25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton
A hunter happily shows off a dead bobcat. Bear hunters brought home a lynx in 1907, the paper reported. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)
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As reported a week ago, hunters were still after bear – as well as other mountain varmints (see photo).John Toland, of Paonia, Dr. Setler, J.A. Eddy, James Myers, and a number of others spent Sunday hunting the gay and festive bear up Queen’s gulch. The party captured a lynx, which was brought to town, but the bears had hid out.The paper noted the pursuit of Aspen’s “Runaway Boys.”Yesterday three young boys [see photo] took a notion that Aspen was not large enough for them nor offered opportunities sufficient to induce them to prolong their stay with us, so without consulting their parents they started out to conquer the world, but were headed off at Basalt on telegraphic instructions from Sheriff Begley.The sheriff will go to Basalt this morning and will endeavor to impress upon the minds of these “Rovers of the Bounding Main,” “The Six-Toed Petes” and the “Rip-Roaring Snorters from Snorterville” that it would be better for them to return home, obey their parents and be good for a few years and leave the revolutionizing of the world to those who have a few days’ more experience than they.Stay home, boys, obey your parents and you will become great men.

The paper wrote that some boys got into trouble right at home – no need to run away for some misadventure.A number of boys went up to the headgate of the Salvation ditch yesterday and broke the lock and chain, raising the gate, permitting a large head of water to enter the ditch. The ditch could not carry the flow, and the water caused not much damage other than breaking the steam pipe at the Smuggler mine. A number of men were sent to the head of the ditch to shut off the water, which if allowed to run would have caused much damage to the property. The boys responsible for this work should receive a just punishment.More misadventure was reported, but this one seemed to be the interrupted work of big boys.Yesterday afternoon the back door of the McRae jewelry store was found to be badly broken, the panel having been smashed in with the intention, evidently, of making it possible for one to reach in and pull back the bolts that fasten the door.As soon as discovered, the police department was notified and a special officer put on duty to watch the place last night.Yesterday there had been nothing removed from the jewelry store, and the police believe that the door had been broken Monday night and that the robber had been frightened and did not finish the job.”The Mining Notes from Ashcroft” column remarked,Manager Crawford of the Montezuma-Tam O’Shanter Mines company is one of the busiest men in camp. He is having a large amount of development work done at the mine and is working all the men he can crowd on the millsite near the waterfall. The millsite has been cleared of timber and as soon as about 800 feet of wagon road has been completed and a bridge built across Castle creek, four 1-horse teams will begin hauling up 125,000 feet of lumber, cut and ready for hauling at Tenderfoot ranch. The mill will be run by water power, a head of 300 feet being available. Electric power will also be generated and supplied to the mine. As soon as possible, work will also be started on the tramway from the mine to the mill.Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1907 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

By midcentury, mining for ore had disappeared from our valley; now it was drilling for oil. The Aspen Times reported,Work began last week on a project which may well become one of the Aspen area’s most lucrative enterprises.After nine days of preliminary installation, drilling was started yesterday, June 26, on the first oil and gas well ever sunk in Pitkin County.Located on Brush Creek Road approximately three miles from the state highway, the land being drilled is owned by A. Werk Cook and leased by John Oakes, Aspen Sports store owner and Graham Campbell, Salt Lake.A former employee of the Sun Oil Co., Oakes has lived in Aspen four years. He is extremely interested in geology as a hobby and first recognized the oil bearing structure of the area being drilled a number of years ago.A man long involved in the Aspen community and a leader in sports training and therapy began his involvement 50 years ago, the paper noted.Tage Pedersen [see photo] accepted an appointment as scoutmaster of Aspen Scout Troop 37 it was announced this week by the scout committee of the local Lions Club.The new scout leader is a recent arrival in Aspen having moved here from his native Denmark a year ago with his wife and two children. Serving on the local Boy Scout committee are Jack Walls, John Hall and Wes Thorpe.Another piece of sculpture was stealthily added to the Herbert Bayer-designed Marble Garden, the paper reported.Guests of the Aspen Meadows found an unexpected addition in the famed Marble Garden when they stepped outside Wednesday morning, June 28.Perched on a white marble slab next to the rectangular pool in the garden’s center was a pink porcelain toilet bowl.Although hotel authorities when questioned had no knowledge of the new piece of statuary, the addition to the marble forms was believed to be a joke played by some of the designers currently meeting in Aspen.

