25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton
Large lawns, scarce in modern-day Aspen, were wonderful places for summer parties in 1907, the newspaper noted. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

For more than a week, the paper’s front page was filled with word-for-word testimonies by witnesses before a jury (see photo) investigating the death of Mrs. Lillie Taylor, a troubled woman who lived at Coal Basin outside of Carbondale. Was the shooting suicide, accidental or murder? As usual, editor Charles “Cap” Dailey added his two cents’ worth.SUMMARY OF THE CASEThe examination of witnesses in this hearing is practically completed. The prosecution has placed something over 20 witnesses on the stand who have testified that Mrs. Taylor lived in fear of death at the hands of her husband; that he compelled her to write certain letters to her mother at the point of a pistol; that he fired a shot in their home causing her to have a severe illness; that he drew a gun on her and she ran from the house partially clad with her baby in her arms and that she stayed at a friend’s house several days before returning to her husband; that he was fully advised as to the progress of the sale of their household furniture; that on his return to Aspen on May 28 he made numerous threats that he would kill his wife; that he said his wife was accidentally shot while at target practice; that he was in the back room and asleep when the tragedy occurred; that there were blood spots through the rooms at the house in Coal Basin, on the pantry floor, on some boxes in the pantry, and on an ink bottle on a shelf.The defense placed five witnesses on the stand beside the defendant. One witness denied that he told Mrs. Palmer he was asleep when the fatal shot was fired; this witness and another testified as to the apparent reconciliation of the Taylors before going to Coal Basin; one witness knew absolutely nothing of the case; two witnesses testified as to the cordial relations existing between the couple while living in Aspen; the defendant denied all the accusations made by the witnesses for the prosecution. Now you have the case in a nutshell, and it is your privilege to judge for yourself. But it is not our prerogative to pass judgment.The plague of scarlet fever and deception persisted, the paper reported.

Yesterday morning the attention of Dr. Twining, health officer, was called to the family of Tony Vetic, residing across the Roaring Fork, opposite the Ute cemetery.One of the delivery boys of the city was delivering merchandise to the Vetic house, noticed that one of the child’s hands were covered with scales which were dropping off. He reported the fact to Dr. Twining.Dr. Twining immediately called at the Vetic home, and Mrs. Vetic told him none of the children were inflicted with the disease. The doctor examined all the children he could find and found them free of the plague. …Feeling that some members of the family had been hidden from him, he informed Mrs. Vetic he would return at 1 o’clock and if all her children were not present, there would be trouble.At 1 o’clock Dr. Twining, accompanied by Dr. Guthrie, called at the Vetic home and found there three boys with their arms and hands covered with scarlet fever scales, which were at the desiccative period. The Vetic home was immediately put under quarantine. The Democrat understands that Dr. Twining will today place the entire neighborhood under quarantine.Go it, Dr. Twining, the people are with you to the end, even if you have to put the entire settlement under quarantine or in jail.In spite of death and disease, Aspenites continued to party (see photo), as the paper wrote, Miss Theresa McEvoy entertained a number of her young friends at a lawn party Thursday evening at her home on West Hopkins Avenue. The lawn was decorated with Chinese lanterns festooned from the trees. Games, music and other amusements were enjoyed, during which delicious refreshments were served at tables set on the lawn and were decorated with bouquets of cut flowers.After supper, the young people enjoyed a moonlight party on Aspen mountain where all kinds of fun was had.The affair was given in honor of Miss Josie Ovren of Victor, who is the guest of Miss McEvoy.Microfilm of The Aspen Times 19041909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1907 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

A news story reported a dream that was never realized .Work has begun on a three-year development program to make Redstone, Colo., one of the state’s major summer and winter resorts it was announced last week by Frank E. Kistler.Former president of the Hot Springs Co. in Glenwood Springs, Kistler recently completed purchase of the Manor House [see photo], formerly a luxurious private mansion, the Redstone Inn and the Heuschkel ranch.Total property acquired by Kistler totals 1280 acres and includes the town of Redstone as well as the Manor Inn and ranch buildings.The area is located in Pitkin County, approximately 18 miles south of Carbondale.

