25-50-100 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50-100 years ago

Sara Garton

Aspen horsemen kept the prize money at home during the Tri-County Fair, the paper reported in 1907. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

The Tri-County Fair, located at today’s Aspen Meadows, was drawing big crowds. The staggering number of contests and exhibits filled the pages of the daily paper, and a local liveryman made a sweep of the horse races.The Redstone special will arrive in Aspen Thursday morning to which will be attached Mr. J.C. Osgood’s car.Thursday is Redstone Day and the celebrated band from that city will furnish the music in conjunction with the Leadville band.Mr. Osgood’s thoroughbred horse arrived on the grounds yesterday, and he will enter the gaited saddle horse contest Thursday afternoon riding one of his thoroughbreds.Mrs. Osgood will also enter the ladies’ driving class. She is considered one of the best reinswomen in the country and will hold the whip over a span of her favorites.

The races yesterday at the Fair [see photo] were attended by at least 2,500 people, and the many event s were enjoyed by the large crowd to the limit.The first event on the program was the three-eighties dash and it was a pretty race, W.C. Tagert’s Pin Point captured first money; Black Bess, owned by Delaney, second; Peanuts, owned by Harry Snyder, third.Gaited Saddle horses – This event was unusually attractive and Billy Tagert was again in the lead, and captured the honors; Sherman Smulling was second in line, with James McSkimming a close third.The team-pulling contest resulted in the Smuggler team walking off with the first money. …The Cowboy Relay race, two miles changing every half mile, was the event of the day. Billy Tagert’s string of horses took first money.There were so many pretty babies, fat babies, smiling babies, winsome babies and all kinds of babies that it was a hard matter to decide what baby was the prettiest. … The contest for the best twins over one year and under three years was awarded to the little sons, Frank and John, of Mr. and Mrs. J.T. Dolan.There is one exhibit at the Tri-County Fair which is attracting the lively interest of our friends from the ranches. It is “The Lovelace Trap-Gun,” which is deigned o kill wolves, coyotes, etc. while you sleep. It is claimed it finds its own aim without the aid of a hunter. It is the only gun of the kind on the market and may be seen daily at the fair. Microfilm of The Aspen Times 1904-1909 is missing from the Colorado Historical Society’s archives. These 1907 excerpts are from The Aspen Democrat.

Horse racing excited valley spectators 100 years ago, but car racing brought out the crowds 50 years ago (see photo).Fifteen sports cars and one truck bounced and skidded over an eight-block course here last Sunday, Sept. 29, in the relay that culminated the 1957 Aspen Race Memorial.The 16 vehicles and drivers were divided into eight teams of two cars. Each contestant drove over the course, which included three right-angle turns and two hay-bale chicannes, one time.Third in the first lap and first out of the pits after a mandatory tire change and pie-eating bout, the winning team was composed of Aspen’s Dr. J. Sterling Baxter driving his Jaguar and Jim Griffith in an Alpha Romero Sprint Coup. …Other events in the busy race weekend included an uphill jeep slalom on Little Nell and a parade and queen contest on Saturday morning; a blindfold back-seat drivers slalom race Saturday afternoon, and a concours d’elegance Sunday morning. …Starting at the southeast corner of the park, the course ran west on Durant street to Monarch and north on Monarch to the laundry corner on Hopkins then east to Sardy’s Bend at Mill Street and up the stretch on Mill to the finish.

My, how we grow – by 40 percent in seven years, according to numbers released by the Colorado State Planning Division. The paper reported,With a population of 1,646 in 1950, the 975-square-mile county has an estimated population of 2,300 this year.Value of crops and livestock in the county is put at $742,724. Gross sales here last year amounted to $3,491,000 while bank deposits stood at $1,422,422 on Jan. 1, 1957.The 2,300 residents of the county got around last year in 994 cars and 315 trucks. …Climatological data set the county’s average growing season at 80 days and average annual precipitation at 18.58 inches with February and March ranking as the wettest months and June the driest.

Does this hot potato sound familiar? The paper noted,If an ordinance approved by the City Council on first reading Monday remains unchanged, all city special elections will be held during the high summer and winter seasons.The ordinance was proposed by Council Member Dick Knecht, who explained it was a compromise worked out with the All Citizens Action Committee, [which] recently launched a petition drive to require city and county charter amendment elections to approve changes requiring approval of one-sixth of the registered voters for new bond issues or tax increases. …Knecht said he would rather take a chance on having elections controlled by seasonal residents than having a charter amendment requiring approval of one-sixth of registered voters. … Very few special funding or tax issues could get approval, since one-sixth of the registered voters often don’t even vote in special elections, Knecht reminded the council. And how about this one?City funding for the Aspen Chamber of Commerce may be jeopardized if its political action committee decides to endorse candidates as well as issues.This was an apparent consensus of the City Council at its regular meeting Monday when two of the five members agreed with Mayor Herman Edel that endorsements of candidates by the chamber would be “inappropriate.” …Announcement of the proposed political action committee was made at the annual [Chamber] membership meeting in late June by President Tom Clark as a means of becoming more politically active. … Tom Hines, who was later appointed to head the PAC, told The Aspen Times this week that it had always been his understanding that the PAC would endorse issues and candidates … the board of directors wanted an organ within the chamber to represent the business community at election time.

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