Happy silver wedding anniversary, Frank and Margie!Two well-known Aspen-area residents, Marjory Musgrave and Frank Peters, were married in a meadow near Peters’ cabin at Lenado, Sunday, June 20.The double ring ceremony was performed by George Stranahan, minister of his own Church of the New Truth.The bride was attended by Stephanie Smith and Katherine Whitcomb, both longtime Aspen residents. Rachel Madl, Lenado, was flower girl.Best man duties were shared by Daniel Delano, Lenado, who read a selection of poetry by Ceslaw Miloz, and Aspenite Bob Meyers, who read a selection from the late Robert Markham’s poem, “Song of Larkspur Mountain.”Music for the ceremony was provided by the groom’s brother Paul, from Connecticut, who accompanied vocalist Diedre Nepa Black, a Lenado neighbor. …A procession of wedding guest and the groom’s party was led from the groom’s cabin to the wedding site in a meadow by Andrew Delano playing the flute.After the ceremony the wedding party and guests strolled back to the cabin site where a reception was held for over 100 guests.

The Aspen Times reported the 1982 murder in Santa Fe of former Aspen resident Dr. Robert Barnard (see Aspen Times Weekly, June 17, 2007, page 19). A remembrance of “Bugsy” was published June 24, 1982, by his friend, Aspen writer Martie Sterling.Dr. Robert “Bugsy” Barnard was a Western Original. In an era of space technology and computer chips, he was a sodbuster, a gunslinger and a vigilante.He was known for the roseate hue of his neck, the special character of his temper, the color of his language, and the abruptness of his style. Dr. Barnard was no Norman Vincent Peale, but he was a vigorous and caring man. Above everything, he cared about his community.He believed so strongly in action as opposed to talk, in results above arduous consensus by committee, that, ignoring the restrictive parameters of Roberts’ Rules of Order and due legislative process, he saw things that needed doing, bulled his way forward, and did them.When my husband and I arrived in Aspen 24 years ago, Bugsy had been in residence a decade. He was one of the first Aspenites to escort us proudly around “his” town and persuade us to settle her.I had my doubts about him. After [husband] Ken, like so many virgin visitors, had made too many trips up the ski mountain and had come down with strep throat. Bugsy bustled into our motel room with his black bag and inquired, “Do you go the penicillin route, man?” It was enough to shake a girl’s faith in medicine and the Wild West.Then there was the gauche nickname, bestowed on him after he and other local luminaries had invested in some ill-advised slot machines, hoping to add a little of the old Deadwood, Tombstone and Reno luster to Aspen’s slow-blooming appeal. “Bugsy Siegel” Barnard he became and remained, while the slots moldered in his garage for years. Robert Barnard, far from being a city slicker, was born into the small-town way of life. He grew up in the mining and lumber camps of northern California, where his father was a doctor before him.After graduating from Stanford with honors in business and accounting, he returned to the University of California to repeat the process in medicine. He interned at Mercy Hospital in Denver, practiced briefly in Eagle and came to Aspen to establish a permanent practice in 1949.In 1954 he served two years as a lieutenant commander administrating a section of the naval V-6 program. When he returned to Aspen, he embarked on a colorful period of public service that was to span the embryonic changes of the ’50s and the turbulent decade of the ’60s.In his early years here, Bugsy was a director of the Aspen Skiing Corporation, an avid skier and a car racer, holder of the Cochran Ski Cup and founder of the Aspen Road Races. – held for years on the streets of town and among the earliest road races staged in the Unite States.They attracted larger crowds than the Christmas ski season, were featured in several novels, and brought many influential people to Aspen. Jay Baxter, who would eventually practice medicine with Bugsy, first came to town to enter the Aspen Road Race.When the Cochran Cup for local businessmen/ski racers was retired, Bugsy established the Barnard Cup to continue the tradition.After returning from naval service to find he was no longer a director of the Aspen Skiing Corporation, Bugsy wrote a lengthy letter to the management, citing the “Old Soldiers & Sailors’ Act of 1865” and stating that by law they would have to return him, a battle-scarred veteran, to his seat on the board. The Ski Corp. legal eagles were in a frenzy until they discovered this was only another of Barnard’s famed tongue-in-cheek hoaxes.Later Bugsy, with Fred Fisher, donned a mop-head wig, plaid skirt and saddle shoes and led the legendary “Mothers March” against the Corp. for revoking children’s free ski passes. The Corp. promptly took away his ski pass. When he was shortly needed on the mountain for a medical emergency, he sent them a bill for the exact amount of a season ticket.Dissatisfied with the old guard leadership of Aspen, Bugsy eventually put aside his racing skis and threw his