According to plans revealed last week, the former oilman and financier intends to construct a nine-hole golf course, ski lift and ski trails, heated swimming pool, stables, bowling alleys and tennis courts.First project under the new three-year plan is the construction of a chairlift and the renovation of the two major lodges. Plans call for both tasks to be completed by next winter.Also in the development plan is a subdivision of 500 lots at the town of Redstone and an additional hotel structure built in Swiss chalet style, with 100 rooms and a chalet-style restaurant. A summertime event featured both English (see photo) and Western horseback riding. The paper reported the winners, whose names are still familiar in the valley. A small crowd watched a large group of participants go through their paces in the Aspen Riding Club’s fourth annual Horse Show last Sunday.The show attracted contestants from Carbondale, Basalt and Grand Junction as well as Aspen.Chairmanned by Mrs. Whip Jones, the newly condensed one-day show featured 18 events.Leading off with the children’s halter class in which horses, led around by their owners, were judged on grooming, soundness and manner shown. Judy Cobb took first, with Cherie Gerbaz second, Jane Harrell third, and Sandra Smith fourth.A seasoned horseman, Carl Vetter of Carbondale, won Pleasure Horse, Western, Open. Second was Tony Deane from the T Lazy 7 Ranch, with Jane Harrell, daughter of baritone Mack Harrell, third.In the English pleasure horse division, O. Louis Wille was first, Mrs. Stewart Peck second, Mrs. Jones third and Mary-Helen Cattrell fourth. …Clocking in at 11 seconds flat, Woody Creek rancher Clyde Vagneur won the adults 220-yard dash. Charming both audience and judges, the Had Deane family, mounted on five high-stepping mules, won the family class. In the group were Mr. and Mrs. Deane and their three sons, Tony, Buck and Rick.Today Aspen is losing its workers to the gas and oil fields; 50 years ago it was back to the mines. The paper noted, Alton Beck, 53-year-old native Aspenite who has been postmaster of Aspen for the past 13 years, has resigned, it was announced by post office officials.Beck, who was born and raised in Aspen, resigned for reasons of health, the post office announced.His resignation leaves Aspen without a postmaster. No replacement has as yet been appointed by the President.At present, Beck is working at the Montezuma mine, which is being readied for operation by the Borealis Mining Co. of which he is president.

A letter to the editor recounted an anniversary celebration in 1982. Stop by Little Annie’s Eating House this week and wish everyone happy 35th!This past week Little Annie’s restaurant celebrated its 10th anniversary. Its festivities included offering a complete chicken dinner at a reduced price and, as well, a shot and a beer for only one dollar.

The following day, they closed their doors to the public so they could have an invitation only party for its past and current employees along with their regular customers. …John [Hamwi] realized that approximately 200 guests were invited to an all day outdoor barbecue and in all probability many of the guests upon leaving would not be able to pass a sobriety test if they were stopped by the local law enforcement agencies.John’s remedy – rent a bus from the City of Aspen transportation Department to drive anyone home who might have gone overboard with the celebration. That’s where I came in – I was the driver of that bus.John and the Little Annie’s management staff, I for one commend you on your acceptance of responsibility and your genuine concern for the well-being of your staff.May you have many more 10-year reunions.Congratulations!Bill Clohessy

Before the Saturday Market, there was the community market, the paper noted, There were those who felt that a community market might have been a good idea, but was likely to produce less than generous rewards for its sponsor, the Pitkin County Community Center.That assumption was dead wrong. The center reaped profits of $368 from the July 17 affair.Some 20 booths sprawled out along the grounds and catered o the whims and fancies of about 450 persons who perused the various displays. …Offering entertainment was the Polished Brass Quintet from the Music Associates of Aspen. …The next community market has been scheduled for Aug. 28 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The fee for registering a booth is $7 and 10 percent of the gross earnings goes to help support the center.Organizers are inviting local residents and organizations to bring their junk, produce, clothes, crafts, arts and other treasures to the market so that it may eventually expand into a frequent Saturday occurrence.The city was entangled in housing arrangements for two of its employees 25 years ago. The paper wrote,

Aspen will borrow $250,000 from the First national bank in order to lend its police chief, Rob McClung, $100,000 and its city engineer, Dan McArthur, $150,000 to refinance their homes. This was the decision made by the city council during its regular meeting Monday at the request of the two officials and on the recommendation of city manager Wayne Chapman. In a memo to the council Chapman explained that the two city employees were paying 19 percent interest on their mortgages covering the employee housing they had built on city lots near the golf course and could not afford to continue. …The city would earn one-half percent more interest from the two employees than it had to pay the bank, the memo explained.In exchange for the loan from the bank the city would agree to keep $100,000 on deposit there, earning interest of not less than 2 percent below the federal fund rate.Two well-known film actors, John Travolta (see photo) and Charles Durning, were performing onstage with the Snowmass Festival of American Theater. Aspen Times reporter Susan Pettit wrote a review.The two-character dramatic comedy opened Saturday at the Snowmass Theater for a two-week run with Durning in the wonderful role of Father Tim Farley, a lovable old scaramouch of a priest, and Travolta in the lesser role of Mark Dolson, a highly principled and zealous young seminarian whose unswerving quest for truth and righteousness gets both of them in trouble with the stodgy old rector of the seminary. …Durning is spectacular as Father Farley. The character is very theatrical to begin with, and Durning moves with amazing grace through all facets of this charming personality from wisecracking teacher to wistful drunk to fallen angels wrestling with his own private hell. …Travolta gives a sensitive, capable performance, though he is Travolta, and that’s not easy to forget. He is at his best in the pulpit where Mark tries out Father Foley’s Madison Avenue brand of preaching on the subject of “Why go to Mass?” and later when he delivers a heart-wrenching confession about why he wants to be a priest.

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