25-50-100 years ago
Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1907 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.In 1907 the paper was remembering train service in the good old days . Last evening as the Midland special came in from Basalt, loaded with handsome ladies and chivalric men from the railroad town, it seemed like the good old days when specials were daily features in the Crystal City of the Rockies.At 8:30 o’clock the Basalt people arrived and upon disembarking from the coaches marched in a body to the Wheeler opera house to witness the performance of “Kerry Gow.”All were satisfied with the show and stated they would attend the next big performance at the Wheeler. The special returned with the party shortly after the conclusion of the show.
There was another railroad item in “Around the City.” A new switch engine [see photo], No. 568, arrived in the city last evening from Glenwood to take the place of Engine No. 567, which was out of order yesterday and was taken to the repair shop at Grand Junction last evening. A front-page story reported “Big Doin’s Up Lincoln Gulch.” The editor of the Twin Lakes Miner went to Aspen this week and visited the Ruby mine [see photo] in Lincoln gulch. Owing to the snow, mining has been discontinued until next April, but the machinery is being installed and the mill will be complete next month. This mill will prove a great success as the same process is used on the Smuggler mine at Aspen and the ores are similar in character. It consists of a crusher, rollers, Huntington mill, three Wilfley and three Frue Vanner concentrating tables, also a canvas table to save some of the slimes. … The power will be furnished by a producer gas plant that extracts from coal the maximum of power with a minimum of expense. …The miners of Lincoln gulch are now in Aspen … and will rusticate in this city until early spring when they will return to the mines and the dirt will fly in earnest. Big things may be expected in the gulch next summer.
The editor of the Democrat yesterday ran into a bunch of the Ruby miners at the Jerome hotel. During the exchange of greetings, we inquired if they were satisfied with their treatment at the hands of the Ruby people (the question was asked to get at the bottom of a little rumor to the effect that the Ruby men had not been paid). Each of the boys replied that everything was perfectly satisfactory and they had been paid in full and would trust the Barnes boys to owe them a salary roll of $25,000, as the Ruby was a great mine and would be made one of the best in this section of the state next summer. So look out! When the men talk that way, the owners sure have big things in sight – miners are not gifted to “soft-soaping” their bosses.
Would Colorado’s governor be a second-home owner in Aspen? That was the rumor in 1957.Aspen may become the summer home of Colorado’s governor Steve McNichols.This surprise revelation was made by the Governor during his speech at the kick-off luncheon, which inaugurated Aspen’s Wintersköl last Thursday, Jan. 10. …Deviating from his prepared speech for an instant, the Governor stated that “if I can find a suitable place for my family, I am seriously considering acquiring a home here for the summer months.”According to Colorado’s top official, Aspen would be an ideal place to bring up children and an especially good place to live during the summer months.In his speech the Governor also stressed the fact that Aspen as a resort was important to the economy of the state. According to his statement, the tourist industry is Colorado’s number two industry. …He also said, “The State owes a debt of gratitude to you, not only for creating for our own citizens a new Mecca for sports and entertainment, for education and the fine arts, but also for establishing a new lodestone to attract thousands of persons from all over the world to our state.”Last week, we noted the Saloon Slalom; this week, the paper announced a new ski competition.Run off for the first time this year, the Lodge Slalom last Friday was won by the Prospector Lodge’s team with 213.7 points.They were awarded a coconut head trophy, which will become a perpetual traveling award to be held by the winning team each year. …Norway Lodge’s team was second in 217.8. … Third was Alpine Lodge … The Smuggler was fourth. Teams from Bell Mountain Lodge and the Prince Albert were disqualified.The results of the Saloon Slalom (see photo) were announced, and even more nightspots decided there was fun to be had in the daytime, in the snow.
This year’s winner was the Red Onion with the Horn’s impresario Steve Knowlton posting the day’s best time Enlarging the wacky tradition of restaurants doing battle on the slopes, Mario’s and the Copper Kettle inaugurated their own competition this year.Racing down Little Nell in flying saucers, the Copper Kettle out-slid Mario’s to take first place in the first Gourmet’s Goon race.Aspen broke a record for local cold temperatures in January this past week, and it was cold 50 years ago, The Aspen Times reported.Cold weather and low pressure in the water mains resulted in several homes being without water last Wednesday morning, Jan. 23Source of the difficulty, according to one homeowner, was freezing pipes between the house and street. Area worst affected was East Hopkins street in the six and seven hundred block.
The Aspen Times wrote a summary of Wintersköl,Controversy over the 1982 Wintersköl theme began with the simple desire to keep the annual winter carnival clean and wholesome and fit for family entertainment, especially in view of the national media attention the affair has attracted in recent years.When all was said and done, Wintersköl was, as one Aspen Chamber of Commerce official put, “one of the cleanest we’ve seen in a long time.”There were more contests and prizes than ever before, and the annual parade was a big hit with an impressive showing by the U.S. Air Force Academy’s famed Drum and Bugle Corps. …Don Crawford collected the Ralph Jackson Look-Alike Award. Naturally, Best Animal entry went to the rugby club. Even the Hotel Jerome was honored – with the Best Supporting Porch Award. …Out of what reportedly turned into a “raunchy affair” with bare bottoms on display, judges for the Wintersköl queen contest selected the young and lovely Valerie Stevens to reign over the four-day carnival.Stevens reportedly gained points for 1) having “the best cheeks in Aspen” and 2) remaining fully clothed throughout the competition. One letter to the editor contended the carnival was not entirely wholesome and family-friendly.
When the band entered the area near the Crossroads Drug Store, an unmerciful crossfire commenced. I stopped the band to allow each to protect themselves and the snowballing only increased. As we started our music for the second time, our sousaphone player was struck in the face.Why must parade participants dodge water balloons in the summer, eggs at the homecoming parade, and iceballs in the winter?Bill KluchkoBand DirectorAspen High schoolJon Busch, in his Another Voice column, urged Aspenites to extend a welcome to the participants of Gay Ski Week.This is the third year for the January gay pilgrimage to snow-covered slopes in Aspen. The first year there were 40, last year 200. And while this year is the biggest yet and a significant boost to our winter economy, it may be our last.
In spite of our human rights ordinance, the gay visitor last year was treated very shabbily. While welcomed in lodge, restaurants and on the slopes, gay men were flagrantly discriminated against in gay bars.At one, a cover charge was being levied against single men, while male/female couples were let in free. Male couples dancing were asked to leave the dance floor. Dance music was cut off until the men who danced together left.It was all in the name of a “house rule” prohibiting same sex dancing (though occasionally women were seen dancing together without difficulty). At another bar, men dancing together were thrown out of the establishment by force,There were ugly moments last year, and it should have been an embarrassment to a community which prides itself on a liberal tradition. Some highly visible people behaved no differently than those in Selma, Alabama, more than 20 years ago.If Aspen was crowded during ski season, it was more crowded in Pitkin County Jail, the paper noted.Monday’s court proceedings left Jail Administrator Bob Braudis with twice as many prisoners as available cells in the county’s 90-year-old facility.The jail has only five cells and bunks, meaning that many of the prisoners were sleeping on the floor and office couches Monday night.The roster ranged from pretrial detainees to convicted felons, who theoretically should have been segregated.
This wasn’t my best work. I still stand by my original picks to win each of the snowboard contests at X Games Aspen 2023, but fate chose poorly. The main lesson? Don’t pick against Mark McMorris, Marcus Kleveland or Scotty James, unless you have a very good reason.