hat in the political ring. In 1964 he was elected town councilman on the “Clean Sweep” ticket with Harold “Shorty” Pabst as mayor. By 1966 his views had diverged so far from Shorty’s that he ran and was elected mayor himself for two terms, serving from 1966 to 1970.Although most of Aspen’s younger pols and recent leadership remember Mayor Barnard as a rampant revolutionary, he was surprisingly visionary. It was he who first campaigned for low-cost employee housing, first tried to stem the flood of condominiums, who fought at length – and unhappily in vain – to build mass underground parking beneath Wagner Park.As a physician , he was a health and safety champion. During his tenure in office, he printed, at his own expense, the famed “Killer 82” T-shirts, which are now collector items.After presiding at the bedsides of too many highway-accident victims, he ramrodded the funding of a four-lane highway through the state Legislature – only to have the Pitkin County commissioners turn it down.He also talked a reluctant Lenny Thomas into donating the Castle Creek land on which our first water-treatment plant still stands, paved over 100 blocks of city streets, moved the dump from its Maroon Creek location (now the site of Iselin Park) downvalley and contributed in dozens of ways to the needed cleanup of a now-burgeoning resort.People muttered that he was “easternizing Aspen,” costing the taxpayers a fortune,” “wrapped up in damnfool concerns over germs and beautification.”One of the memorable council meeting of out time featured the presentation to Mayor Barnard of the “McCullough Chain Saw Award” for meritorious achievement in the field of billboard banishment.Frustrated in his efforts to have billboards and neon signs outlawed from Aspen and the valley, Bugsy became the sub rosa leader of a citizens vigilante group, which, in the dark of night, cut down every billboard as fast as it was erected. For a while there, it was like stemming the spread of mushrooms after a rainy spell, but his efforts did not flag.He was never actually observed in the act, but everyone in town knew that Bugsy and friends were doing the job. Secretly or openly, most of us lauded his efforts. Today Aspen is still uniquely free of these blights, and a new generation proudly points out their absence to visiting firemen.Legalities were no peskier than burrs in Bugsy’s thick skin. Bil Dunaway remembers fondly the many times Bugsy had him evicted from council meetings for pointing out mayoral procedures that were not according to Hoyle. Often they weren’t. But Bugsy was sure in his mind what needed doing, and by hook or by crook he was bound to have his way.When the West End began proliferating with so many stop signs that the quiet residential streets reverberated with the screech of brakes and roar of stop-and-go traffic, Bugsy’s efforts to moderate the number of signs met with defeat.Eventually Judge Shaw fined him $700 for contributing to the delinquency of a minor when one of our well-known citizens, then a tad of 19, was discovered in the Red Onion at 11 p.m., his sneakers soaked with black paint – and a number of freshly blacked-out stop signs scattered around the West End. Bugsy didn’t mind paying the fine, but he was madder than hell that the judge castigated the kid.His bedside manner as a physician was abrupt and totally lacking in finesse. Just as brusquely, he took care of the indigent, the down-and-out and the working kids at no charge. He was a great friend of Aspen’s retired miners and bag ladies, of its ski patrolmen and dishwashers. Not surprisingly, he understood the “hippie” generation. Lord knows he spoke their language.In 1976 the old maverick felt his town needed him again. In an unsuccessful comeback attempt, he ran for mayor on a platform of “Had Enough?”A new wave joined forces with old enemies to profess horror at his brash past, keelhaul him publicly in the media, and send him down to resounding defeat. He never admitted it, but it broke his heart. He could accept the defeat; he could not accept the harshness of the attacks.In recent years he had been living in Rifle, tending his fine collection of antique cars. For a time he was reluctant to return to Aspen. He still harbored his hurt and could scarcely endure the “progress” he saw here. His marital like his public life was turbulent. But he was to be married again in July and was as sheepishly delighted as a schoolboy. His bride-to-be had recently persuaded him to relocate to Santa Fe.We, along with other old Aspen friends, has seen him with increasing frequency of late. In many ways he had mellowed. In others, he was the same old curmudgeon.We bitterly regret that robbery was the apparent motive for his death and that the end was so violent. Perhaps, in a way, it was a continuing part of the pattern of his life.This afternoon old political foes and personal friends gathered together in Paepcke Park to reminisce about the unforgettable Barnard years. The occasion was rich in Bugsy anecdotes and vernacular. His was a dynamic life not easily forgotten.- by Martie Sterling


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