susie Coelho are to be married at midnight on New Year’s Eve at the Aspen Chapel of the Prince of Peace with Rev. Gregg Anderson performing the ceremony.Jack Nicholson and Angelica Houston are here in Nicholson’s Aspen home.And Tom Bosley of the “Happy Days” TV show is here.Seen enjoying the skiing at Snowmass resort is movie actor Sidney Poitier.It’s Kennedy-watching on the ski slopes. Skiing are Ted Kennedy and son Teddy Kennedy. Joan Kennedy is also here. There’s Caroline Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy and her family and Jean Shriver. The Kennedys are also seen on the party circuit and at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.Seen pumping iron at the Aspen Club is world-famous body builder and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger.